Just off the Brazilian coast in São Paulo, architect Andrade Morettin has created Residencia RR – a stunning summer abode nestled amidst the dense vegetation and semi-tropical, hot, humid climate of Itamambuca in the state’s north coast. Responding to the local environment, House RR is selectively protected from and open to the elements. Under a primary “shell” the home shelters from intense sun and rains but allows much desired natural cross-ventilation to permeate through living spaces. With prefabricated components and an elevated foundation, the construction sits lightly on its site with a low ecological impact.

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The industrial looking exterior is a six-meter-high lightweight shell made from prefabricated timber with galvanized steel joints and steel facades on the ends and roof. The long facades of the house are composed of a system of sliding screens which allow natural ventilation and views to the ocean without letting in the endless onset of local insects. The living spaces are simply a stack of timber cubes that provide space for kitchen, dining, bathrooms and three bedrooms – two with private, enclosed decks.

The design is beautiful, and the house earns a big nod for its construction practices. Use of a prefabricated timber frame reduced construction waste and, combined with a design that is elevated on 75cm-high concrete pillars, the construction process resulted in little site disturbance which is especially crucial in coastal and tropical regions. For even more sustainability kudos, we would need a little more specifics about the materials used. For instance, if the timber was FSC-certified, reclaimed or locally sourced and also if the steel was recycled. Those two elements would raise this prefab to a whole new level of our appreciation. Still, the design and site-sensitive construction of the Residencia RR certainly piqued our prefab interest. Via World Architecture News Photos: Nelson Kon