When it comes to modern homes, most architects focus on creating a soothing harmony between the indoors and outdoors, meaning lots of natural light, floor-to-ceiling windows, natural vegetation and so on. But Brazilian firm Reinach Mendonça Arquitetos Associados has gone one step further by completely eliminating exterior walls. Located São Paulo, the solar-powered RFC Residence features an open-air ground floor that leads out to a connecting courtyard, blurring the lines between nature and the man-made.

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brick house with open first floor

Spanning more than 6,500 square feet, the RFC Residence was built for a family of four with a strong passion for cooking. They asked the architects to design an open-plan layout that would place the kitchen at the heart of the living area to be not only a functional space for preparing meals but a spacious social area as well.

Related: A micro home with a green roof sits atop a granite wine cellar in rural Portugal

brick house with wall-less ground floor

living area open to outdoor courtyard

Topped with a green roof that shares space with a solar array, the home was built with a number of passive and active design measures. The rectangular volume is made up of two levels: an open-air ground floor and an upper floor clad in exposed brick with a long interior hallway lined in glass panels. The upper level houses the master bedroom and the kids’ bedrooms.

modern kitchen with black and wooden features

room with wood floors and large glass windows

The social spaces are all located on the first floor, which contains a living room, entertainment area, dining room and a large chef’s kitchen in the middle. Wrapped around a central courtyard, these wall-less living spaces are all connected, creating a seamless connection between the rooms as well as the interior and the exterior. Native vegetation was used in the landscaping to create a lush outdoor area.

bedroom with wood cabinets and wood shutters over windows

bathroom with bathtub and wooden walls

The main living areas all maintain a nice, cool temperature year-round thanks to natural air circulation. Additionally, the second level was built with overhangs that shade the ground floor, creating a more comfortable space for residents to take in the fresh air. There is also a small swimming pool as well as a wooden sauna and dressing room in the backyard.

+ Reinach Mendonça Arquitetos Associados

Via ArchDaily

Photography by Nelson Kon via Reinach Mendonça Arquitetos Associados

brick and glass home with small pool and courtyard