Brazilian architecture firm Porto Quadrado has revealed a serene refuge composed of three prefab cabins tucked into the wilderness of Brazil’s Rio Grande do Sul. The Alpes São Chico Housing Complex is comprised of three tiny cabins, all made out of structural insulated panels (SIP), which were assembled on-site in less than two days. The result is a low impact refuge that lets its homeowners reconnect with nature.
According to the architects, they were first approached by a family who was looking to create a single building that would be shared by three families. Once they began to explore the incredibly remote location, however, the plan blossomed into another concept completely. Instead of one large structure with various bedrooms, the remote landscape inspired the designers to create three separate tiny cabins that would be oriented to make the most out of the incredible setting.
To bring their concept to fruition economically and sustainably, the architects decided to use prefabricated materials. All of the project’s 48 prefabricated (SIP) panels were constructed off-site and brought to the building site to be assembled. Using the prefab model, the team was able to put together three, roughly 376-square-foot cubes all in less than two days. This process allowed the designers to not only reduce time and costs, but also reduce the impact of the entire project.
The resulting complex, known as the Alpes São Chico Housing Complex, is comprised of three cubed SIP structures clad in a waterproof metal membrane. Metal was chosen to add extra durability and resilience to the cabins. It also helps to insulate the interior spaces, keeping the living spaces warm and cozy during cold or rainy weather.
The cabins have all of the basics of a conventional house, but with an extremely strong connection to the outdoors. The orientation of the modules’ layout was centered around creating a mixed indoor/outdoor space for each cabin that would create a seamless connection between the interior and the exterior.
Comprised of a minimalist layout with sparse furnishings, the interior houses a small bed and sofa, as well as a kitchenette and bathroom. At the heart of the tiny cabins, however, is a small living room that opens up to a large open-air deck that becomes an integral part of the living area.
Photography by Alessandro Quevedo