A steep slope, populated by magnificent deciduous trees, foliage, shrubs, birds, and wild animals. It is in this place, with a singular character, typical of the region of Nova Lima in Minas Gerais in southeastern Brazil, that Casa Açucena (“lily” in Portuguese) has made its home. Created by Tetro Arquitetura, Casa Açucena has adapted to this unusual terrain. “It was obvious to maintain the natural characteristics” of the site, explains the architects. “Looking upwards, from the ground to the tree canopy, elevated up to fifteen meters above ground level, was decisive in creating the concept.” But how do you build in a place with such a steep topography without touching nature, while giving its residents the daily experience of looking up and seeing the sky through the tree tops?
The architects’ answer is a mixture of technique and poetry. Standing on stilts, the villa seems to float. Dressed in a bright white, it is enveloped by a bay window, giving its visitors the feeling of living at tree-top level. Rising above the ground, it lets the animal and plant life develop below. Tetro Arquitetura chose to build in the empty spaces between the trees. None of the trees were cut down. The topography was not altered. Architecture and nature coexist in perfect harmony.