Built on a secluded hillside overlooking the ocean in Rio de Janeiro, this impressive home was built for a Brazilian television personality who wished to remain close to the city while having plenty of space and privacy from the public eye. Designed by the multinational firm of Arthur Casas, the house is intended to appear luxurious and modern while also retaining a sense of establishment and personality. To that end, a unique design was agreed upon constructed from traditional textured stone, with almost all its outward energy focused at the back, with perfect views of the water. The house is built on three levels, the lowermost of which contains living quarters and work spaces for servants, hidden from view but receiving plenty of natural light through intelligent design features. Because it’s built on a steep slope, even the most open portion of the house is nearly invisible from the ground below it, and every other facade is kept intentionally closed off from the outside world. The residence’s architecture allows its famous owner to live in peace, but also allows him to enjoy the natural beauty of the seaside and to host plenty of guests in a stunning outdoor setting.
Inside, the house follows a fairly traditional layout, with private spaces located on the top floor above more public rooms. Stone elements from the exterior walls come into play quite often inside, especially on the main floor, where the living room and dining room open directly onto the rear patio. Otherwise, white walls are accented by wooden floors and many built-in furnishings and features, with decor choices that are neither too minimal or overladen with decoration. The interior strikes a comfortable balance between luxury, contemporary influence, and design elegance.
At the front and sides of the building, privacy is the most important consideration. Beyond the front walk, a thin stone wall leads to an outdoor reception area before the actual front door. Very few windows are present along the home’s front edge, exposing as little of the interior as possible.
The textured stone construction of the residence suggests permanence and greater age than its contemporary design betrays, marrying modern style and comfortable familiarity. While the floating staircases and uncommon rectangular volumes which make up the house are unique and new, the house still manages to look right at home in its environment.
Though the private stone sides of the dwelling are quite impressive, the real focal point of the design is at the rear, where two levels open completely to overlook the ocean and integrate indoor and outdoor living. Far from prying eyes, this rear facade includes indoor/outdoor living solutions for both public and private spaces.
The building is staggered upward in a number of levels, contracting as it rises in a manner similar to the edge of the hill it’s built upon. Each level has its own distinct personality, too, due to a change in the dominant material on each (from lawn to stone to wood).
The edges of the deck vary in width moving inward from the pool towards the residence, allowing occupants of the house to view what the frame of the pool looks like from the sides and from below. Though not far from the busy city, the view off the deck here is completely unobstructed and shows off the beauty of the waters beyond.
Perfect for enjoying the sun or hosting visitors, the home’s main rooms are all built on the rear deck’s edge, with full freedom of movement in and out when the weather permits. The transition inward comes in steps, with a roof appearing overhead before flooring changes underfoot from patio decking to polished wood planks. Inside the principal living space, a series of columns provide support for the extended roof.
A double flight of wooden steps leads upward from the main public rooms into a more personal upper level, conveniently splitting the living room and dining room’s bounds. The wall between the two opposed flights serves both a visual and structural purpose.
Upstairs among the dwelling’s private rooms, a more intimate living room is fully contained indoors, with one solid window wall at its exterior edge giving a view out onto the story’s edge. The space is sunken down to keep the strip of grass at shoulder level, with its wooden furnishings built into the structure of the room.
On the same floor, the master suite opens up onto its own private deck, framed by thin extensions of the roof above. This final deck includes a private hot tub, additional lounge chairs, and the most impressive outward view of any room.
In an unconventional luxury touch, the master bathroom’s flooring is partially made up of wooden floorboards, carrying over from the bedroom and its deck beyond. Otherwise, the spacious closet and bathroom combination is dominated by a combination of white and mirrored walls, with smooth stone counter surfaces.