As a residence, Flor House is as much a product of nostalgia as it is environmentally-efficient. It’s a home built on the sentimentality of the owners, giving them calm with memories of days gone by. 

Located in a private neighborhood in Porto Alegre, Brazil, Stemmer Rodrigues Arquitetura took charge of the project as they attempted to bring their clients’ vision to life. The clients, two university professors and their two children, desired something open but private. 

A view of the home's floor-to-ceiling glass openings. Photo by Gabriel Konrath.
A view of the home’s floor-to-ceiling glass openings. Photo by Gabriel Konrath.

The couple were long-time residents of the area, and they built many memories around it over the years. The land they chose overlooked a local square they felt sentimental about and which they worked on preserving in the past. Ultimately, they wanted their home to have a choice view of the area. 

“The family participated in the reforestation of the square, so one of their main desires when buying the plot was for the house to make the best possible use of the view, while ensuring privacy from the street,” the architects said about the project. 

Privacy and Sustainability

The land on which Flor House stands slopes steeply, providing an enhanced view of the surrounding area. However, this downward slant also presented challenges in the home’s construction.

Flor House’s street-level view is actually on the second floor due to the sloping terrain. The facade facing the street features movable wooden blinds, greenery, and a semi-transparent metal gate that provides privacy for the family while still allowing visibility.

The backyard offers views of the square the two professors helped reforest. Stemmer Rodrigues Arquitetura designed the home with floor-to-ceiling glass openings on each floor to maximize the scenery. 

Front gate of the house. Photo by Gabriel Konrath.
Front gate of the house. Photo by Gabriel Konrath.
Flor House's garage. Photo by Gabriel Konrath.
Flor House’s garage. Photo by Gabriel Konrath.
Flor House from the side. Photo by Gabriel Konrath.
Flor House from the side. Photo by Gabriel Konrath.
The glass opening from the living room perspective. Photo by Gabriel Konrath.
The glass opening from the living room perspective. Photo by Gabriel Konrath.
Living room view from the second floor. Photo by Gabriel Konrath.
Living room view from the second floor. Photo by Gabriel Konrath.

It also works as a sustainability measure. The use of generous glazing ensures that natural light can enter the home easily. More than that, it gives the home opportunities for good ventilation reliant on the environment rather than appliances. 

The home uses a mix of unpolished concrete and steel to form the exterior frame and interior of the home. Varnished wood is used for the floors, stairs, and furniture. It works well with the stone and metal, giving it a homey but industrial look that is both sturdy and comforting. 

Flexible Creation

Most of the home itself utilizes an open plan for two of the three floors. The high double ceiling and openness between the two floors gives the family room to bask in the environment outside. 

The flexible nautical rope net of Flor House. Photo by Gabriel Konrath.
The flexible nautical rope net of Flor House. Photo by Gabriel Konrath.

In fact, one of the pleasant surprises of the home is the flexible nautical rope net that hangs over the living room. Because of the open space between the ground floor and second floor, there’s room for this elevated seating area where one can read and relax with the whole view of the outdoors in front of them. 

The ground floor has a small metal fireplace in the living room that works with the home’s overall aesthetic. It also has the kitchen, the pathway to the garden, and the living room proper. 

Bookshelves in the second floor. Photo by Gabriel Konrath.
Bookshelves in the second floor. Photo by Gabriel Konrath.
Kitchen area. Photo by Gabriel Konrath.
Kitchen area. Photo by Gabriel Konrath.
The steel fireplace. Photo by Gabriel Konrath.
The steel fireplace. Photo by Gabriel Konrath.
Backyard area of Flor House. Photo by Gabriel Konrath.
Backyard area of Flor House. Photo by Gabriel Konrath.
Grilling area at the backyard. Photo by Gabriel Konrath.
Grilling area at the backyard. Photo by Gabriel Konrath.

The second floor is small compared to the ground floor, and it mostly houses shelves of books owned by the couple and the nautical rope net. Most of the family’s private rooms can be found on the third floor. 

Flor House provides a sentimental approach to home life that feels cozy and lived-in. It gives an open view of the world surrounding it, and space to move around in peace without sacrificing privacy. 

Related reading: Victor Consunji and VCDC Building Dream Homes for the Filipinos

Download this month's BLUPRINT magazine digital copy from:
Subscribe via [email protected]