October 4, 2011 by Robin Plaskoff Horton
On one of the highest points in São Paulo, Brazil’s largest and most populated urban center, the residence of Venezuelan born architect/designer Pedro Useche sits perched on a hilltop enjoying panoramic views of the elegant surrounding Morumbi neighborhood.
At approximately 1,000 sq. meters (approximately 11,000 sq. feet), the three-story contemporary residence is built with traditional locally sourced materials including the mosaic on the terrace, natural cumaru hardwood flooring in the communal areas, and glass tiles in the bathrooms, kitchen, and laundry.
Local regional plants too fill the surrounding landscape, like the variety of climbing plants of differing shades of green that cover the facade of the original concrete structure.
The verdant outdoor landscape is visible from the living room, where skylights provide natural light from the double height ceiling. Interior and exterior spaces blend harmoniously and play off each other like two good friends enjoying each other’s company.
An avocado hued ceiling coupled with open metal stairs allow invites the outdoors inside, offering glimpses of the vegetation below, visible from the the library’s low windows, and recalling grass stairway at the property’s entrance.Rooftop solar panels power the home, in keeping with the home’s sustainable design.
Useche, who studied in Los Angeles, designed all the residence’s furniture exclusively for this space–not just because he is an architect and that’s what he could do–but because at the time he could not afford to purchase the designer furniture he loved. Instead, he bought the necessary materials to bring to his own designs, all influenced by the masters of modern furniture design.