The Library House

When in the summer of 2014, founding members of Atelier Branco Architects, Matteo Arnone and Pep Pons were approached to design a leisurely holiday house in the small town of Vinhedo, Brazil, the brief was that the house be able to accommodate at least two kind of needs: the need for a place to read, immersed within the site’s vibrant vegetation; the need for a place to think, reposed under the boundless subtropical skies.
The Library House It is a bold scheme, almost entirely realised in in-situ cast concrete, the bare structure is realised entirely out of reinforced concrete and was cast under the direction of the architects within a single working day; the floors, as with the upper terrace, are lined with long and fine Garapeira wood boards placed perpendicular to the project’s longitudinal axis; and the whole is almost entirely wrapped within a single glazed facade of which the iron profiling and design motifs follow the iconic ‘paulistana’ tradition of the nineteen fifties which for me is a stroke of genius!
It is especially the care gone into the design of these latter elements that have made the fortune of the project of which the noble spareness could’ve easily been buried under the hideous chunkiness of modern-day aluminum frames. Instead, with its fine joinery and quasi-ethereal openness, the Casa Biblioteca consolidates its place amidst a rich tradition of glass houses and pavilions which since the dawn of twentieth century have almost persistently affirmed themselves as privileged sites of architectural experimentation.

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