Minas House / studio mk27
Text description provided by the architects. Minas House is Studio mk27’s first project in Minas Gerais, interior of Brazil. Right outside Belo Horizonte, which means beautiful horizon, the house floats above the Minas Gerais mountains. On a particularly steep terrain, two concrete slabs draw strong horizontal lines. Elevating it up to 10 meters above the ground, a series of stilts emerge, disguised between the tree trunks of the garden, recreating the original rainforest. Drawing a clear contrast to the neighboring pharaonic ramparts, which occupy such a dramatic site, suspending the house on stilts allows rainwater to drain and the house to breathe.
From the street, the house appears to be nothing more than a simple wooden box. The volumetric complexity consisting of 3 boxes and two platforms can only be seen from the other side of the valley. It is accessible via a bridge: a connecting structure that interrupts the gap between public and private spaces without using any obstruction elements.
As one enters through the wooden facade, a square glass frames the mountain view and creates an expectation of what is to come. The staircase invites one to unfold onto the platform below. Downstairs, the entry sequence leads to a portico, after which one reaches the spacious open plan living space – light streams in from the fully retractable glazed facade. The captivating views are revealed on one side, while the other is protected by a long shelf: support for storytelling and the family’s memories.
At the edge of the room, revolving wooden panels open to the western terrace, where the swimming pool benefits from abundant exposure to the sun. The platform serves as an observation deck. In this living space, all functions are covered to make daily life possible, but contemplation and reflection on the passage of time are at the core of their being.
This platform also houses an opaque wooden cabinet that encloses the kitchen, powder room and master bedroom in its corner. Two sides of the bedroom are covered with slatted wood panels that can fold and slide, revealing a new perspective of the eastern horizon.
Descending another level, one comes to a third wooden box, which is suspended from the platform and jumps free. It is the most intimate area that accommodates the bedrooms, TV room and winery, immersed in tree canopies.
The palette of materials enhances the house’s balanced proportions. The concrete slabs reveal their bare texture on the ceilings, and the floors are clad in basalt. In turn, the three programmatic wooden boxes add warmth to the atmosphere and offer a variety of rich tactile textures.
To its fullest extent, it is a very peaceful house: its presence on the street, its sway over the slope, the concise composition of materials, the different relationships with the view, and even its decoration. Some beautiful mid-century Brazilian pieces are used very sparsely, with presence and gaps between each piece, so that each designer’s trace can be fully felt and appreciated. This is a home that needs to be seasoned with full attention.