Studio MK27’s Toblerone House in São Paulo is another delightful example of the firm’s confident application of a traditional modernist repertoire to a contemporary context. Designed by Marcio Kogan and Diana Radomysler in 2011, its pure form is really made to sparkle by some playful flourishes.
The contemporary home design is dominated by two horizontal slabs of concrete, one for the roof, and another larger slab operating as the floor for the first floor and the ceiling of the ground floor.
While the lower slab is visibly supported by a series of slender pilotis, the pictures mostly show these structural supports being obscured by shutters on the second floor. The effect produced when the shutters are closed is somewhat reminiscent of an ice cream sandwich, with the two slabs like two wafers, and the shutters the ice cream in between.
We recently covered another of Studio MK27’s modern style homes: the Ramp House, also located in São Paulo. While there are a host of similarities between the two homes, the first one we noticed can be found in the long veranda at the rear of both homes.
In the Ramp House, the architects had the structure cantilever so that it both created an uninterrupted indoor/outdoor transition space, and also precisely aligned with a marble floor below, which also ran all the way along the space.
The Toblerone House has the same dramatic, cantilevered overhang, and also demonstrates this same precise alignment between the marble floor and the first-floor roof. In both cases, it’s a really aesthetically pleasing piece of design, ensuring that there’s a neat, yet really seamless shift from indoors to outdoors.
And yet, the Toblerone House arguably takes things a step further by introducing two gaps in the roof. One gap allows for a couple of trees to poke through to the floor above, in a pleasing acknowledgement of modernism’s consistent respect for the natural surroundings in which a house resides. Meanwhile, another smaller gap is used to house the chimney of a small fireplace.
This stove deserves further attention. Rather than being rooted to the ground, it is fixed to the first-floor roof overhang, appearing like a flying saucer. It’s a nice little touch, with the stove subtly interrupting its neater, more formal surroundings.
One last note, the completely open plan space which those pilotis create, make this design remarkably open for a contemporary house, with absolutely no walls on the ground floor, and the barrier between indoors and outdoors only marked by a line of frameless windows. You can’t help feeling with all this that Le Corbusier must be resting quite easily.
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Photos by Nelson Kon