Studios Pouso Alto

Architects Carlos Alberto Maciel e Ulisses Mikhail Jardim Itokawa
Collaborators Raquel Araújo e André Resende
Location Belo Horizonte, MG, Brasil
Project 2010

The project for the building Estudios Pouso Alto started from the site restrictions and the legislation to define its main formal and volumetric attributes: a significant pre-existing mass of large trees in the site, as the way of a wood, oriented the main ocupation mass; the height restriction imposed by the legislation in 15 meters induced the scaling.

The legislation would permit, by the dimensions of the terrain, grow the terran usage from 1,5 to 2 times its area. This growth would cause the elimination of the existing green mass, since the eight restriction would prevent the verticalization. Contrary to common sense of the real estate market, which always seeks the maximum exploitation of the constructive potential in detriment of environmental quality, the developer decided for the preservation of the green mass and for the smaller exploitation of the constructive potential. This option will not only contribute to a significant gain for the future residents of the building, but it will also reduce possible interference between the new building and the neighbors, protected by the green mass of which they now enjoy.

The wood is also a consistent alternative in relation to preset leisure facilities usually offered in residencial buildings produced by the real state market.

In the internal organization of the apartments, the common clichés are avoided: there is no apartment-type,but several variations, both in area and in spatial arrangement; excessive internal subdivisions are avoided in favor of a free plan organization that concentrates the plumbing infra-structure, in a way that makes the customization of interior spaces by the final user possible with the smallest intervention and waste generation; the openings are wide, so as to increase the integration with the landscape and environmentally qualify the internal spaces, promoting cross-ventilation in all units; the escalation favors the extension of open terraces overlooking the city in several apartments. Because the terrain longilineal organization, all units open onto the street or into the woods, without loss in indoor environmental quality.

In the common areas, circulations are terraced, enjoying the contact with the wood; the materials are simple – exposed brick walls, polished concrete floors, windows in black aluminum frame and clear glass, stone foundation – in response to the required residence with low maintenance.

Constructively, the precise modulation organizes the volumetric and spatial variety, which gives the building a distinct and discrete presence on the landscape.