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Xavier Freitas Residence

This residence is located inside a gated community in the suburbs of Sorocaba, a city prospering with the help of a number of industries installed nearby. The owners are a young couple, a chemical engineer and a project manager, that used to work in the neighborhood at the time and were looking to move in together into a new more spacious home where they could raise a couple of (planned) kids.


The house scheme is a classic H-shaped plan revolving around a courtyard and the staircase. The social areas are at the ground floor – dining room and open kitchen facing the garden and pool at the back connecting through the transparent gallery/staircase to the front where a double story living room/reception, the home office and the garage are located. A more private area at the upper floor has three ensuite bedrooms and a family/TV room.


Once the logic for the space planning was resolved we combined the environmental and aesthetic qualities our enlighted client desired with our own architectural beliefs to create the framework for the design concept. We all agreed to implement as many sustainable design features as possible and aimed for an architecture of lightness, transparency and movement for the house.


A subtle green feature for this house is the area, 260 m² (2800 sqf.) of internal area plus 80 m² (860 sqf.) for balconies and garage. It is a relatively small area for a three bedroom house in the Americas, and the double story scheme also minimizes the projected area. An immediate benefit of this frugality in the built areas are the large gardens where numerous local species where planted, including a few Cumaru trees,  the type of certified wood used mostly for the carpentry of the buiding. Permeable stone tiles on the garage further reduce the concrete foorprint on the site. It is a good area for a modern house in a suburb nowadays, neither large or small.


The butterfly roof captures rain water that flows on a single aqueduct at the middle and supplies the grey water reservoir buried at the side of the house. The irrigation requirements of the house garden are mostly self-sufficient. Solar water heating panels on the roof supply most of the hot water and there are brackets left on the roof assigned to add electrical solar panels in the future.


We wanted to create a house with a contemporary architecture without relying on the flat roofs and brutalist concrete structures from the orthodox modernism of our recent past. We found our references on classic Brazilian designs from the fifties, a Rino Levi house for Olivo Gomes and the Affonso Reidy project for Carmem Portinho. Images of these projects have been posted in the end of the image gallery below.


Architectural Design : Nidia Simões and Daly Moreno

Project architects : Nidia Simões and Daly Moreno

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