Monkey House: Croatian architect designs a vertical home in the Brazilian forest

Monkey House: Croatian architect designs a vertical home in the Brazilian forest

14 January 2021
Images: Rafael Medeiros and Gustavo Uemura

Deep in the tropical rainforest of Paraty, Brazil, Marko Brajovic’s sustainable wooden home seems to blend in with the natural world.

Casa Macaco, or “Monkey House”, is inspired by the vertical dynamic of the forest, and the ecosystem of Capuchin Monkeys which are native to the area of Paraty, a town located between Rio de Janeiro and São Paulo.

Hidden amongst the surrounding trees, Monkey House turns the horizon on its side and grows vertically, minimally disrupting the forest’s grounds and soaring towards the sky in search of sunlight and connection with the forest’s inhabitants. To design the supporting structure of the house, Brajovic’s atelier studied the morphology of forest plants that have slender and stable trunks, and applied similar strategies for the home’s foundations. “The best design solutions already exist in nature,” says Brajovic.

Featuring handmade bamboo finishes, curtains made with fishing nets from local communities, and decorations blending Japanese-inspired minimalism with indigenous guarani handicrafts, the home’s interiors prioritise endemic plants and local materials. The two-bedroom house features two side balconies and an open rooftop terrace offering a multifunctional space intended for physical activity, study, or meditation.

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