Casa das Canoas

Quintessence of the Brazilian House

Written by Lucy Baluteig
Photographed by Demian Jacob

Late morning of October. Blue sky and sweaty weather typical of the beginning of the summer in Rio de Janeiro.

To reach Casa das Canoas – iconic family house of Brazilian architect Oscar Niemeyer – you have to drive south alongside the wispy mythical shore of Ipanema until hitting the confidential beach of São Conrado, a gorgeous sandy stretch stuck between favelas. From there, you hop on Estrada das Canoas road that winds uphill through the tropical forest of Tijuca National Park, the luxurious vegetation thickening as you move towards the spectacular Pedra Bonita cliff, a staple viewpoint of the city. In the heart of this exuberant nature, the masterpiece villa suddenly pops up after a sharp road turn.

 

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“Oscar never wanted to build a protecting fence around the property, he never intended to hide the house from the public eye because it is natural part of this place” says Carlos Ricardo Niemeyer, great-grandson of the architect. He welcomes us together with Glauco Campello, 85 years old, Niemeyer’s good friend and close collaborator.

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“Oscar never wanted to build a protecting fence around the property, he never intended to hide the house from the public eye because it is natural part of this place”
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As we walk down the steps separating the main entrance from the famous sinusoidal swimming-pool, eyes are caught up by the surreal harmonious spectacle of human construction meeting immaculate nature.

Read more in Issue Nº13.

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