Brazilian Houses: Different Functions for the Backyard
In tropical countries like Brazil, external areas are highly valued in residential projects. The backyards are used differently and configured according to the architectural project. Whether large or small, landscaped, with a pool, or equipped with other features, Brazilian families seek to make the most of their outdoor areas when possible.
Traditionally, backyards have two main functions: recreation and maintenance. On the one hand, some activities are culturally done outdoors, such as washing and drying clothes, cleaning and repairing objects and equipment, and taking care of the garden or pets. At the same time, taking advantage of sunny days and the natural breeze to rest, have fun and chat with family or friends are also outdoor activities.
Many contemporary architectural projects appropriate this practice of using external areas and have been expanding and exploring it beyond traditional backyards. Nowadays, we see in projects a variety of spatial configurations and uses and functions, adapting architecture to the families’ routine. In the project selection below, it is possible to check inspirations for setting up external areas and their varied uses in Brazilian projects.
The configuration of outdoor spaces varies from situation to situation as it responds to the conditions of topography, context, sunlight and the project needs. Its definition depends directly on the construction deployment on the lot, and its use is related to the other rooms of the house more directly or indirectly. More or less integrated with the closed spaces, outdoor areas can be spacious, compact, intimate, landscaped, covered, and even underground or elevated.
Cabana de Madeira / Macro Arquitetos
Galeria House / BLOCO Arquitetos
São José do Barreiro House / Vão
Curupaiti House / Terra e Tuma Arquitetos Associados
Casa Alegre / RAWI Arquitetura + Design
MF House / Basiches Arquitetos Associados
Rainforest House / Arena Arquitetura
The uses depend on each family’s routine. Over time, backyards were transformed from support areas for home maintenance, with tanks, laundries and clotheslines, to increasingly sophisticated leisure spaces. In response to the different Brazilian regions’ climates, the uses can vary from swimming pools and solariums to bonfires, barbecues and living or dining rooms.
Jardim das Bandeiras House / Nitsche Arquitetos
House in Aldeia da Serra / SPBR Arquitetos + MMBB Arquitetos
Georgia House / ARKITITO Arquitetura
Residência Brauninhas / Pablo Lanza Arquitetura
House in Indiana Street / VD Arquitetura
House in Correas / Rodrigo Simão Arquitetura
Maria Rosa House / VAGA
Vila Madalena Office / LCAC Arquitetura
Cerrado House / Vazio S/A
Editor’s Note: This article was originally published on February 20, 2023.