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Private residence, Angra dos Reis, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil


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 The elegant AB Residence is situated on a 53,500 square-metre (approx. 13-acre) private island in Angra dos Reis.

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Angra dos Reis is a municipality in the southwest of Rio de Janeiro state in Brazil. It is formed by 365 islands that have a tropical rainforest climate and exquisite biodiversity, but also one of the country’s busiest oil transporting harbours.

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Environmental concerns and minimal impact on the surrounding nature were top-of-mind for the owners and for Jacobsen Arquitetura, the Brazilian architectural firm in charge of the project.

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The two-story residence on the sloping terrain is a minimal-profile sliver of a structure that appears much smaller than its total built area of 935 square metres (abt. 10,000 sq.ft) would imply.

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The architects developed several conceptual options and studied various schematic alternatives to minimize the impact on the land, to maximize daylight and to provide uninterrupted interaction with nature.

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Strict environmental standards dictated the maximum structure size in relation to the available land, the height of the structure and its proximity to the shore.

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The structure appears to have almost no weight with its glass-panel facade and minimal form. The metallic structure and prefabricated wood and glass panels made construction quick and waste of material minimal. Low maintenance costs will be an added benefit in the long run.

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 We love the pure elegance of the house and its unobtrusive presence on the lush, little island. Tuija Seipell

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