the quilombolas standard housing proposal in brazil
constrained by an $18,000 budget, the standard housing project by studio ALTA escritório de arquitetura is aimed at the quilombola communities of the brazilian tropical savanna. descendants of afro-brazilian slaves, the quilombolas are normally located in rural and suburbans areas of latin america. they possess a rich indigenous culture and follow a sustainable agricultural lifestyle. based on that knowledge, the architects envisioned a single-house model with spaces that enable the family to go about their daily activities, especially the ones related to agriculture.
the roof eaves associated with the landscaping strategy create ideal insolation conditions
balancing privacy and conviviality
the team at ALTA escritório de arquitetura organized the spaces into two volumes to take advantage of natural conditions and guarantee sustainable habitability. one of those volumes holds the common area that is independent of the more private rooms. that said, both spatial blocks remain connected by a wide, shaded and ventilated outdoor area that can close off with partitions. to further facilitate agricultural activities and promote conviviality, the architects also linked the kitchen to the balcony and the patio.
front balcony and kitchen façade detail show possibilities of integration and typological evolution
the proposed roofing structure for the quilombolas standard housing design expands beyond the boundaries of the walls, creating shaded areas outside of the residence where the family can cool down during hot weather. this component allows for better use of peripheral areas and preserves the traditional function of balcony spaces. additionally, the roof acts as an identifier of the dwelling in the middle of nature, ‘contributing to the cultural acceptance of the proposed architecture,’ comments the project team.
integration between the balconies, kitchen and living room characterizes the social area
introducing Adobe walls and a timber frame design
beside spatial organization, the proposal prioritizes materials – like timber – that are easy to access, simple to build with, and allow for possible expansion of the house. in line with these characteristics, the architects suggested adobe blocks as the main building material since it guarantees good thermal inertia for the interiors which reduces the cost of insulating materials, artificial heating and cooling systems. finally, the adobe technique enables local extraction of raw material, greater control of construction waste on site and the possibility of returning it to nature. ultimately, this choice of material limits the environmental impacts of construction and CO2 emissions.
internal view from the kitchen to the living room, with its characteristic ceiling height
a sustainable water system for home use and irrigation
the residence gets its water supply from two sources: an upper reservoir that stores water pumped from the well and a cistern modeled into vertical tubes that collects rain water. the latter provides irrigation for the garden and agricultural plots. the sewage system, meanwhile, is activated by a modular mechanism that first separates then treats both gray and dark water. this system features a settling tank, a biodigester, and a drying tank paired with constructed wetland systems. once the waters are treated, they can be used to irrigate.
independent windows above each bed enhance the sense of individuality
designboom | architecture & design magazine