Rustic beach house in Brazil

Architects Bernardes + Jacobsen designed a tropical house in an area of forested mountains and vegetal profusion, on the Brazilian fjord of Saco do Mamanguá. The area is so remote that the family can only reach its house by boat or helicopter. The home was built as a weekend vacation home for a couple from Sao Paulo and their five children. The family makes a three hour drive to a small colonial town called Paraty and hop on a speed boat to get to their secluded compound. The home is so secluded in fact, that it was sought out for the next Twilight movie, “Breaking Dawn” which is due to be released in November, as the setting for vampire Edward’s honeymoon with his human bride, Bella.

“Instead of siting the house on the property’s highest point, as his client imagined, Bernardes suggested placing the nearly 11,000-square-foot building closer to the beach, nestled between two small hills. Bernardes knew cooling breezes would flow naturally through the pass and also clear through the house; this in turn led him to a dramatic layout in which a double-height living area, open to the elements through louvered windows and pivoting glass doors, would spill out onto a deep, shaded veranda extending the full length of the house.”

The central room in the home is divided into three parts. To one side of the home there is a kitchen, dining room, and a service wing, which sits below a spacious master suite. On the other side there are two guest room, and a family room that lies below the children’s rooms. A bridge spans the open living area to connect the family sleeping quarters. With skylights bringing in plenty of natural light and planters set in the floor brimming with palm and banana trees, the interior has been made to feel like an extension of the exterior.

The exterior facade is composed of exposed eucalyptus posts and beams. The home uses natural materials throughout, sustainable energy, and the landscape was disturbed as little as possible, choosing plants and flowers that are native to the area. The inviting spaces have been furnished with richly hued wood pieces from Bali and Brazil that give a tropical flair to the home. The floor tiles were custom designed from the workshop of Francisco Brennand, a renowned ceramic artist based in northeastern Brazil. Via

A view into the double-height living room from the veranda. Pivoting doors allow sea breezes to pass through the house.

The family room, with a ceiling of woven straw, is a secluded alternative to the open living area beyond.

The plantation chairs and other outdoor furniture, all made of tropical hardwoods, are from Bali and Brazil.

Like a rope bridge in the jungle, a walkway with eucalyptus railings spans from the master bedroom on one side of the living room across to the children’s rooms.

The walls and ceiling of the master bedroom are covered in woven-straw panels, the work of artisans in the Brazilian state of Minas Gerais.

Photos: Iain Kemp