Casa na Mata – Back to Basics with Recycled Materials

Casa na Mata is a simple small house set in São Paulo, Brazil. The house has been designed by the architecture firm Nitsche Arquitetos, who took inspiration from the concept of a “primordial shelter” and applied those ideas to Casa na Mata (which translates as “House in Bush” according to Google).


Casa na Mata - NITSCHE ARQUITETOS - Brazil - Small House - Exterior - Humble Homes

The house is set in the Atlantic Rainforest of São Paulo. Due to its sensitive location, the house had to have a minimal impact on the natural environment. The shelter itself is 4.8-by-12 meters (16-by-39 square feet) and is raised 0.7 meters (2.3 feet) above the ground level.


Casa na Mata - NITSCHE ARQUITETOS - Brazil - Small House - Livingroom - Humble Homes

Casa na Mata has been built from recycled wood, which is evident from its aged appearance. The floor features industrialized wood panels that are coated with “cement plates” (I’m not sure what this means, but it might be cement board). The ceiling has been sheathed with waterproofed wood and OSB panels which are visible through the exposed rafters.


Casa na Mata - NITSCHE ARQUITETOS - Brazil - Small House - Interior - Humble Homes

Closing the interior off from the exterior proved to be the most difficult issue in the project. The architects had to compete with heat, humidity and insects. According to Nitsche, the wood is designed to act as a mediator, helping to counteract these elements.

Casa na Mata - NITSCHE ARQUITETOS - Brazil - Small House - Exterior Night - Humble Homes

To deal with insect issues, a closed system of two layers of protection was created. The “walls” feature an outer skin that is composed of a 2.5 mm polyethylene mesh. This mesh prevents the insects from entering the home while also providing ventilation.

The second layer of the wall (the inner skin) is made up of glazing – windows with shutters that allow for ventilation. The entire perimeter of the house is glazed and open to the exterior, creating “total transparence” to the interior and vice versa.

Casa na Mata - NITSCHE ARQUITETOS - Brazil - Small House - Floor Plan - Humble Homes

The rooms within the house have been sparsely furnished. There’s a galley kitchen with an open plan living and dining area. A bedroom is located on one end of the house with a small bathroom equipped with a shower, toilet and sink. The opposite end of Casa na Mata appears to be an enclosed porch.

For more small houses check out Mía House a 388 square foot home by the Argentinian architecture studio, Matias Pons Estel. Or the Moose Road Residence that’s been designed around modular materials to save costs. See all small houses.

Via ArchDaily
Photos: João Nitsche

Niall Burke

Structural engineer by day, tiny house designer by night. Niall has a keen interest in small spaces, green design, and sustainability. He started developing Humble Homes while studying for his masters degree in engineering. He is the founder and managing editor of Humble Homes.