Around one third of the world’s rainforests can be found in Brazil, the Amazon Rainforest being the most famous. But, it’s neither the only rainforest in Brazil nor the only protected area within the vast South American country. A rich path of forest and wild nature stretches down much of the country’s Atlantic coast and in the area of Paraty, in the State of Rio de Janeiro, the Cairuçu Environmental Protection Area and the Serra da Bocaina National Park are just two, albeit huge, sections of it. It is in Paraty that Croatian architect Marko Brajovic has built his latest creation.
Sitting high in treetops where monkeys used to live, Marko Brajovic new Monkey House takes its inspiration from the settings which surround. It is tall and sleek like the trees themselves and uses a wealth of natural materials to help it blend into its environment.
Marko Brajovic’s Paraty treehouse measures only 5 x 6 metres in ground space – it does so not to impose on the forest. But it rises up alongside the trees over three floors, which give a total of 86 square metres of living space. It was designed as a summer vacation or weekend house, a retreat into immersive nature.
The beautiful, all-wood interior makes use of hardy bamboo and is sparsely decorated with antique 1970s Brazilian furniture. Supporting Marko Brajovic’s Monkey House on the sloped forest floor are multiple structural poles made from strong, dense woods. Their load-bearing strength was inspired specifically by the ‘juçara’ (euterpe edulis) palm of the surrounding Atlantic forestland, which clings to inclines via visible anchor roots that distribute their loads over multiple vectors.
The building has two bedrooms and two open terraces, one on each side, allowing the forest to almost flood into the house. Marko Brajovic is originally from Rovinj, Istria. He was working from a design studio in Barcelona when he was first invited to visit the Atlantic forests, in order that he could build a bamboo house for a client. Like his new Monkey House, Marko Brajovic now himself lives within the trees of Brazil’s Atlantic rainforest.
All photography © rafael medeiros and gustavo uemura