Minimalism Goes Tropical

Apart from sexy, tropical minimalism is a fusion of bold Brazilian design mixed with modern, clean contemporary lines.

Weather patterns across large swathes of the United States this summer – replete with derechos and dripping wet heat – are downright tropical. Climate change, or really bad weather without the added benefit of a sandy white coastline? Who’s to say? But for the avowed minimalist, the new American tropics inspire a fusion of Japanese minimalism with Brazilian design. The philosophy behind tropical minimalism is using natural daylight, passive ventilation, few partitions so that the interior of the house integrates with its surroundings, convertible spaces and, if you can afford it, swimming pools of the infinity sort.

First, take a look at Arthur Casas’ residence in Iporanga, located in the middle of the Brazilian forest. It’s constructed from concrete and Cumaru. Two large symmetrical cubes define the space with the interior blending into the exterior via the warm Cumaru decking.

The basic palette of this house, then, is brown contrasted with white stucco surrounded by lush greenery, the perfect palette for the tropical minimalist home.

Meanwhile, the Belvedere Residence by Anastasia Arequitetos uses exposed concrete as its canvas. The 370 square meter residence is situated at street level, taking advantage of “zenithal and indirect natural light that besides avoiding artificial lighting during the day, also avoids excessive heat from direct sunlight.” Natural ventilation streams in via wind from the street, “thus the entering doors work as regulators of wind speed.”

Finally, Casa Mirante Do Horto by Flavio Castro, an urban tropical dwelling in Sao Paolo, Brazil. Living space is maximized through convertible spaces and connecting the interior with the exterior. The result is a large monolithic structure, highly contemporary but warm with wooden furniture and richly hued wall art and accents.

To give your home a tropical minimalist bent:

K. Emily Bond

K. Emily Bond is the Shelter Editor at EcoSalon and currently resides in southern Spain, reporting on trends in art, design, sustainable living and lifestyle.