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Monkey House by Atelier Marko Brajovic

Office: Atelier Marko Brajovic
Contact Email:
Office location: Artur de Azevedo 51, 05404-010 Pinheiros, São Paulo, Brazil
Year of Construction: 2020
Total construction area: 86m2
Location of the project: Paraty, RJ, Brasil
Lead architect: Marko Brajovic
Project team: Marko Brajovic, Bruno Bezerra, Vitoria Mendes, Maira Shinzato
Lider architect Email:
Photographers: Rafael Medeiros, Gustavo Uemura
Photographers Email:,
Photographers profile on Instagram: @rafael_medeiros @wideframe_ubatuba
Project Tag for Instagram and social media: @ateliermarkobrajovic @markobrajovic
#casamacaco #monkeyhouse #foresthouse #architecture #brasil
Client: Aldeia Global
Engineering: Atelier Marko Brajovic
Landscape Design: Atelier Marko Brajovic
Construction: Hybrida Production
Collaborations: Docol, Mekal

A few years ago the monkeys that lived at the foot of Serra in Paraty disappeared. It was said
that it was due to the yellow fever that supposedly spread among the primate families. I don’t
know, we were very sad.

At the beginning of the 2020 pandemic, the day we started thinking about a house that is
connected to the magnitude of the trees, there they appeared. A family of Capuchin Monkeys, a
complete tribe! They came back, and taught us the way of why, where and how to design our
project. Monkey House was inspired by the verticality of the forest, in the possibility of
approaching the crests of the trees, in a gentle and subtle way, connecting with its countless
inhabitants of the kingdom of flora and fauna.

The Monkey House structure works synergistically between interlocking wooden components (all
of the same profile), covered by galvalume skin and thermoacoustic insulation. The house was
assembled in a secondary forest, installed between trees, occupying just 5m x 6m area, thus
avoiding any interference in the native vegetation.

The forest perception is vertical. The horizon is inverted, following the flow of energy, matter, and
information about the growth of trees that lead us in the search for energy and sunlight. The best
design solutions are already found in Nature.

In order to design the support structure of the Monkey House, we were observing which plants were best adapted to the topography of the land and which strategies were adopted to allow stability in the vertical growth. The “Juçara” or “Içara” (Euterpe edulis) in Tupi, is an endemic palm of the Atlantic Forest which is structured through anchor roots, adapting itself to the sloping terrain and distributing the dynamic efforts over multiple vectors ensuring stability for the thin and very tall stem.

For the Monkey House project, we implemented the same strategy, creating a series of thin and
dense pillars, inspired by the Adventist morphology of the roots of the Juçara palm, thus ensuring
stability of the vertical construction.

The typology of Monkey House is a vertical house with two bedrooms that can be transformed
into living rooms thanks to the kitchen and bathroom services being organized by independent
flows. Two side terraces favor cross ventilation and a generous terrace on the top floor creates a
multifunctional environment for physical activities, study, and meditation. The compact house has
54m2 of internal area and another 32m2 of covered areas, providing a very strong connection
with the natural context of the forest.

The interiors are designed using handmade bamboo production finishes, curtains made with
the fishing net from local communities, furniture combines Japanese design objects with indigenous
Guarani handicrafts and all metals are from Docol and Mekal’s professional and signed lines.

The landscaping project is simply the reforestation of the secondary forest where the house is
located. The wild aesthetic surrounding the house was possible by driving the natural growth of
the same endemic plants from the surroundings, thus reinforcing the experience of the house
being immersed in an original natural context.

Monkey House opens in all directions, thanks to internal side terraces and the balcony on the top
floor, thus providing natural ventilation and covered outdoor spaces.
The Monkey House is an observatory. A place of encounter and reunion with yourself and other
species, to observe Nature outside and inside us, where everything is in everything.