Standing out among the wide ranges of Curral, is the stunning yet subtle project, Roca House / Gustavo Penna Arquiteto e Associados. It is created considering every element of design in correlation with nature, thus building a form that represents the mountain ranges behind. With a simple design, Roca House is able to achieve great levels of character and style that grabs attention on the first visit. An unrestricted view and an ever-expanding backyard that opens up to appreciate the outdoors, all combine to give Roca House its essence.

Roca House Gustavo Penna Arquiteto e Associados

Following along the lines of simplicity yet sophistication, this house by Gustavo Penna Arquiteto e Associados stands tall in its scenic location. Situated next to the Curral Range, it takes inspiration from these mountain peaks to create a sense of integration with nature.

The architecture of the House is sleek with sharp edges combined with the balance of different levels in its facade. Keeping the minimalistic aesthetic together, uniformity is maintained throughout the walls with the openings contrasting dark wooden finish.  The slit provided on the facade adds to the unique architectural design of the Roca House.

It also gives us the impression of being a closed-up house. Instead, if you pay attention to its unique structure, the interior side of the same facade becomes a completely open design that brings in light. This unique element in design surprises the viewer with a design that works on multiple levels. 

A total contrast to the front facade of the structure, the backyard hosts a bundle of interactive spaces like a swimming pool, deck area, lawn space, and openings that connect the interior to the outside. Each area of Roca House / Gustavo Penna Arquiteto e Associados, is distinct with different textures and colors that compliment the minimalistic outlook of the House. 

Dining area of Roca House Gustavo Penna Arquiteto e Associados

The interiors of the Roca House are an assembly of dark wooden finish that takes after the contrasting wood used for highlighting the openings. Taking it forward onto the interiors, the furniture also takes after the same with a dark brown frame and beige tones. The space that is saturated with these brown hues is then contrasted with colors like dark blue for the main sofa. 

Flooring is presented in a lighter wood highlighting the darker interior decor. The space is arranged in a way that doesn’t overcrowd elements and yet provides a designated area for various functions that are ambiently lit. The shape of the house takes a form along three sides, leaving one to be open to the nature around. This opens up the interiors to the stunning view of the mountains outside.

Roca House room with furniture and a wooden ceiling

This house by Gustavo Penna Arquiteto e Associados, stands out in the viewer’s eyes as a whole from its form to the spatial arrangement. Inspired by the Curral Ranges, it merges with the landscape and nature by including those elements in its making. Without standing out as a bizarre addition to the landscape, Roca House uses key materials of wood and concrete. This combination is explored throughout the project keeping a uniformity for the same. 

The form of the structure gives a layered appearance that breaks the monotony of the sealed front facade. It is represented as the symbol of the city of Belo Horizonte. The scale of the project spreads across an area of 767 sq.m. matching up with the vastness of the ranges behind. The contrast between a sealed front facade and an open backyard brings in the element of surprise that can elevate the user experience.

Roca House lawn with a red couch

Roca House by Gustavo Penna Arquiteto e Associados is a project that reflects an aesthetic that is modern yet answers to the environment that is surrounding it. It teaches us the importance of designing with the context and for it rather than constructing a gigantic out-of-place structure. The play of colors and textures with the hidden element of surprise all ties it up to a space worth experiencing. 

Roca House swimming pool
Roca House pool area
Roca House exterior wall
Roca House extreior
Roca House dining room with a long table and chairs
Roca House design
Roca House detail drawing
Roca House Garden and pool

About the Gustavo Penna e Associados

A fire started at the centennial and eclectic house belonging to the director’s grandparents, Gustavo Penna e Associados a firm started by Gustavo Penna. Graduated from the Federal University of Minas Gerais, in the year 1973, he got a chance to learn from renowned professors such as  Humberto Serpa, Rafael Hardy, and Cuno Maurício Lussy. It is also here where he taught for 30 years later on.

The firm was started in the house that belonged to his grandparents which still remains the main functioning space. From a small group of architects that started out in this eclectic and centennial space, the firm has now grown to work with 30 professionals who create spaces, think of solutions, and work beside each other. 


They work as a team with the belief that architecture is key to shaping the identity of a country. Their projects draw inspiration from modernist and baroque heritage which remains a sensitive topic under contemporary architecture issues.

The subtle nuances they explore through their design are brought out with a minimalist and sleek aesthetic for a functional space. Their project, Guignard School is considered to be a relevant work in Brazil among 29 other projects.  They have also been a part of various exhibitions, featured in important magazines, and have won several architecture awards over the years. 

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