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The headquarters of Jaime Lerner Arquitetos Associados and Jaime Lerner Institute

is the result of an intervention  in the former Lerner residence, designed in the 60s,

when Jaime was still studying architecture.

Lerner Residence

Architect: Jaime Lerner



Seven identical and parallel semi-inverted beams determine the roof of the building. Section: eight by forty centimeters. Distance: eighty centimeters from shaft to shaft. Design: three continuous rectilinear segments. The first, horizontal, is seven meters and five centimeters long. The second, uphill, is three meters and sixty centimetres at an angle of sixty-three degrees. And the third, the main one, is nineteen meters and forty centimeters downhill at an angle of sixteen and a half degrees: an angle close to the natural slope of the terrain.

The wall on the side of the plot acts as the eighth beam, but at a different distance: eighty-three and a half centimeters. The building therefore appears close to it. The slope of the land means that the view of the building from the street is only its sloping roof. The spaces between the beams serve as a niche for the garden to grow. One sees only gardens, shrubs and trees.

The building has three levels, which determine its functional divisions. The middle level, the main floor of the building, houses all the social and service areas. The upper level, two meters and forty centimeters above, is determined by the horizontal segment of the roof beams, and houses the office. The second segment of the beams, the steeper one, determines its ceiling height. The lower level, in sequence with the main level, with one meter and sixty centimeters of unevenness, houses the two bedrooms and the bathroom.

The location of the office allows for a ceiling height of four meters and ten at the highest point of the living room. In turn, the larger sloping beam that houses it reduces the headroom to a height of one meter and ninety centimeters at the lowest point, at the southwest end of the building, where the bedrooms are located.

The slabs, ten centimetres thick, are materialized in such a way that five centimetres of the height of the beams are visible inside the building. The walls that divide and determine the three levels of the building are sloping and form an eighty-degree angle with the larger roof slab. They mark the main divisions of the façade.

The building has a single façade, which represents its side elevation, leading to the interior garden. The service rooms are marked by a plastered wall painted white on the outside, with narrow tall windows. In contrast to this opacity, the social and intimate environments are marked by a similar design of frames formed by vertical wooden uprights with varying spacing, wooden lintels also distributed at varying heights, and closures of opaque wooden slats, together with the doors, and above all glass panels.

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