Altar Ninho

JOANÓPOLIS – SÃO PAULO

Refuge and Immersion in Treehouse

Ninho is the latest result of the partnership between Altar and Natureza Urbana, bringing together efforts to create a refuge immersed in the natural landscapes of the Serra da Mantiqueira. To offer a unique lodging and decompression experience, the project follows Altar’s premise of building decentralized hotels connected to nature, in a glamping style, and using technology to promote sustainable practices in hospitality operations.

The collaboration between the companies follows the line of small spaces “O Altar” by Tok&Stok, launched in 2022, which includes furniture, objects, and decorative items signed by Natureza Urbana. Meanwhile, the conception, basic and executive projects, and monitoring of Ninho’s construction were developed, a process that culminated in the beginning of its operations in July 2023.

Located at Fazenda Pedra Alta, in Joanópolis-SP, the house is strategically close to two other Altar units: the Flutuante, anchored over the waters of the Joanópolis Reservoir, and the Prainha, the largest area among the company’s operations. The spatial organization allows for a dynamic integration between the houses, while respecting the privacy and decompression experience inherent to each of them.

caption: 1) plant; 2) longitudinal section; 3) side view.

The implementation of Altar Ninho is the great differential, as it is situated at the top of a sloping terrain and elevated up to 4 meters from the ground, creating an imagery and emotional field akin to a treehouse. The two beds are positioned next to a large opening, granting the resting space beautiful views of the reservoir, and are joined by other functional, living, and contemplation areas, both indoors and outdoors, valuing unobstructed views and enhancing the immersion experience.

In the pursuit of a rational and innovative volumetry, the project expresses the realization of a simple and sophisticated design and materials, capable of promoting integration between architecture and the surroundings, and placing nature and its elements as the protagonists of the spaces and experiences. The result is a unique refuge, a shelter for immersion and connection with nature, well-being, and reconnection with oneself.

This is a field of great interest to Natureza Urbana, which seeks to establish in its practices responsibility towards the territory. Viewing the place as part of a living and complex system, recognizing its vocations and potentials, and promoting solutions to minimize the impact of human actions, are some of the premises of Regenerative Design.

If development is the use of resources to enhance the quality of life of a society (Gabel, 2005), regenerative practices present themselves as the next step in sustainability, which is already proving insufficient, by applying resources to enhance the quality of life and constitute capacities for regeneration and maintenance of the necessary conditions for the evolution of living elements, human or not.

Architecture, in this case, is developed from the prefabrication of the main elements of the house – the metallic structure, facade solutions, and enclosures –, which were transported in a single trip and quickly installed upon arrival. Elevated on metal pillars – ensuring minimal impact on the ground – and accompanied by a generous natural wood deck, the shelter gathers in 20 m² the living room, kitchen, and bedroom in a single environment, next to a bathroom naturally lit by a skylight. In the outdoor area, guests enjoy a leisure area with living furniture, a shower, and a space for a campfire and contemplation of the beautiful views.

Amid the water, abundant vegetation, and other natural landscape elements, Ninho appears as a shelter elevated to the treetops, with a sober and interesting volumetry. It gathers facade elements, strategic openings, and solutions for lighting and thermal comfort, in a set of attributes responsible for maximizing the visitor’s experience and ensuring the transformation of spaces in a conscious and responsible manner.