A One-of-a-Kind Modernist Estate in Brazil for $11.5 Million
A 33,600-square-foot compound, set on more than 40 acres of manicured hillside in the Mantiqueira Mountains in Minas Gerais, Brazil, is on sale for $11.5 million, according to an interview with Christie's International Real Estate.
Built in 2007 by Forte, Gimenes & Marcondes Ferraz, an architecture firm based in São Paulo, the estate, which is called the Grid House, is broken up into multiple modules delineated by a wooden grid of beams and columns. The house is roughly a 2.5 hour drive from São Paulo, which places it firmly in the position of a vacation home, rather than a place from which to commute. (A drive through the nearest town, the tiny São Francisco Xavier, takes less than three minutes.)
The main building, which contains social areas, a master suite, a guest bedroom, and six other bedrooms that Christie's calls "children's rooms," is built into the hillside so that visitors can walk directly onto the house's roof garden. (Curiously, the listing doesn't include the number of bathrooms; at least two appear in photographs, which means buyers aren't setting themselves up for an unpleasant surprise.)
There are also interior courtyards with more gardens and outdoor dining areas; the grounds were designed by CAP, a Rio de Janeiro- and São Paolo-based landscaping firm. Indoor/outdoor integration is taken to such an extreme that the house has the feel of an unusually design-forward safari tent.
The estate also contains separate open-air entertaining pavilions set away from the house on a nearby hilltop. There's also a tennis court, a sauna, and three other individual pavilions, including one for the housekeepers, one for building staff, and another that contains a four-car garage and storage. It's a complex that takes the meaning of "compound" to the extreme; it's just that in this case, the architects had the foresight to turn even minor outbuildings into homages to Philip Johnson's estate in New Canaan, Conn.
Given the continuing political and fiscal upheaval in Brazil, the Brazilian real is near historic lows; in 2008, it was 1.6 to the U.S. dollar; today, it's closer to 3.5. That means that the house, which is surrounded by a state-protected forest, could be a particularly appealing purchase for an international buyer. The hefty $11.5 million price means that an international buyer would be investing a significant amount of money into an uncertain economy and real estate market. Still, gleaming glass pavilions on adjacent jungle mountainsides don't come around often.
Check out more photos of the estate below, and see for yourself.