This extraordinary house, spherical, it’s an icon of the utopian architecture. Another peculiarity in the middle of São Paulo’s city. The “Casa Bola” – the “Ball House” – in the centre of Sao Paulo. Architect Eduardo Longo built it with his own hands between 1974 and 1979. Five years were necessary to the architect to build the Casa Bola alone on the roof of his house converted into an office. Inside, the decor is reduced to a minimum, but the ball home offers as standard a standard apartment on only 8 m diameter arranged on four levels.
“I tried to design a very small apartment that we could make in a factory and could be integrated into the structure of a skyscraper. Many balls that would each apartment and all form a large building with many empty spaces between the balls that allow each unit to benefit from the best conditions of light, transparency and independence” – Eduardo Longo
Located at Rua Amauri corner with Avenida Faria Lima in Sao Paulo, the project draws attention and arouses the curiosity of those passing the street, the house is under construction since 1972 and is still due for expansion, but the interesting thing is that even today, the architect develops a number of projects such as _ball_, further strengthening their conception of this peculiar shape.
In the 1970s, early in his career, the Brazilian architect specialized in the construction of luxury villas. But an idea running through his head for a long time, an architectural utopia he absolutely wanted to achieve. He dreamed of houses shaped balls that could append to each other. And then one day, he decided to take action and built his own house in the city ball. Thus was born the “casa bola.”
Built by Longo himself over a five-year period, beginning in the early 1970s, the house was meant to be the prototype for a utopian project of apartment blocks made of up dozens of spherical structures. The apartment blocks were never built, but Longo has now lived more than 30 years in his “ball house,” or Casa Bola.
Made of smooth molded concrete, the house is 25 feet in diameter, and has four levels, three bedrooms, several bathrooms, a dining room, a living room, a kitchen, and a hammock. Its decor is strictly minimalist and very white. Much more colorful on the outside, it sports a bright yellow slide that exits from below and a spherical yellow decoration on top.
According to Eduardo Longo, the ball is the only form in which it becomes possible to develop a series of residential units without the walls or ceilings become twin thereby provides improved acoustical comfort and ventilation to the units. In the image you notice an image that exemplifies his concept representing the bottom module and a building formed from units of the ball.
The architect further details, the most efficient way to build this module with the wooden structure and outside in glasses, thus enabling the use of insulation between your walls for better thermal and acoustic comfort.
However, the entire construction of residence was made by the architect who used recycled materials. The interior resembles a space ship or a boat, to have their small spaces, like cabins with portholes. Eduardo says he is very fond of boats, but does not like the sea, so did his _boat_ stuck in the city. Almost all the furniture is made of white concrete, as well as the ball home.
The building process took almost six years, he did not even come to ask permission to the city to build the ball because his idea was to make a model that would later be thrown away, with tarps or boards work. Initially thought about doing it with 5 m radius, but the size of the land is not allowed. In 1974, the structure was prepared, consisting of hollow metal tubes arranged about the meridian and parallel manner, with 4 m radius. Ended up deciding the mortar with 2 cm thick for external sealing.
The initial idea was to make a house more freely, without walls or divisions. In the process, he realized that it would become difficult to propose both a new shape for a new lifestyle too. He then decided to play the kind of apartment sought by the estate with suites, toilet, maid’s room, etc.., A conventional scheme of life as well. Below is the idea of Eduardo for a possible expansion, where a new ball would be built above the existing residence.
- Eduardo Longo placed the “Casa Bola” on top of his former residence and studio. The yellow slide – made of steel and fibreglass – allows a quick and fun exit.
- The elegant entrance into the spherical house, made of steel and ferrocement, a mixture of iron and cement, dyed blue.
- The central staircase of the house connects the three floors and the split-levels in-between. The complete interior is held in white, which lends the house a cool and futuristic atmosphere.
- The split-level between living and dining room contains an empty white space with a single hammock under the broad window.
- Eduardo Longo furnished the living room at the top of the sphere with a brown wall-to-wall carpet and white leather sofas. The broad windows on both sides offer panoramic views of the city and let in much light.
- The living room at the top of the house has a split-level. The television is raised on a pedestal.
- The breakfast corner in the organically formed kitchen, which is made of ferrocement as well. The partition walls between the rooms are made of light foam cement bricks. The bar stools are one of the few things that are not Longo’s design.
- The base of the dining table is made of the same material – ferrocement – as the floor and seems to grow out of it. The top is made of wood, painted white. Eduardo Longo also designed all the furniture himself.
- The master bedroom in the lower part of the sphere is one of three bedrooms in the family house. The bed comes out of the wall and is made in ferrocement as well.
- The three bedrooms with bed, working desk and bookshelves integrated into the structure of the house.
- There’s a total of four bathrooms in the “Casa Bola”. Even the toilet is made of ferrocement and is part of the organic structure of the house.
Eduardo Longo’s Idea:
The architect Eduardo Longo had the desire to suggest new ways of living in the city without taking up large flat terrain, and believed that in the future, the houses would be round and made of lightweight material to fly in a big blimp ride, and so people could live every day in one place. That’s how he designed the House Ball in the Itaim neighborhood in Sao Paulo, his residence today.
In home environments are scattered in four floors, three bedrooms, kitchen, bathrooms and living in small spaces where everything was developed tailored without losing comfort. For the architect, but is everything: “I chose not to have anything more than necessary. Over time I was getting rid of the excesses, raised the banner of anti-consumerism and, with that, I left in search of my essence. (…) Free of objects, you begin to appreciate more people discover that they are fundamental to living well.
Project name: Casa Bola
Location: Rua Amauri, Avenida Brigadeiro Faria Lima, Sao Paulo, Brazil
- Type By Characteristic: Architects House, Green & Sustainable House, Tower House
- Type By Site: City House
- Type By Size: Small House – (51 sqm – 200 sqm)
- Type By Structural: Steel House
Floor count: 4
Project Area: approx 135 sqm
Project Year: 1970-2004
Construction Year: 1974-1979
Completion Year: 2004
Client / Owner / Developer: Eduardo Longo
Architects: Eduardo Longo – Sao Paulo, Brazil
Builder: Eduardo Longo
Text Description: © Courtesy of Eduardo Longo, roundhouses, habitat-bulles, projetoblog
Images: © Eduardo Longo, flickr-chico prestes maia, screen shot youtube