Tropical Shed in Manaus combines nature and architecture

Tropical Shed in Manaus combines work, pleasure and nature

Brazilian architect Laurent Troost has created Tropical Shed, a flexible, industrial-inspired retail space in Manaus, a city in the Amazonas region

When a property became available next to their home, a couple living in a trendy area of ​​Manaus, popular for its interesting architecture and industrial heritage, jumped at the chance to buy it. They then enlisted local architect Laurent Troost to help them transform it from a dilapidated warehouse into contemporary office architecture – an open and modern building, but which also retains the utilitarian character of the original structure and of the wider area. The result is Tropical Shed, a new multifunctional workspace in the heart of the Brazilian city.

The 100m² Tropical Shed is defined by its past but also by Troost and guests’ desire to connect with nature. The owners’ business – an archeology studio – is based here, but the space has also been designed to serve as a leisure center for both the neighboring main house and the office (for example, to receive clients or organizing parties and other work-related activities). events). ‘The reinterpretation of the industrial typology was achieved by a sequence of three-dimensional porticoes, made up of smooth reinforcements [reinforcing bars]serving as guides for the growth of several species of vines which, through rapid growth, define a double-height space, a “shed”, and, at the same time, shade the leisure space and the office, creating a tropical environment and airy. and a refreshing microclimate,” says Troost.

Simple, inexpensive materials, clever use of open spaces and courtyards, and help from mother nature, in the form of the rich foliage that grows rapidly in this tropical part of the world, create an open, natural structure. ‘Furthermore, the landscape design made this project a “productive” landscape, since most of the species used here are PANCs (unconventional food plants): sky vine, inchplant, wild ginger, arrowleaf elephant ear, passion fruit vine , arrowroot’, adds Troost.

The street entrance is elegant if a bit enigmatic, revealing little of what goes on inside. Visitors are led into a hollow space concealed behind an openwork brick wall. The space immediately beyond is the leisure part of the project, with the archeology office tucked away at the rear of the plot, for added privacy and quiet. Courtyards, terraces and a swimming pool enrich the outdoor spaces between functions.

The principles of sustainable architecture guided the design. “In addition to the low-tech sustainability aspects described above, the living room roof, which appears to float between the vine porticoes, has been given an automated irrigation system that throws collected rainwater onto the tiled roof. sandwich to physically cool the space.Without a gutter, the roof lets this irrigation water fall into the side beds and, together with the noise it generates, it also ends up psychologically cooling the users, improving their sense of well-being says Troost.

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