Nestled between rolling tropical mountains and the South Atlantic on Brazil's Costa Verde is the town of Paraty, home to Atelier Marko Brajovic’s Monkey House. Named for the Capuchin monkeys that inhabit the area, the three-story A-Frame sits neatly hidden among the very trees the creatures make their own homes in. The designer even credits them for inspiring the design approach he applied to the project, which blends perfectly with its surroundings.
At its core, the team built Monkey House to communicate with its habitat. The cabin “was inspired by the verticality of the forest,” Brajovic explains on his website, “in the possibility of approaching the crests of the trees, in a gentle and subtle way, connecting with its countless inhabitants of the kingdom of flora and fauna.”
Following Brajovic’s belief that nature provides the best design ideas, his team turned to the surrounding trees for inspiration.
The "Volcom Stone" shaped A-Frame features interlocking wooden components constructed of different size pillars, mimicking the Juçara palms already growing on the land. The trees, native to Brazil's Atlantic forests, anchor themselves with their root systems, allowing them to adapt to and maintain stability in rolling landscapes. The A-Frame follows suit, occupying an area of only 5-by-6 meters of the ground to ensure minimal vegetation disturbance.
Despite this, Monkey House maximizes its space well: 54 square meters of indoor space, which can open in all directions, are complemented by 32 square meters of covered outdoor space, with the top floor terrace reigning as the cabin’s crown jewel. Designed for physical activities, studying, or meditation, the terrace invites the surrounding natural environment into the heart of the cabin.
The interior also pays tribute to the Costa Verde region via handmade bamboo finishes, fishing net curtains sourced from local communities, Japanese-inspired furniture pieces, indigenous Guarani handicrafts, and metal exclusively from Docol and Mekal, a partnership between two of South America’s premier metal finishing companies.
Dubbed an “observatory,” the Monkey House is a place that seeks to complement nature, not disturb it. As Brajovic explains, it’s a “place of encounter and reunion with yourself and other species, to observe Nature outside and inside us, where everything is in everything.”
Sounds perfect to us.