SANTA ISABEL FARM

Jaguariúna, São Paulo, Brazil

Text and art Isabel Duprat

A beautiful farmhouse designed by Claudio Bernardes stood solemnly on the ground, but something was missing that was not well understood. It was not settled on the ground. The terrain sloped halfway toward the pool level. To receive the 30 m long, 8.60 m high ridge house I designed a large, 20 m wide plateau with two steps, laying the house on this ground. This new plan was what was missing for the house to feel comfortable in place.

The entrance courtyard received a sober Syzygium jambos (rose-apple tree), which amuses and relaxes when its purple-pink flowers carpet the stone floor. The patio is repeated in the kitchen area with a large herb garden. ​

The region of Jaguariúna, in the interior of São Paulo, is punctuated by red basalt, that is the genesis of a land of such beautiful color that makes you want to eat it, a so fertile purple earth. I used this stone on the steps, walls and walls of the house. As a little girl on our family farm nearby, I had the ever-rusty clothes of this land that filled me with that unforgettable sense of freedom. It is a region in which I felt amazingly comfortable to work because since childhood I have lived there. It is an extremely hot place with heavy rains in summer and chillier nights in winter, which is very dry. 

The estate already had trees dotting the accesses and paddocks of the old horse farm, which gave a mature time to all the vegetation that I added in the areas next to the new buildings. I made use of many trees and flowers that would let spring and summer alternate their color show bringing an expectation to each blossoming season. Tabebuias (Tabebuia chrysantha) bring yellow and cotton trees (Bombax ceiba), red in September, while the coral color flamboyants bloom in December. 

For golf practice, I drew 3 holes in the areas of old paddocks, including small lakes meandering and incorporating the few trees that already existed in this place into the winding terrain. Large monochrome beds of blue agapanthus, as extension of water, white Crinums, yellow and red prawns (Patchystachys lutea and Justicia brandegeana)  draw the curves. 

By the house, a group of palm trees (Dypsis madagascariensis) adds volume to the already existing imperial palms (Roystonea oleracea). Beside them, fire-colored bougainvilleas to burn in the dry winter, perfumed gardenias for the spring and yellow year-round allamandas (Allamanda cathartica). 

Project and execution 1999 - 2003