WORDS Gina Dionisio PHOTOS Sitah, Jean Dallazem
Nestled on the banks of the Rìo Negro with panoramic views of Brazil’s Anavilhanas National Park, the unique design of Mirante do Gavião Amazon Lodge allows travellers to truly experience the jungle environment.
The main objective of the architects at Atelier O’Reilly Sustainable Strategies was to integrate inspiring design, the natural environment and the riverside community. Reforested wood and local building techniques were used to create the lodge’s unique bungalows which resemble inverted fishing boats used by the community.
The design of Mirante do Gavião Amazon Lodge works in harmony with the landscape and incorporates multiple sustainable design elements. The curved design of the roof helps reduce temperatures and promote natural airflow inside each cabin, while the elevated walkways and wooden decks allow for ventilation underneath the building.
The interior design of this architecturally-captivating space also makes use of hyper-local materials and techniques. Each bungalow features natural fibre finishes, locally-made wooden furniture with marble details, woven baskets and other beautiful objèt celebrating the region’s rich cultural heritage.
Many of the decor pieces at the lodge were created by craftsmen from the Fundação Almerinda Malaquias, an NGO with headquarters in the same city, Novo Airão, whose projects are supported by the hotel.
For the gardens, landscape designer Clariça Lima used native vegetation (over 70 native plants and fruit trees) in an effort to preserve the local biome. “On the ground there was a lot of vegetation and large trees. Based on this, the adopted approach sought to use a composition with shrubs and bedding, avoiding the obstruction of the landscape and allowing guests to see the entire surroundings of the Amazon Forest, integrating the architectural project with the existing vegetation on the land,” says Clariça.
The lodge acts as a connecting hub between tourists, the local community and the river. It is the starting point for Katerre Expeditions, an ecotourism company that offers an immersive Amazonian experience. Both Mirante do Gavião Amazon Lodge and Katerre Expeditions provide funds for local social projects which focus on environmental education for children and the development of branded design products by local craftsmen.