a room in the forest | Option Studio, Amazonia: 12,000 years of cultivation

Monte Alegre is a natural state park in ParĂ¡, Brazil full of indigenous rupestrian art, thousands of years old. For the indigenous people of the area, the rupestrian art are regarded as part of sacred spaces that connect them to their ancestors before. Due to external forces, such as targeted forest fires and land grabbers, these indigenous areas are at risk of disappearing, losing a connection to history.

To address these threats, a series of interventions are situated in between the two mountain ranges, Serra Da Lua and Serra Paituna, that create an ecological corridor that will protect and conserve the area from future harm. In this valley where the terra preta (dark earth soil) is rich, local fauna that have been cultivated by the past people of the Amazonia are introduced to revitalize the area. Similar to the rock art, these trees are also considered sacred as they are symbolic of historic plant domestication practices.

By looking at local structures present in Brazil, such as the Brazilian Coffee farms, there is an understanding that to create a space of enclosure, an overhead roof is need to provide shade. Through open-air structures that extend out to native plants species in the park, there is an intimate relationship created between the visitors and the surrounding trees. A sense of stewardship is developed by the visitors as the trees are then free to grow in these spaces, allowing nature to overtake architecture.