Demountable House by Jose Zanine Caldas

Demountable House Exhibition

A salvaged old-growth Ipe wood structure by one of Brazil’s greatest architects originally built in the Bahia region of Brazil, disassembled, and rebuilt at Thomas Hayes Gallery

Demountable House by Jose Zanine Caldas
Public Viewing Mon – Fri 10am – 6pm Sat 12 – 5pm

José Zanine Caldas’ Demountable House marks a distinct departure from the European Colonial architecture widely popular in Brazil at the time it was designed in 1980. More importantly, it reflects the social and environmental consciousness of the architect, commonly known as Zanine. He conceived of the Demountable House as a structure that was in essence easy to move and construct from durable materials close at hand that could be repurposed. Flat-packed for efficient shipping, the home could be assembled anywhere and by anyone and would conceivably last for centuries. Passionate about the environment and the destruction of his native rainforests, Zanine used solid reclaimed Ipê wood, an extremely dense and heavy hardwood, salvaged from the forests and farmlands of Bahia, Brazil to make the home. Ipê wood has recently grown in popularity as the most expensive option for decking material in high-end homes, as it is impervious to weather and does not require a finish. Given this, the house would be cost prohibitive to produce today, since the lumber alone represents a material cost close to the price of this house.

The Demountable House features an open layout of four quadrants separated only by a central column supporting the roof. Internal walls can be added to the user’s specifications, and the interchangeable exterior paneling can be customized as well. Four panels near the floor are designed with moveable louvers for ventilation, and each wall juncture is designed with built-in corner shelves. A pair of glass and wood double doors and a single all-wood door act as the dwelling’s entrances.

Zanine, who passed away in 2001, was a self taught architect and furniture designer who learned his craft working for and collaborating with renowned architects Oscar Niemeyer and Lucio Costa. In addition to larger, more permanent homes scattered throughout Brazil, Zanine is also well known for fashioning one-of-a-kind furniture designs out of a variety of Brazilian exotic hardwoods that reflect the natural shapes and material beauty of the wood grain. A retrospective at the Louvre in 1989 featured architectural models of various houses, including a demountable house, and a selection of such custom furniture.

This Demountable House was built on a Cocoa plantation located in the foothills of Il Heus, Bahia, Brazil. It was disassembled and reassembled at Thomas Hayes Gallery in Hollywood, CA with the original blueprints and under the guidance of the architect’s son, Zanini de Zanine, an emerging and prominent furniture designer in his own right, and also Reduzino, Zanine’s master craftsman who worked with him for decades.

For additional information about the Demountable House or to arrange a viewing, please contact or call (323) 463-4434.