Flower House

Cultural Heritage - São Pedro da Aldeia


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"A house made from scraps and turned into a flower". That is how Gabriel Joaquim dos Santos used to talk about the home he spent decades building. Gabriel would gather scraps to ornate his house - ceramic, china, glass and tile fragments, broken lamps, knickknacks, shells, chains, and metal lids. What seemed to have no use was transformed by his hands into sculptures, replicas, and mosaics which were incorporated to the house in a "intuitive baroque" style.

Born in 1892, son of a slave and an indigenous woman, Gabriel worked as a farmer and learned to read when almost 36 years old. Carried by fantasy and imagination, he began his "bricolage" work in 1923. The work continued until his death, in 1985. A year later, his house was listed as Cultural Heritage by the Instituto Estadual do Patrimônio Cultural-Inepac (State Institute of Cultural Heritage) and is considered a singular "spontaneous architecture" symbol.

The "Casa da Flor" (Flower House) inspired incredible seminars on architecture, publications, and documentaries, such as "O Fio da Memória", by Eduardo Coutinho. The Sociedade de Amigos da Casa da Flor (Flower House Society of Friends) was created and, led by teacher Amélia Zaluar, it aims to preserve and publicize the building.

Currently, "Casa da Flor" is cared for by Valdevir Soares dos Santos, a nephew of Gabriel's, who fondly remembers his uncle's story to interested visitors.

General Information

Address: Passageiros Street, 232, São Pedro da Aldeia
E-mail address: casadaflor_instituto@yahoo.com.br / ameliazaluar@yahoo.com.br

Secretaria de Cultura do Estado do Rio de Janeiro Petrobras

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