Insight & Analysis

King of the sand castle

Published: May 2018

Brazilian man’s unique abode has more than direct beach access.

Finding a reasonably priced home in Rio de Janeiro – one of the world’s most densely populated cities – is no easy task. Indeed, the average monthly rent is almost double residents’ average pay.

This has led local resident Marcio Mizael Matolias to develop an innovative solution to the challenge: he lives in a sand castle on the beach and has done so for the past 22 years.

The three-square-metre castle has been his home for 22 years and its appearance is inspired by architects Antoni Gaudi and Oscar Niemeyer.

Matolias doesn’t just live in the castle, he also sells used books from the structure to fund his living expenses.

Speaking to a newspaper he said: “I grew up in the Bay of Guanabara, I always lived on the beach. People pay exorbitant rents to live in front of the sea – I do not have bills, and here I have a good life.”

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