Beach home, Puntarenas, Costa Rica

Tuesday 18 Sep 2018
Credit: Andres Garcia Lachner

Architects: Studio Saxe

At one with the elements

Large terraces capture the wind and waves on the Pacific coast of Costa Rica

Set amongst idyllic white sand beaches and coconut groves, this low-key beach home was conceived to give its inhabitants not only a visual but also a literal connection to the sand and water where it belongs.

Horizontal roof planes create large indoor-outdoor spaces that integrate seamlessly and diffuse the perception of the home with its surrounding natural environment. Lightness and materiality are used to create a feeling of openness and airiness that permeates through the inhabitants.

The house was raised off from the ground by three steps allowing the inhabitants to have a more direct view of the waves and the beach break. This subtle move also helped to create a feeling of levitation above the landscape and protection. The house was then split up in four horizontal roof planes which, three for each bedroom and one for the

main living area. This architectural strategy allows for every space to feel as the roof belongs to that specific location whilst dematerializing the edges of the home and creating the opportunity of cross ventilation between spaces. Controlled natural light then is allowed to permeate from three sides of every space making them feel more integrated to the surrounding landscape.

Traditional cinder block construction was used for the main structural walls of the house for its easy maintenance and durability. Lightweight wooden roofs float above these walls and create large overhang extensions that protect the building from the elements whilst creating outdoor decks.

Studio Saxe believe that clever design should precede technology when designing a project.

The pactice uses common sense bioclimatic strategies for temperature control to create spaces that require less energy consumption and provide an overall feeling of wellness. The “elevated” roofline above the walls of the house create the perfect opportunity for cross ventilation and controlled natural light. Long overhangs cool down the spaces during the day and protect from sun and rain. Active strategies are then introduced such as solar hot water, water collection, energy efficient systems, and others to supplement the passive cooling design of the project.

Nick Myall

News editor

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Studio Saxe

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