Above and beyond in Puntarenas

30 Jan 2014

Costa Rica residence floats across leafy hillside with views towards the ocean

Imagine waking up in the morning halfway up a hillside in Costa Rica to see nothing but crystal clear blue skies and the leafy fronds of verdant foliage. This is a dream come true for the Gooden-Nahome family who commissioned Benjamin Garcia Saxe - the architect behind the tremendously popular Containers of Hope and Bamboo House - to design a new home for them in Puntarenas.

The client had discovered a plot of land on a sharp slope which enabled glorious views towards the nearby coast however these sightlines were only possible from the upper-mid portion of the site. As a result, the design team was forced to think creatively.

Garcia Saxe explains: “Originally, we explored possibilities of creating large retaining walls and cutting back the soil in order to place the house, a technique typically employed for nearby buildings. Ultimately, we decided to do the exact opposite and therefore allow the slope, the earth, the vegetation, water, and animals to flow underneath the house.

"We essentially lifted the house up into the air on a series of piloti which gives the impression that it is floating above the hillside.”

This floating home is 300 sq m in size with an open-plan living/dining space which overlooks the ocean. Garcia Saxe and his team have incorporated a plethora of windows and shutters which enable the barriers between the interior volumes and surrounding terraces to be broken down, letting the nature that enfolds the site into this welcoming family home.


Design Director: Benjamin Garcia Saxe
Project Coordinator: Daniel Sancho
Design Development: Soki So
Construction Documentation: Roger Navarro
Structural Engineer: Sotela Alfaro Ltd
Builder: Dante Medri

Key Facts

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