The Owner-Builder Network

Guanacaste Beach House

Guanacaste Costa Rica – Datum Zero Architecture

Year built: 2008
Built area: 3,540 sq. ft. ( 328 m2)

A vacation home designed for a young lawyer with a passion for surfing, a modest budget and a difficult site with views over the Pacific.

Guanacaste beach house
Guanacaste beach house

The architect’s notes:

“The house is organized as a horizontal bar anchored at one end to concrete and suspended at the other end through the forest of thin steel columns up to five meters high. This allows the home to be lost among the treetops with open terraces, large openings and large eaves.

It was important that the home fit properly and honestly with the environment and the site, which is a dense mass of trees on a steep hill and when it was very important that the house would easily adapt to drastic changes in climate between a rainy and humid October and a dry and dusty March. A house that filters the sun, wind, air and even the visual; rigorous selection of local materials that allow reinterpretation of this rural architecture under modern terms. Teak lattice panels inside were designed so that the house could breathe. Huge openings into the interior spaces and terraces provide a continuous relationship between the outside and inside of the house.

The only area of the house that touches the floor is the master bedroom located on the lower level of the concrete base on this volume “zen tower”, coated steel sheets were allowed to oxidize and sealed supported. This materiality provides an almost religious sense of permanence, apparently old, forgotten, used, simple, perfect for meditation space.

The design is derived from its modest budget without acrobatics. The house is built on a modular system of steel 5 × 5 meters, covered outwardly by teak paneling, plywood ceilings and prefabricated trusses with tensile systems, all elements assembled on site to design a modern beach house Rica.”

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