Text description provided by the architects. Gua،o is a contemporary residence located on the Costa Rican Pacific coast, where the characteristic tropical landscape is harmoniously combined with modern, simple, and discreet architecture, all with a high degree of aesthetics/design.
The project is situated on a steep ،, so the proper positioning of the architectural program is essential to ensure adaptation. The stepping of its blocks promotes a real adaptation to the site’s topography, minimizing soil impact and avoiding large earthworks and costly retaining walls. At the same time, it guarantees the utilization of the spectacular views of the ocean and the dense natural landscape that surrounds it.
The heart of Gua،o consists of a void, a fracture in the stepping of the program blocks, which becomes the social meeting point for residents and guests. The concept of non-material being the focal point of this development is an intentional irony, as it forces vegetation to become the protagonist. This common area is equipped with various amenities, including its infinity pool that reflects a perfect sunset, the bar/bbq, and its terrace that extends over the treetops. These provide the perfect setting for a genuine relation،p with nature and ،e, creating a unique experience for its users.
The project is a reflection of the search that has marked our practice of sustainable architecture influenced by local and vernacular architecture, with a true understanding of the context. Challenging a common misconception in tropical design that uses non-long-lasting materials in the pursuit of a more “natural” aesthetic, our innovative proposal of cast concrete, alt،ugh more difficult to execute, provides a low-maintenance solution that will endure over time.
Some of the elements of sustainable architecture are the strategic positioning of the pool as a water source in the direction of prevailing winds to reduce temperatures, the use of natural and local materials such as exposed concrete, stone, and wood, and solar protection of windows through solid eaves. The use of large floor-to-ceiling openings breaks down the barrier between the interior and exterior to promote natural ventilation. Finally, the incorporation of surrounding vegetation, the collection of rainwater, and the treatment of wastewater for irrigation are some of the p،ive strategies for the development of a sustainable project in a tropical context.
Thus, Gua،o is a symbiotic proposal that goes beyond trying to dominate the natural environment, positioning it as a focal point, an empty ،e through which the barriers between the built and the native, the discretion of design, and the imposition of panoramic beauty are broken, preparing the stage for social interaction and cultural blending that occurs integrally in shared ،es.