When it comes to wood, a sustainable alternative is to work with plantation species such as ” Guayavillo” or Myrcianthes fragans. A layer of Laro Max ( water based impregnant) every 8 months is necesary to keep wood free of termites. No polyurethane finishes are recommended in this side of the world. Wood needs to constantly absorb the protective layer. The Perkins project is 50% built. Dont miss our on site pet! ( lower left corner)
When you live in a country like Costa Rica where pure air is constantly flowing, and after a psychometric chart study indicating that the use of the passive strategy known as Cross Ventilation you will achieve a 70% comfort without using Air Conditioning almost throught the year, then the Wind Wheel comes in handy!
Know your Holdrige Life Zone in Costa Rica and you will achieve more sustainable dwellings in an easy, less expensive and more sustainable way.Design and passive strategies analysis are the answer to building in a respectful manner.
My client Peter from New York, decided to follow the construction process of his home I designed. He changed the cold and snow for tropical weather and grilled fish, while involving directly during all construction stages. Unless you hire professional assistance with proven experience, it makes it easier for architectural inspectors like me to keep track of everything that goes on at all times.That makes this process a more open and clear one for all parts of the team. Construction can be complex, specially in such a place like Puerto Viejo, where culture, distance and construction methods represent a challenge to whoever that’s not a local.
Building in Puerto Viejo: living room view from terrace with metal truss to achieve longer column spans.
Option 1 White Tpo fascia
Option 2 copper fascia
Option 3 aged aluminum fascia
So in the tropics, you must be cautious with the aesthetics you want for your project. As my clients Oumi and Urs from Switzerland said, “we are not in Ibiza, we are in Costa Rica” .That means that you may want to select materials that are low maintenance and colors that blend with Nature. Of course we all loved the first option but it is up to the client to decide which strategies benefit both their pockets and needs. I will provide all the elevations options and will guide you to take the decision that best suits you. Read More
The University for Peace Kiosk was designed in collaboration with Andres Serpa.
While traveling all around Costa Rica following my client’s special sites for building their homes in the tropics, I can’t help but to learn from vernacular architecture. In few words, what people do for themselves based on the empirical process. Read More
Either of the two times during a year, one of them right today, the sun crosses the celestial equator and the length of day and night are approximately equal; and the Sun is closest to the Earth.If you are building a tropical home in a hot, rainy and humid weather like Costa Rica, this means that you really should prepare for intense heat over your roof! And your head!
In a tropical location, roof design is the responsible architectural element that will provide comfort and quality indoor environment. In the video below, you can see how a house in the mountains of Perez Zeledon is perfectly shaded during equinox, the hottest time of the year in Costa Rica.
This video is prepared by the program I generally use called Eco Tect,this is when I can double check what my common sense tells me when I am designing at any location. This case specifically needs direct natural light during the rainy season as, so the eaves width and house orientation is determined by such technology. The process feels more like playing with the roof measurements and angling spaces in order to satisfy 2 opposite weather conditions.
Feels good when you can help others to let go and build what they have always dreamed of. Here I am with the Perkins at Escaleras de Dominical, we have stacked their future tropical vacation home as we realize how important the trees are for shading the house. We can’t wait to get building started!
This is a simple 2 level house, first floor on concrete blocks, second level on wood, full of minimalist details that make tropical living easier: less mold, more natural breeze, less maintenance fees, more health due to exposition of rooms to the outdoors and lastly a higher quality of life. This is no american house in the tropics, this is a tropical modern architectural design adapted to Nature and local conditions.
How can you accomplish an original house design that stands out from the crowd and makes an excellent rental income all year long? Well, maybe you just want to have a one of a kind retirement home in Costa Rica….Creativity is the answer.
Now a days market gurus, entrepreneurs, CEOs and even scientists are learning from the creative process of experts involved in the areas of graphic design, architecture and arts. Creativity is now and have always been the tool for innovation, better sales results and better market positioning.
My experience as an architect, is that there is a vast universe of ideas floating in the quantum space. There are thousands of possibilities that are waiting to be developed. By being a little crazy daydreaming about a project as if there were no limitations followed by the making of prototypes and putting them to test ,the ideas that empathize better with the client’s needs come to life in a very surprising and mind blowing way. The design experience turns fun, exciting and contemporary with the needs of the times we are living today. Modern architecture in Costa Rica should be like this.
In this case, Amy and I are “playing” with the bedroom’s module location of this single family home. After much “internal debate” this architect has come up with a solid concept that allows the flexibility for the client to decide where is the natural and cost-effective placement of the bedrooms. We work together, we are a team. We exchange ideas and get to know each other through design and personal likes and needs.
This is a win-win situation. We both love the project and the universe smiles down at us. Happy start for this 2015.