Sometimes hillsides, no matter how picturesque the view might be, pare too challenging a space to build. But, sometimes, it’s worth the challenge, as in the case of Casa Magayon in Guanacaste, Costa Rica.
The site had a sharp 65-foot drop between the road and a small ridge but it made the perfect spot on which to site this house. The ridge itself became the location for the main social spaces and private master suite wing, while the rest of the house was laid out to follow the natural shape of the land as it turned into the hillside at about 45 degrees to the ridge. The property is very close to the water in a completely calm bay that overlooks the pacific and allows for a hike down to a small rocky beach down below the home.
The design concept is a series of independent glass cubes connected by outdoor covered corridors which all follow the natural terrain. This provides a constant indoor-outdoor flow as you walk through the home, and enables you to enjoy the tropical jungle in both indoor rooms and outdoor areas. The idea of the glass cubes was to bring the jungle, the view to the bay and the main sunset view to the ocean completely inside the home.
The outdoor spaces are nestled between the main wing and the bedrooms wing and become the centerpiece of the design, with a deep lap pool parallel to the home’s main wing and an elevated deck space with steel lookout bridge elevated 36 feet over the land below, and jumping platform to dive into the pool.
The exterior of the home is crafted of grey lava stones, combined with a two-tone palette of cool grey and olive-grey stucco walls; the large glass cubes are built and framed burnt-ochre exposed steel and it’s these colors of the home that mimic the natural colors in the surrounding jungle.
The indoor-outdoor theme continues with the exterior stone surfaces flowing indoors, as in the living room and master bathroom, to allow for a connection with the jungle outside. In the master bathroom, the free-standing tub is framed by a square picture window facing the creek area while the large open shower with frameless glass doors continues outside to an outdoor shower area.
This modular approach helps reduce the home’s air conditioned area only to the areas that need to be air conditioned; the natural green roof with extensive overhangs provide very good insulation and solar control, which all help to massively reduce the total air conditioning load needed to cool the home.