About the project
Due to its height above sea level and its location, Catherine House has an exceptional view of the North Guanacaste coast and the open sea.
Its North orientation is the best possible orientation in tropical Costa Rica as its sun exposure is minimized and the constant North East breeze is constant.
Natural cross ventilation.
The social areas folding glass doors are suspended from a steel beam which in turn is suspended from the roof structure. Above them sieves roll down when the folding glass doors are closed to allow permanent cross ventilation.
From an outdoor entry court the reflecting pool crosses the lobby, becomes a swimming pool and blends with the sea and the horizon.
Water An infinity edge swimming pool/reflecting pool runs in front of the master bedroom and social areas and visually blends with the ocean and reflects the sky in an attempt to incorporate the scenery to the house, blurring the boundary between the here and the there”. This reflecting pool literally goes into the house at the entry and exists at the other side.
Besides its estethical and recreational value the pool has also a practical sustainable function as it lowers the temperature of the breeze before it enters the house the temperature of the breeze before it enters the house
- Water as a poetic element that helps reinforce the sense of belonging to the site by merging with the surroundings and constantly changing the internal environment as the weather changes.
- Water as a sound and spectacle element to have a gargoyle from which falls a small waterfall of tropical rainwater.
Besides its estethical and recreational value the pool has also a practical sustainable function as it lowers the temperature of the breeze before it enters the house the temperature of the breeze before it enters the house.
The entry hall, designed as several concrete stepping stones in the water is in the double height main space of the house. On the left are the living room, dining room and a spiral staircase that leads to a short bridge (both of perforated metal) that leads to a bedroom upstairs. Beneath this bedroom, the kitchen with a breakfast terrace strategically located at the west end of the house has an extensive sea view.
Folding doors open the whole length of the North facade to a large terrace with an outdoor kitchen and wet bar next to the pool.
An external staircase to the side leads to a basement with a small apartment and storage.
To the right of the entry hall, through an exposed concrete wall bathed in natural light we enter a second hall that distributes us to the master bedroom, the two upstairs bedrooms and the garage.
A landing in the stairs takes us through a slit in the concrete wall to a balcony/pulpit over the double height main hall.
From the master bedroom juts out a wooden walkway over the wet terrace towards a cantilevered viewing platform balcony.
- Natural cross ventilation is constant as the main social areas are not enclosed.
- Water as an element that cools the air and regulates the thermal factor by lowering the indoor temperature.
- No air conditioning in the social areas.
- Large eaves that protects the interior from sun and rain.
- North orientation.
- Energy with photovoltaic cells and batteries.
- Smart home system that regulates energy use.
Location: Carrillo, Guanacaste
Construction year: 2018
Architectural Design: Víctor Cañas, Hon FAIA.
Design Team: Andrés Cañas, Ricardo Chaves, Sara Araya Architects.
Structural Engineering: Ing. Ricardo Solano.
Electrical Engineering: Ing. Rafael Cañas Ruiz.
Mechanical Engineering: Ing. Andrea Zuñiga.
General Contractor: Ricky Wallace.
Photography: Fdo. Alda, Victor Cañas