The house KaLiDa is located in a housing development west of the city of San José, in a relatively dry and hot climate, and overlooks the distant mountains located to the north, east and south. The lot is on a curve, with access from the concave side, and opens onto another street and recreational spaces of the residential in the back. Although there is plenty of vegetation around, there is not much shade nearby, which makes the local climate almost arid in summer, also there are not many buildings to block the northeasterly winds almost all year round.
The owners are a couple with two children. One of the owners is an architect, and collaborated in all stages of the project, enriching the design and the final product. From the beginning, two decisions were made, one to ventilate the whole house naturally, with the possibility of closing parts of the house and turning on the air conditioning from time to time. The fact of having to close three sides of the house to maintain privacy supported the other initial decision of having an internal patio (only the north façade could be left open, since only that side is at a sufficient height from the sidewalk to block the view in). This decision also corresponds to the desire to have a patio that helps with ventilation, lighting and becomes a focal point within the project. This central patio is double height and is surrounded by a perimeter corridor of mobile glass on both levels, which open to ventilate all the main spaces of the interior of the house, and access the central courtyard on the ground floor. It’s design is simple with a certain oriental inspiration. A mature White Flower tree will fill the space and a fountain that refreshes the environment with its sound and humidity (in the dry summer), are its focal points. Upon entering the house for the first time, one walks under a metal and glass roof that reveals the totality of a double-height stainless steel wall which contains the main door. The double height lobby is crossed by a bridge with transparent railings and its double height is accentuated by a high wall behind the bridge, which partially shields the view, but does not completely block the central patio behind. From here, to the left is the garage, kitchen and services, and on the right you come across a wooden staircase that goes up to the second floor, or you walk to the lounge and the main room.
Once past this vestibular wall, the view opens up and you can see all the main social spaces on the ground floor; behind the central courtyard you can see the bridge that joins the room with the dining room and a terrace. This bridge is the only part of the central courtyard that has no second floor, this fact makes the volumes on the second floor on both sides frame the opening to the sky above the bridge and help create a visual accent through the bridge and on the terrace immediately behind and out to the heights of the trees of the communal space beyond the property, this creates a sensation of great amplitude.
Upon reaching the top you can go over the bridge above the lobby and reach the two bedrooms of the children and one of guests, or take the right to go through the family study room and get to the master bedroom.
Location: Alajuela, Costa Rica.
Construction period: 2016- 2017.
Design: Arq. Victor Cañas
Arq. Sara Araya, Arq. Andrés Cañas
Structural Engineer: Ing. Juan Carlos Ortiz
Electrical Engineer: ECG Ingenieros Roberto Donadio.
Mechanical Engineer ECG Ingenieros
Photos: Fernando Alda