Located just a few notches above the equator, Casa Mecano sits on the Osa Peninsula and enjoys a full dose of sun in a jungly, tropical environment. To minimize its impact on the site, which is rich in biodiversity, Robles Arquitectos designed the home using a modular system with a small footprint. The home takes advantage of the sun with a solar hot water system and moving sun shades that shield the interior from direct sunlight while allowing cooling sea breezes to enter.
Casa Mecano is the most recent project of Juan Robles of Robles Arquitectos and is a striking example of modern tropical architecture. Located on the Osa Peninsula, the home sits in close proximity to the famous Corcovado National Park, which is considered the most biologically intense place on earth. With such a rich environment, the owners and the architect wanted to minimize their impact on the landscape while still enjoying their surroundings. They incorporated environmentally friendly practices into both the design and construction of the home. The footprint was kept minimal and the home is built using a modular steel structural system that reduced the amount of materials and waste created during construction.
The modern home enjoys floor to ceiling windows to take in the sun and the views, but makes use of a large overhanging roof to protect the interior from direct sunlight. In the early mornings and the evening when the sun hits low on the horizon, direct sunlight can shoot right into the home. To minimize this effect, Robles designed a moveable shade that pivots to block that light when needed. In addition, the home makes use of a solar thermal system on the roof and harvests and collects rainwater during the rainy season for irrigation. Windows and doors slide open to enjoy the sea breezes and natural ventilation as a way to adapt to the environment.
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