QBO3 Architects have created Casa Ethos, a home in Puerto Rico that explores brutalist architecture, or how a home can be left uninhabited safely for long periods while still adapting to the environment.

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“The house is located in a wooded area in Carrillo de Guanacaste, and from the beginning it was considered to conserve the largest number of existing trees on the property,” said the architects. “This was a starting point to the integration of the house with its immediate context and concepts such as permeability, integration and the exterior-interior relationship became fundamental in the design process.”

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This 425-square-meter home is left uninhabited for long periods every year, so it needed to be resistant to weather and winds.

“From these limitations, the idea of brutalist architecture was born,” said QBO3 Architects. “A reinforced concrete shelter with permeable membranes that adapt to the temporalities, the architectural program and the climate.”

A new guest room was designed to add space, connecting the terrace on the second level. The room focuses on the preserved tree that sits at the center of the house.

“[A] large opening of the new volume is proposed to focus both: the tree and the predominant view of the site, and which will be protected at the same time by elements that reduce the solar impact on the house, such as blinds and large eaves that also provide thermal comfort to the interior of the room,” QBO3 Architects said.

The new guest suite is intended to create a contrast with the rest of the home but maintain the “raw style” of the existing materials and feel of the cement and wood structure.

“Ethos House is a project that seeks to enhance the beauty of the context in which it is located, but also of the materials that compose it, in such a way that the construction techniques were worked on in a meticulous way so each material and finish was exposed in its own pure way,” said QBO3 Architects.

+ QBO3 Architects

Images via QBO3