In a remote jungle on the hilltops of Costa Rica’s Santa Teresa province, San José-based architecture firm Studio Saxe has completed Santiago Hills Villa, a luxury home that embraces nature in more ways than one. To ensure that all rooms of the villa have access to ocean views, the architects created a zigzag floor plan that turns the bedrooms and living spaces sideways to face the shoreline. The unconventional home, which resembles a series of interconnected villas, is topped with a large white roof that protects the interior from unwanted solar gain.
Given the project brief’s emphasis on a connection with nature, Studio Saxe sought to minimize the home’s environmental footprint. The architects decided to prefabricate the home’s light steel frame off-site to minimize site intervention and ensure quality construction for the remote property. The use of a steel frame with sturdy I beams allowed the architects to install full-height glazed openings with enough support for the angular roof.
“Every space in the home has been angled to view the ocean, and this twist creates a geometric relationship between the roofline and the spaces that became the primary element of design that both addresses the need for large overhangs (for climate control and comfort) but also generates a literal connection between the view and every space,” Studio Saxe explains on its website.
Contrasting with the lush green surroundings, the minimalist and modern home is predominately white, serving as a canvas that reflects the changing colors of the jungle. In addition to featuring incredible views and a reduced site impact, Santiago Hills Villa also embraces nature with its adherence to passive solar principles. The home is oriented to take advantage of winds for natural cooling, while the wing-like roof’s long overhangs protect the interior. The roof is also engineered to allow for rainwater collection.
Images by Andres Garcia Lachner