On a jungle hillside in Costa Rica, this luxury home quite literally blends with its wild environment thanks to a low profile and a green roof. Characterized by an unassuming, industrial facade that encases a serenely luxurious interior, the home clings to the hill, offering dramatic jungle and ocean vistas. Designed by architects Dagmar Štěpánová and Martina Homolková of Formafatal in the Czech Republic, the home was created to break all the barriers between the outdoors and the indoors resulting in a simple and naturally focused home.
Located in Puntarenas Province on the Pacific coast of Costa Rica and the Gulf of Nicoya, the area is known for the port city of the same name. Tourists like to visit the city because of the culture, nearby surfing and historical value, but it is also a commercial fishing port and a terminal for ferries and a docking station for cruise ships crossing the Pacific. High above the water, this home is situated in a jungle paradise with privacy, views and relaxation.
Atelier Costa Rica is definitely not your stereotypical tropical oceanview villa. Instead, the architects created a home based on a simple form that is rarely found in nature: a box. Combining rusted elements and a burned wood facade, the structure introduces the figurative element of fire into the landscape, which is lush, green and wild. It turns out that this particular shape is ideal for one of the unique features of this villa, which is a green roof.
Aside from being a dramatic retreat where you can escape and be fully surrounded by nature, a green roof has many benefits to both humans and the environment. And, while urban buildings may use a green roof as a tool for purifying city air and reducing the ambient temperature, even in a tropical jungle a green roof is beneficial. First and foremost, a green roof can help save energy by regulating the temperature inside the home. These types of roofs also serve as rainwater buffers. They’re not called “climate-proof construction” for nothing!
According to Semper Green, a green roof is a water buffer because the plants and the various drainage materials used on the roof absorb the rain. Some of the water evaporates through the plants and is purified before it runs off of the building. A green roof also prevents the risk of rainwater runoff causing flooding or major erosion as well as stabilizing the groundwater level. Moreover, this type of roof protects the roofing material underneath from the elements and can double or triple the life span of the roof — maybe up to 60 years or more. Having a green roof also helps protect the structure from a fire because the soil and plants naturally hold a good deal of moisture.
Obviously, a green roof helps the home blend with the jungle surroundings, but it is also a low-maintenance way to approach roofing. And, here in the tropical forest, the grasses, herbs and plants create an additional habitat for birds, butterflies and insects instead of introducing a barren shingled roof. Opting for a green roof will also improve life on the inside of the house because it acts as a sound barrier, making the inside even quieter.
Once inside this stunning home, it truly is hard to tell where the interior ends and the outside begins, which is a marvelous way to take advantage of the tropical climate as well as the surrounding views. Throughout the single-story home, decor and architectural elements are minimal and natural, serving as enhancements of the natural environment. The shape of the residence makes it easy to include moving glass walls and doors that can further blend outside and in.
All throughout the light-filled living space, elements feature clean lines and minimal visual disruptions to further promote a Zen and peaceful atmosphere that is fully focused on nature. Natural wood paneling on the ceiling is combined with industrial finishes to recall the exterior that melds the rusty, burned facade with the wild surroundings. Walls of windows face the ocean and jungle panorama, making the most of the home’s spectacular location. Walls finished with an industrial look blend with the floors. which are the color of a natural concrete. Areas like the kitchen and bathroom are defined with a selection of tile patterns in muted, complementary hues.
All around the ends and back of the home, the exterior is protected by a perforated rusted metal screen that filters the sunlight and helps cool the interior. At the same time, it is open enough that you can enjoy the views through the screens. The pattern in the perforated metal facade is specifically placed to maximize the views from certain areas, such as when lying in bed or sitting in the enclosed portion of the deck along the windows.
The master bedroom is located apart at the end of the house on the other side of the pool. The second bedroom, which is next to the living space, is ingeniously designed to separate into two with a series of decorative wall panels that feature a monochrome jungle motif drawing. When not in use, the walls can be pushed out o the way, creating a fully open view from one end of the house to the other. Lighting is permanently installed in the bookcase headboards making extra lamps unnecessary, which also eliminates clutter.
The bathroom has a spa-like vibe and very natural looking elements, including these organically shaped vessel sinks and rich natural wood vanity. The tile floor extends into the walk-in shower, eliminating the need for any door.
The master bathroom is focused on a marvelous soaking tub and minimalist shower set into the same tiled space, meaning there is loads of room. The natural wood vanity is just on the other side of the glass divider. The combination of materials in the master bathroom creates a truly spectacular and private space.
Another element that helps blur the boundary between the interior and the outdoors is the pool, which extends from the deck area into the covered portion of the house. Tiered platforms lead down by the pool overflow/water feature, providing even more places to sit outdoors and enjoy the vistas and wild surroundings. This is an ideal low-key luxury getaway that blends marvelously with its surroundings in an environmentally conscious way.