Guarumo by Void

Guarumo is a contemporary house located in Puntarenas Province, Costa Rica, designed in 2021 by Void.

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Guarumo is a contemporary residence located on the Costa Rican Pacific coast, where the characteristic tropical landscape is harmoniously combined with modern, simple, and discreet architecture, all with a high degree of aesthetics / design.

The project is located on a steep hillside, so the adequate positioning of the architectural program is essential to guaranteeing a proper adaptation. The staggering of its blocks favors a real adaptation to the topography of the site, minimizing the impact to the soils and avoiding large movements of land and expensive retaining walls. At the same time, it capitalizes on the spectacular views of both the ocean and the dense natural landscape that surrounds it.

The heart of Guarumo consists of a void, a fracture in the staggering of the program blocks, which becomes the social meeting point of the project for both residents and guests. The concept of non-matter being the focal point of this development is an intentional irony, as it forces the vegetation to become the protagonist. This common area is equipped with various amenities, among them its infinity pool that reflects a perfect sunset, the bar / bbq and its terrace that extends over the treetops. These provide the perfect setting for a genuine relationship with nature and with the space, creating a unique experience for its users.

The project is a reflection of the search that has marked our practice in sustainable architecture influenced by local and vernacular architecture, with a true understanding of the land. Challenging a common misconception in tropical design that tends to use non-long-lasting materials in the spirit of a more “natural” aesthetic, our innovative board-formed poured concrete proposal, though more difficult to execute, provides a low-maintenance solution that will stand the test of time.

Some of the elements of sustainable architecture implemented are the strategic positioning of the pool as a source of water in the direction of the prevailing winds to reduce temperatures, the use of natural and local materials such as exposed concrete and wood, and the solar protection of the windows through solid eaves. The use of large openings from floor to ceiling breaks the barrier between the interior and the exterior to promote natural ventilation. Finally, the incorporation of surrounding vegetation, the collection of rainwater, and the treatment of sewage water for irrigation are some of the passive strategies for the development of a sustainable project for a tropical context.

Thus, Guarumo is a symbiotic proposal that, beyond trying to dominate the natural environment, positions it as a focal point, an empty space through which the barriers between the built and the autochthonous are broken, the discretion of the design and the imposition of the panoramic beauty, setting the stage for social interaction and cultural mixing that occur integrally in shared spaces.

Photography courtesy of Void

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- by Matt Watts