Casa Magayon by SARCO Architects: Tropical Modern Luxury Home in the Peninsula Papagayo Luxury Resort in Costa Rica

Casa Magayon by SARCO Architects: Tropical Modern Luxury Home in the Peninsula Papagayo Luxury Resort in Costa Rica

Architects: SARCO Architects
Location: Nacascolo, Costa Rica
Year: 2015
Photo courtesy: SARCO Architects

“Casa Magayon by SARCO Architects Costa Rica is located on a challenging hillside property in the Peninsula Papagayo Luxury Resort in Guanacaste, Costa Rica. The land had a sharp 20-meter (65-foot) drop between the road front and a small linear ridge in an east-west direction that was selected as the location for the main social spaces and private master suite wing, and the rest of the house was laid out to follow the natural shape of the land as it turned into a hillside at about 45 degrees to the ridge.


The home is a an award-winning design, having earned the “Highly Commended Architecture Single Residence Costa Rica 2013-2014” award by the International Property Awards.


Tropical Modern Luxury Home in Costa Rica

To the left of the ridge that now houses the main wing of the house is a sharp drop into a natural ravine which, when it rains, turns into a flowing creek and provides soothing sounds in the rainy season. The property is very close to the water in a completely calm bay that overlooks the pacific and allows for a hike down from the home to a small rocky beach down below.


The home’s design concept is a series of independent glass cubes connected by outdoor covered corridors which all flow with the natural shape of the terrain. This provides a constant indoor-outdoor flow as you walk throughout the home, and the design allows the enjoyment of the tropical jungle in indoor rooms and outdoor areas.


The outdoor spaces are designed nestled between the main wing and the bedrooms wing and become the centerpiece of the design, with a deep lap pool parallel to the home’s main wing and an elevated deck space with steel lookout bridge elevated 12 meters over the land below, and jumping platform to dive into the pool.


The exterior architecture of the home features natural grey lava stone walls combined with a two-tone palette of cool grey and olive-grey stucco walls, which contrast with the large glass cubes with custom green framing which play with the burnt-ochre exposed steel structure, to create a material palette that is inspired by the natural colors in the surrounding jungle.


Indoor-Outdoor design

The glass cube concept provides the desired transparency which brings the jungle, the view to the bay and the main sunset view to the ocean completely inside the home. The indoor-outdoor theme is expressed throughout the home, where exterior stone surfaces flow indoors such as in the living room and master bathroom, and the bathrooms which allow for an experience in connection with the jungle outside. This is achieved in the master bathroom, where the free-standing tub is framed by a square picture window facing the creek area and the large open shower with frameless glass doors that open out to the outdoor shower area.


Sustainable Architecture Features

The architectural design and its modular approach helps to reduce the home’s air conditioned area only to the areas that need to be air conditioned, as well as allowing the home to “grow” with the need of spaces depending on the number of guests at the house. The natural green roof with extensive overhangs provide very good insulation and solar control, which all help to massively reduce the total air conditioning load needed to cool the home.


The main wing was placed along the ridgeline but slightly rotated so the mass of the two-story tall structure provides shade to the outdoor areas in the afternoon of the days in the dry season, when the sun angles southward.


Interior Architecture Design by SARCO Architects Costa Rica

The interiors of the home, also fully designed by SARCO Architects Costa Rica feature a muted and simple palette of materials, using the grey polished concrete floors, custom-designed natural wood built-in furniture cabinets, and a few flat white smooth plaster walls. The home actually features little wall surface, as the large glass surfaces and warm wood paneling dominate most of the spaces. The floors throughout the home are all polished concrete, with porcelain tiles in the bathrooms.


The main social wing of the home is designed as a large open plan, but the use of materials clearly defines the spaces within. The dining area has built-in wood cabinets that flow onto a large wood panel ceiling to create an inverted “U-shaped” wood surface under which sits a large natural wood slab table. The open kitchen features glossy-white frameless glass fronts that reflect the ocean view off the cabinets, and a large island with an exotic-green granite stone counter.”

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