The soul-escape retreat hidden in the mountains of Malpais

The soul-escape retreat hidden in the mountains of Malpais

Architects: José Manuel Álvarez Cruz
Location: Malpais, Costa Rica
Year: 2012
Area: 6.232 ft²/ 579 m²
Photo courtesy: Roberto D’Ambrosio

“Hidden in the mountains of Malpais, Cobano, is the soul-escape retreat that is Brisas del Cabo House.

This project, completed in 2014, pursued among other things to maximize the appreciation of the incredible view in the property. At the same time, we needed to achieve a balance between our clients’ needs of comfort and relax and a nice and fresh design.

Enjoying the life outside was one of the thematic focuses of the designing process. With the use of natural and crossed ventilation, the house’s inhabitants can enjoy the common areas without the need of artificial artifacts to generate a cooler sensation, even in the very hot ours of the midday.

The large covered terraces, (that remind us of the wisdom of our grandfathers who used to build big corridors in the old “casas guanacastecas), allow direct contact with nature, and the line between inside and outside virtually disappear. The spacious common areas, both internal and external, were designed as open spaces, which allow an easy interaction in the people from various points of the house.

The existing vegetation in the rest of the property was preserved intact, and that fact has resulted in a variety of fauna that can be observed in the surroundings of the house, increasing the sensation of being in close to nature and in balance with the environment.

About the architect: Born in Cóbano, in the north Pacific cost of Costa Rica, and where most of his work is located. He is familiar since he was a child with the weather, the places, beaches and materials of this area, and all of that has resulted in a palette that he implements in his designs. Supporter of the bioclimatic design, he seeks to apply his knowledge to tropicalize the architecture. He sees warily at those that sometimes build with concepts and criteria from the cities, or from other countries where the weather is so different than this beautiful coast, with our dry or rainy tropical weather. From this fact comes his interest to develop and apply the subject of the “tropicalidad” of architecture, looking always to keep the environment untouched, and to harmonize architecture with the weather, nature and the surroundings.”

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