Architects: Cañas Arquitectos
Project: Indios Desnudos Retreat
Location: Península Papagayo, Costa Rica
Architects in Charge: Victor Cañas, Andrés Cañas, Ricardo Chaves, Sara Araya Landscape: Randolph Watpool
Photography: Jordi Miralles, Ricardo Chaves
Text by Cañas Arquitectos
In the Papagayo peninsula, placed on the tip of an seaward pointing, and slightly downward sloping ridge of a peninsular shaped lot, with forest on both sides ( one a natural reserve), is the house named Indios Desnudos.
It is named after some of the most characteristic trees on the lot, indio desnudo (naked indian) they make up a focal point of the house, especially in the main living area.
A house is designed to enjoy outdoor living and the views. Because of this, it is designed to be comfortable without the (optional) use of air conditioning. The internal spaces are integrated with the exteriors, which makes being in the interior feels like being outside.
All living spaces have a view of the sea or the forest reserve. It has its main access via a lobby from which you can see the social area and the view to the sea. From here you can use the wooden boardwalk-like walkways that hover above scattered river stones that make up the two axes of circulation that structure the floor plan, or use the stairs to get to the two main bedrooms via bridges.
The main double-height space contains living room, dining room and kitchen and opens with large windows towards the pool terrace and towards the Forest Reserve where one of several Indios Desnudos is framed. The window opens with sliding doors erasing any barrier between the interior and the terrace.
The pool merges with a water/terrace/ mirror that surrounds an outside living room in its entirety. It is located below the master bedroom and framed by a set of diagonal columns. This shaded “island” is the pivot of the social area, located in a strategic place near the kitchen and receives the sea breezes and enjoys magnificent views of both the forest and the sea.
Through the main bridge on second floor which crosses the double height of the social space, you reach the master bedroom, which enjoys the same view and breezes as the island. The second bedroom upstairs is reached by a secondary bridge that runs parallel to the same space from which you can also enjoy views to the sea.
The ground floor bedrooms overlook the forest reserve. They are reached via another of the wooden walkways that ends in family room, named by the owner the “monkey room”. From this small cosy space, this walkway crosses a narrow skylit space of variable height, that opens to the double height social area on one side and on the other, towards the forest that is reflected in the mirror of water. It continues outside and passes next to the main terrace and the outdoor terrace ”island”, and ends on a balcony that is projected over the treetops towards the sea and sunset.
It is a journey rich in sensations produced by the diversity of spaces, by the quality of light, and by differences in heights, scales and views.
Indios Desnudos is, in short, a house designed to live abroad enjoying the breeze of the sea, the sun, the sea views and a forest full of tropical and wild flora and fauna.