Casa Flotanta "floats" above a Costa Rican hillside
February 5, 2014
Following the Gooden-Nahome family's decision to purchase a plot on a steep slope in Playa Santa Teresa, Costa Rica, they then tasked Benjamin Garcia Saxe Architecture with building a house upon it. The result is the recently-completed Casa Flotanta: a home which boasts an attractive design that both reduces the structure's impact on the local environment, and lends the appearance of it "floating" above the hillside.
Upon considering the fact that only placement toward the top of the sloping plot would afford stunning views of the nearby Pacific Ocean, Benjamin Garcia Saxe Architecture opted to build the house atop several large stilts. This was less destructive to the local environment than building retaining walls and removing large amounts of soil, and also lends the home its attractive appearance – and name.
Since seismic activity is not unheard of in the area, the architects were sure to engineer Casa Flotanta with this in mind. The 300 sq m (3,229 sq ft) two-bedroom home is primarily constructed from modular units which were built from galvanized steel and finished in locally-sourced teak and bamboo before being placed atop the stilts.
The interior layout features large open spaces which encourage natural ventilation and remove the need for air-conditioning. Various areas of the house are accessed via wooden walkways.
A company rep informed Gizmag that the house sports a rainwater collection system, a solar heating unit, and high-efficiency LED lighting. A solar array is also planned for the future.