Not far from Costa Rican town Uvita - there is a hidden small resort Art Villas on the jungle hill above the beach Playa Hermosa. 3 unique villas and one multifunctional pavilion are scattered over a plot of 2 ha. When the investor approached the architects, he wished to create a place where the visitors merge with the surrounding nature, clearing their mind, experiencing luxury and adventure at the same time. He wanted to create a place that digs deep into everyone's heart when they taste it. The architects from the Formafatal studio followed the client's assignment and were also inspired by the atmosphere and colorfulness of Central and South America.
Atelier Villa was designed as a private residence for the investor and his family. Nestled against a steep slope, the 26-meter-long prismatic object partially levitates over lush tropical vegetation. Looking outside, there is only the distant ocean or green hills as far as the eye can see; the back wall facing the driveway and the neighboring villas is intentionally windowless, to maintain privacy.
The first and foremost priority is not only the idea of “erasing boundaries between interior and exterior” but also highlighting constructional simplicity and pure lines (Pura Vida >> Pura Arquitectura). The construction system consists of a steel frame with a span of 4x4m.
Discreet wall colors in combination with the green roof allow the villa to really blend in with its surroundings. The ocean and jungle-oriented façades are fitted with large-size aluminum perforated sections which a) do not heat up in the sun and b) are rust-resistant. If pulled up, they double as canopies. The scale and pattern of perforation are different in each of the sections, thus creating an exciting play of light and shadow inside. The panels’ special coating is in the color of COR-TEN. The full-back wall is in charred timber cladding treated with Shou Sugi Ban, an old Japanese technique of weather- and age-proofing the wood.
Disposition-wise, the villa possesses the same minimalistic spirit as its shape suggests. The utility and storage rooms, bathrooms, and the kitchen are placed along the back wall.
The layout of the rest of the house is very open; the boundaries between the inside and the outside world are gone and the whole space seems like a roofed terrace. Lightweight sliding partition walls may serve as a tool to create private zones and shake the space up as needed. The patio reveals an infinity pool, partly roofed and therefore protected from the scorching sun.
Architect: Formafatal & Rafuel Works
Location: Costa Rica