Casa Atrevida is a luxurious, environmentally friendly vacation retreat designed by Luz de Piedra Arquitectos, located on a woodsy private refuge on the shores of the breathtaking Playa Preciosa, in Puerto Jimenez, the largest town on the Osa Peninsula, Costa Rica.
You can stay at this luxury beachfront property surrounded by a forest abundant with exotic animals, with rates starting at $315 per night, sleeping 10, from here.
This unique 3,229 square foot (300 square meters) house is environmentally friendly, made from bamboo (Guadua), as a structural material for earthquake resistance. Attractive material, from a short cycle of growth, therefore, with a smaller ecological footprint in this environment so rich into biodeversity matters. A roof garden is used to cool down and improve the integration to the landscape from the second level.
The retreat is constructed in a modern tropical style, and was designed to be perfectly integrated into the beautiful natural surroundings.
Guests are sure to have a memorable experience thanks to the immense natural beauty of the region, the personalized service, and an experience designed for your utmost comfort.
This is a recreational house, with it´s own carekeepers studio. It was made with Bambu(Guadua) as the structural element, designed to be seismic resistant. An atractive material that has a short growing cycle, thus reducing carbon footprint in a forested area.
The house has five bedrooms and can accommodate a maximum of ten people. Each bedroom has a walk-in closet and a private bathroom. All of the bedrooms are stylishly decorated and are furnished with a desk or vanity.
The four bedrooms on the second level are identical and have views of the garden/terrace and the treetops around the house. Two of the bedrooms are furnished with two twin-sized beds. The other two are each furnished with a queen-sized bed. All rooms are protected from insects by mosquito nets or mashrabiyas so that you can fully take advantage of the natural beauty that the property has to offer.
The fifth bedroom, which is located on the ground floor, is a luxurious master bedroom. Furnished with a king-sized bed, a spacious bathroom, and a desk, the master bedroom includes wonderful views of the natural surroundings. Each bedroom comes equipped with a ceiling fan. The kitchen is fully equipped. The kitchen/dining room/living room area is designed to be a comfortable interior with beautiful views of the exterior to optimize your experience.
Photos: Sergio Pucci
Doeskin Court Residence is a rustic mountain retreat designed by Sierra Sustainable Builders, located in Incline Village in Washoe County, Nevada on the north shore of Lake Tahoe. Upon entrance to this welcoming home, a spacious open plan living room beckons guests to sit down and get comfortable. This spa-like atmosphere showcases comfortable sectionals arranged around a coffee table, perfect for entertaining. Drawing in natural light into this residence played an essential role as the architects captured it through floor to ceiling windows, bringing the outdoors in. Breathtaking views of the surrounding wooded landscape and Lake Tahoe in the distance makes this home a spectacular getaway. Rough hewn beams left exposed with high ceilings makes this retreat feel like a true mountain home.
Sierra Sustainable Builders’ portfolio includes new residential construction, complex remodel/addition, commercial remodel, as well as cabinetry and custom furniture. Central to their approach is a belief that sustainability and efficiency are important factors in today’s building process, and they strive to maintain practical and affordable solutions that integrate these factors and achieve their clients’ goals.
Photos: Courtesy of Sierra Sustainable Builders
The Gambier Island House is a weekend retreat designed by Mcfarlane Green Biggar Architecture + Design for a young Vancouver couple with two children, located on Gambier Island, British Columbia, Canada. Located on the east side of Gambier Island, the steep and wooded waterfront site is only accessed by water and totally off the grid with independent sources for heat and electricity. In celebration of the rugged qualities of the site, the design is conceived as simple forms and modest materials touching the ground just lightly. Two stacked boxes are perched on the rocky cliff, clad in wood, cement board, and glass to fend off the elements.
Overlooking the wooded waterfront of Howe Sound and adjacent to a protected, forested watershed and private cove, the secluded home is only accessible via the water. Nested into the rugged topography, the remote and difficult access prioritized design solutions with a focus on formal economy and simple details. Design decisions minimized material requirements, specifically the sparse use of concrete and the prefabrication of certain elements offsite, and reduced the number of barge trips required to deliver the construction material and remove waste. This strategy ensured the construction process had the smallest environmental footprint and brought minimum disruption to the landscape.
The hybrid structure and clean design responds both to the rugged qualities of the site and the strict environmental controls related to the shoreline. Two stacked boxes clad in wood, cement board, and insulated glass house three bedrooms, two bathrooms and an open plan kitchen, dining and living area over the two and a half levels. Throughout, the floors and ceilings are douglas fir, creating warm interior spaces and a cohesive frame from which to take in the sublime views to the sea and mountains beyond, or to cozily nestle into the rocky fir forests. Expansive roof decks seamlessly extend interior and exterior experiences.
Three-bedrooms and two bathrooms are complemented by an open-plan kitchen, dining + living area with simple lines to frame the amazing views to sea and mountains beyond, while expansive roof decks create a seamless connection with the spectacular setting.
Photos: Courtesy of Mcfarlane Green Biggar Architecture + Design
House on Krk Island is a stunning waterfront vacation retreat that has been completed in 2012 by DVA Arhitekta, situated on the Island of Krk, Croatia. The client’s wish was to build a 4,154 square foot (386 square meters) vacation home with a prospect of becoming a permanent one, on the island of Krk, the northern part of Adriatic. The 8,611 square foot (800 square meters) site is located next to the sea, with the green zone and a promenade dividing it from the sea.
All important facilities are oriented towards the seaview, and space is organized to be used comfortably by three families (parents and two children with their families) at the same time.
Outside spaces vary in character, from completely open terrace to semi and completely covered one, and atrium onto which rooms that are in the ground reflect; all of which allow different happenings at the same time, without the crowdy feeling.
Base of the house comprises sleeping area, with direct acess to the pool area. Living area is on the top, with its own outside spaces due to the terrain configuration; gaining the best of view.
Photos: Robert Les
The House in Frogs Hollow is a country retreat designed by Williamson Chong Architects, located on a long slope of the Niagara Escarpment overlooking Georgian Bay, in Grey Highlands, Ontario, Canada. The property is a collection of eroded clay hills and protected watershed zones blanketed with a dense field of hawthorn and native grasses. It is not picturesque, but tough and rather impenetrable.
The clients, who gather at the property throughout the year, are avid cyclists who spent months on the 100 acre property prior to construction cutting in discreet mountain biking trails and learning the paths of the horses and snowmobiles as they emerge from the community over the seasons. Because of their connection to the landscape, a primary site strategy was to resist the inclination to build on the top of the hills where one could survey the property in its entirety and instead carve out a building area at the base of the hillside.
The 2,000 square foot house is not the final destination, but a stopping place within their network of activity. Carved into the landscape, the muscular tectonic of the long concrete wall figuratively clears the site for building while bridging the natural and tempered environments. The concrete has a toughness that mirrors the landscape, providing protection from the prevailing winter winds. During the summer months the wall provides patio shade, creating pools of cooler air that are passively drawn through the house.
Entry is at the west end of the concrete wall and into a service bar containing the stair, kitchen, office, bike workshop, storage room, and mechanical room. This functional zone serves as a backdrop to the glassed in living area that opens on three sides to an extended view of the rolling landscape.
The first and second floors are connected by a figured stair enclosure. This digitally fabricated element is designed to filter light from the clerestory volume above. At the ground floor it carves into the area below its upper run to gather more space at the entry and allow for a seating area.
The second level hovers above the concrete wall and living space. It contains the bedrooms, bathrooms, and family room in a tight wrapper of customized ship lap siding. Designed as an undulating rhythm of varying widths, thin boards are CNC milled to a shallow depth while wider boards are milled with deep striations, casting long shadows that track the sun as it moves around the house. The siding is stained with a linseed oil based iron oxide pigment that requires reapplication only once every 15 years.
The house’s connection to the land is reinforced not only in its architectural form, but also in its environmental footprint. The house is heated with radiant floor loops that supplement the passive winter heat gain from south facing windows. In addition, there is no mechanical cooling. Instead, the stair tower and operable windows facilitate passive ventilation that draw cool air through the house from shaded exterior areas. Natural materials and pigments were used throughout and a small square footage was maintained to further reduce construction costs and keep future energy consumption to a minimum.
Photos: Bob Gundu
Four Barns Farm is an incredible weekend retreat built for a family to getaway from their fast pace life in New York City by Gleicher Design, located in Millbrook, a bucolic town tucked into the rolling landscape of the Hudson Valley, New York. The home is just an hour and a half’s drive from the city but worlds away from its frenzied lifestyle. These picturesque barns are nestled on the rolling hills of a 40-acre estate that was formerly owned by the composer Marvin Hamlish. Once a dairy farm, this exceptional piece of land dating to 1839 had an antique farmhouse and four substantial barns. Although the barns were in disrepair, the clients had a vision and their dream was to create a wonderful family compound, using the barns for gathering spaces and guest suites.
It was no easy task, with one of the barns having to be literally lifted off its foundation and gently set back down again. The barns surround a common courtyard, complimented by stone walls, a duck pond, a country farmhouse, and a small potting shed. All four barns and environs have been sensitively renovated and equipped with modern amenities, but in keeping with their historic character.
Local artisans were employed to create needed metal works, stone walls, fireplaces, and historic wood windows, antique hand hewn timber framing members and oak and pine plank flooring were reworked for their new uses. The barns now house a guesthouse, screening room, artist studio, garage, and bunk barn for teens and young adults.
Filling the “barn” with light also was critical to create the inviting spaces, so the architect grouped several windows together at the gable ends to flood the space with light.
In order to make the new barn weather-tight, the architects created a thick sandwich wall, which allowed for a blanket of insulation as well as space to hide ductwork. The hand-chiseled ancient beams were kept exposed to allow for a strong architectural design element in the space. Although the ceiling soars to 35 feet, the interiors were brought to a more human scale by introducing reclaimed horizontal oak boards to the lower portion of the interior wall and a reclaimed vertical oak board to the top portion.
Naturalistic landscaping completes the picture with new stone fences, a circular fire pit and bucolic meadows.
To maintain a cohesive look between the structures, the architect introduced the same siding, roofing and foundation materials and architectural design elements to each barn. A gravel courtyard in the center of the barns offers an outdoor common space for guests to gather when the weather cooperates.
Photos: Courtesy of Gleicher Design
Designed by Sarmento Melo Architecture this country weekend retreat is located in the region of Macacos, in the district of São Sebastiao das Águas Claras, Nova Lima – Minas Gerais, Brazil. This 3,013 square foot (280 square meters) house was idealized by the owners to be a place to getaway for the weekend, a meeting place for leisure with their large family and many friends.
The house is inserted into an extremely steep terrain privileged but surrounded with stunning views to the Atlantic Forest and the sea to the mountains of Minas, architects Ana Cristina Faria and Maria Flávia Melo were guided by the demands of family, developing a project to be built in stages, and idealized a complex guest house, recreation area and main house (still not completed yet), exploiting and enhancing existing natural features. Thus, an implementation was adopted against the views of the mountains and forests, the longitudinal field, in order to minimize the movement of the earth, despite the steep terrain, buildings without plans and movement between buildings and recreational area that is basically in the same ground level without this, significant changes were made to the topography.
The architects proposed volumetric architectural and constructive simplicity: a large vertical plane (wall) and visually defines constructive orientation of the main building - longitudinal and east to west; orders the gabled roof in just simple cuts and without defined sectors - in front of the “wall” is the recreational sector and private spaces; behind and across the sectors of service and support are located. Therefore, the layout of the rooms is simple, logical and orderly. The same architectural elements defined and ordered the small guest house: the social area in front and behind the “wall” above average level (sitting on floor) are the suite and bathroom. Ceramic tiles in opposite directions cover these two blocks.
Looking to create a cozy and rustic atmosphere, at about the same time thinking of an appropriate and functional contemporary home in time, the architects proposed the use of hand-carved wood to encase entire structural systems and the bulk of buildings, doorways and windows, stairs and other minor details like shelves, counters , main furniture and cabinets. For this reason, during the work , which was closely followed by the architects, they hired a team of skilled workers in building with wood, from southern Bahia and staying for months at the store, making a neat job work. This wooden structure, for example, are not apparent screws or tools: the whole system is done through sockets, slots, and internal plates junction, following the constructivist tradition of old coffee and cocoa plantations within Brazil and buildings without interior architects.
Being a weekend house, the recreational area was intended as the main attraction of the constructed set. The large swimming pool in L, vinyl coated, is located in the center of the buildings and in front of the view: it converges playroom, gourmet space, sauna and guest house. Its largest is for swimming and jumping, but the minor axis of the pool, with a depth of 50 cm, integrates with sauna and spa with a grill, which was designed primarily for adult relaxation.
From the wood structural system, the sealing elements explicit intention of developing their views in the house, as well as attention on the thermal comfort: the sunny traditional masonry facades are brick clay Massif (more heat) and revoked painted, but all the extra length of the front facades of buildings, oriented to the south (hence no sun in Brazil), and facing the mountains, is sealed in glass drawing in its immediate surroundings and the distant landscape.
Reinforcing the proposed initial concepts, all other details and finishing and coating materials were designed with the aim of fostering and practicality, tradition and modernity. In itself, the wood continues to be used as the lining of all environments, including railings, and floor heating the room and every residence as intimate TV room and loft. In kitchen areas, large slabs of black granite were the option for strength and easy cleaning. In the bathrooms, floors adopted hydraulic tiles, rescuing the tradition of building the start of the twentieth century. The walls of wetlands mixed in glass inserts and gypsum, contemporary coatings harmonized constructively with materials of more rustic character.Large living and leisure areas, internal and external, are rustic but contemporary.
Complementing the architectural design project was the outside landscaping by landscapers Thiers Mattos and Flávia Rennó and outdoor lighting by Mônica Rohlfs. In landscaping, the exuberance of Brazilian flora species was valued. The vast gardens of bromeliads, palms, swords of San Jorge, among others. Apart from their beauty, species are suited to the local climate, are resistant to strong sun by day and cool nights in the mountainous region of Macacos. In lighting, lights were directed to large flat walls and vegetation, buildings and enhances the pool, but does not hide the pleasure of seeing the wonderful sky that can be viewed here.
Photos: Gustavo Xavier
This Southampton beach house is a luxury summer retreat that has been designed by New York based studio Alexander Gorlin Architects, situated in Southampton, New York. This two story modern home was completed in 2008, built with European limestone and African hardwood. The 12,000 square foot home is located in the East End of the Hamptons and takes full advantage of its position between the bay and the ocean by offering sweeping views of the water. Entering the house, one is greeted by a dramatic cantilevered room on the upper floor that extends 20 feet over a patio. With an emphasis on entertaining, the house comprises three master bedrooms, three guest suites, staff quarters, an outdoor pool and a rooftop terrace.
Photos: Courtesy of Alexander Gorlin Architects
Watch Hill House is a modern weekend retreat designed to frame its landscape by Lubrano Ciavarra Architects, nestled on a secluded plot of land in the coastal village of Watch Hill, Westerly, Rhode Island. When a lively family of five considered building this three storey weekend home to serve as a hub for their extensive network of family and friends, they selected a 3.5 acre site fronting a nature preserve. A visitor to the site first encounters the slender pool house, which introduces the recurring palette of cedar, copper, and slate. On the main 5,200 square foot house, cedar “straps” of horizontal siding rotate individually to become lighting-filtering railings, or fold in to create programmed porches. A journey across the site unfolds as a conversation between openness and constructed site lines.
A restrained materials palette was used on the exterior, which was inspired by the landscape. “Since the site is wooded and wild, we used natural materials like cedar and slate instead of synthetic siding,” states the architect. The facade was treated like a piece of millwork and spent nearly six months working with the contractor to come up with the pattern of the shiplapped boards.
In the stairwell, floor-to-ceiling glass walls showcase the outdoors. “As you move up and down the stairs you have a view in all directions. As you move off that axis into the rooms, the view is carefully framed,” states the architects.
Floor-to-ceiling glass was used for the mater bedroom, which leads onto a deck. “We wanted a place that just drew us up like a magnet,” states the homeowner about creating her dream home. “The house’s design, comfort, and style certainly achieves that.”
Photos: Chris Cooper Photographer