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Studio Saxe completes terraced boutique hotel on a steep hillside in Costa Rica
Costa Rica Architecture News - Apr 25, 2018 - 02:32 25874 views
Costa Rica and London-based architecture firm Studio Saxe has completed a terraced boutique hotel on a steep hillside in Costa Rica. The new hotel complex is situated by stepping down with elongated roofs over a steep hillside, overlooking the ocean.
Called Mint Santa Theresa, the new hotel, encompassing a total of 660-square-metre area, blends a European design aesthetic with Costa Rican craftsmanship – created to ensure that guests can commune with nature, each other and local people.
"The Swedish owners fell in love with Santa Theresa as a surfing paradise, as well as its burgeoning yoga community. Inspired by Greek architecture, minimalism and Scandinavian design, they commissioned Studio Saxe who have developed a reputation for their approach to architecture that harmonises with tropical landscapes," said Studio Saxe in a project statement.
The architects created a pavilion-like structures over the hillside by using a modest and simplistic architectural language. Hotel residents are invited to stay in individual pavilion-like structures where they can retreat into a private zone and yet still interact with the nature around them.
The spacious guest rooms can be opened up completely to a personal terrace with an ocean view to the front and a garden with tropical plants in the rear. Even the bathrooms have an open layout, giving the guests the opportunity to shower while listening to the sound of the crashing waves.
Each room is afforded its own rooftop terrace, complete with lush plants, a sail for shade and furnished with rattan furniture made in Sarchí, a Costa Rican town famous for its inhabitants’ craftsmanship.
The architects have used locally-sourced materials throughout the project, such as in ceilings that are made of “caña brava” - a type of grass - installed in an intricate fishbone pattern. Local craftsmen have also created custom furniture made of local wood and using traditional techniques in new ways.
"Hotels traditionally became vast objects in the landscape that bear no relation to their surroundings and are devoid of genuine human interaction. At Mint, we endeavored to create a contextual design that adapts to its landscape and offers a new type of experience for a breed of traveler seeking authenticity," said Benjamin Garcia Saxe, Executive Director of Studio Saxe.
"We worked hard on creating spaces that combine an appreciation of natural beauty with a rich array of possibilities for social and cultural interaction. The result is a completely unique way of thinking about hospitality and wellness," he added.
In the heart of Mint Santa Teresa, a communal lounge area dominates each unit with its infinity pool and sunset bar. It is open on all sides and saves for a single wall of plants by the entrance, providing the guests with some privacy while maintaining the natural setting.
"The lounge serves as a meeting spot for guests, owners and locals of the area. In the morning, a breakfast buffet, is eaten at a communal table and later in the day stories are exchanged over drinks by sunset," added the studio.
Envisioned as part of a new form of tourism accommodation, the architects design a distinctive hotel complex where visitors want to learn more about a destination and get a sense of what it is like to actually live there.
Studio Saxe recently completed steel-framed villas in the rainforest of Santa Teresa, Costa Rica. Last year, the studio also completed a new boutique hotel and yoga studio in tropical landscape of Costa Rica.
Studio Saxe was founded by Benjamin Garcia Saxe in San Jose in 2004 and the aim of the studio is to explore natural environments through architecture. The studio creates buildings and spaces by blending technological innovation with handcrafted techniques to form truly sustainable designs. Benjamin Garcia Saxe also runs his other office in London.
Location: Santa Teresa Costa Rica
Date of completion: 2018
Client: Jonas Thorrel / Johanna Johansson
Architecture Team: Studio Saxe
Design Director: Benjamin García Saxe
Project Architect: Cesar Coto
Project Coordinator: Laura Morelli
Structural Engineer: Sotela Alfaro Ltda.
Electromechanical Engineer: Dynamo
Studio Builder: Matta Duran
All photographs © Andrés García Lachner
All drawings © Studio Saxe
> via Studio Saxe