2014

MCHAP.emerge

Flotana House

Benjamin Garcia Saxe Architecture

Cobano, Costa Rica

November 2013

PRIMARY AUTHOR

Benjamin Garcia Saxe

CONTRIBUTING AUTHOR

Dante Medri (Constructor) Juan Carlos Sotela (Structural Engineer) Daniel Sancho (Project Coordinator)

AUTHOR

Dahlia and Jez Gooden

PHOTOGRAPHER

Andres Garcia Lachner

OBJECTIVE

The biggest challenge we encountered was that their plot of land was predominantly comprised of a very steep slope, and the view of the ocean could only be seen from the upper-mid portion of the site. We saw this as an opportunity rather than a constraint and immediately considered an architectural response that was appropriate for these conditions. Originally, we explored possibilities of creating large retaining walls and cutting back the soil in order to place the house, a technique typically employed for nearby buildings. Ultimately, we decided to do the exact opposite and therefore allow the slope, the earth, the vegetation, water, and animals to flow underneath the house.

CONTEXT

The Gooden-Nahome family wanted to create a home on the Pacific Coast of Costa Rica and they found an incredible site overlooking the ocean.

PERFORMANCE

We essentially lifted the house up into the air on a series of piloti which gives the impression that it is floating above the hillside. By doing this we saved the immense cost of creating soil retention walls around the site. This common sense solution allowed us to create a very delicate intervention, one that allows the terrain to breathe whilst providing spectacular views out towards the ocean from the key location on the site.