BUILDING TYPE AND ARCHITECTURAL CHARACTER can summed up in two words: Townhouse and Loft. With a floorplan measuring 20’ x 52’, solid party walls dividing homes, the footprint of the buildings are classic Townhomes. In counterpoint to this traditional building type, the architectural style, or language, is distinctly direct and modern – inspired the more recent tradition of Lofts converted from Industrial Buildings. Architectural form and character result from construction, with attention to detail. Each primary element of the building – floor, walls, ceiling, roof, built-ins – is constructed of a distinct material in its more raw state. The result is a kind of conversation, or choreography, between materials and scales – contrasting warm and cool, hard and soft, dense and light, machined and rustic, large to small. Direct construction with cleaner lines also creates spaces that both feel and are bigger – providing more square feet than the norm in the marketplace
ARCHITECTURE CONNECTS YOU TO THE LANDSCAPE by framing views, washing the interiors with natural light, the flow of space from inside to outside, and generating natural cooling and ventilation.
Transparent, lightly-built end-walls frame landscapes both near and far, while the quiet restraint and direct lines of the Architecture, act as a foil to highlight the active and changing views of land, sea, and sky. Add in light-monitors, skylights, and side windows, and the interiors are awash in tropical light.
Landscape is not just experienced from the inside looking out. Interior spaces flow into exterior rooms – blurring the distinction between interior and exterior – almost doubling both Living Room and Master Bedroom. And if you’d rather gaze at sun or stars, take the spiral up to the 900 sf Roof Terrace.
Sustainable Construction means there is little need for AC. Screened Transom Windows and doors at end-walls, insulating construction, solar shading at porches and windows, and ceiling fans, create cooling and air movement, minimizing energy use. With the windows and doors open – you always feel the tropical breezes, and hear the ocean.
THE CONTRAST OF MATERIALS, CUSTOM BUILT-INS, AND DETAILS create Architectural character at the Townhomes. Precedents and inspirations for the uses, and combinations, of materials were found in San Juan del Sur, Southwest Nicaragua and the Tropics, and broader architectural and urban histories.
Local garden walls and gardens inspired the base of the building, composed of quarried Piedra Cantera stone, and raw poured in place concretes columns and beams. This rustic use of stone and concrete, contrast the more outwardly elegant, and finished, masonry constructions they support.
San Juan’s traditional Fisherman’s Houses provided precedent in the directness of construction, frame construction and wood siding at end-walls, and tall, ventilated spaces. Transom windows and solar shading are found throughout the Tropics – and were common building practice prior to the advent of AC.
In every room, custom wood elements, and/or cane (cana) ceilings, provide a warm and soft contrast to the coolness, weight, and scale of masonry construction.
At balcony rails, exterior stairs, and End Walls, custom steelwork creates another kind of contrast to masonry and wood – providing lightness, movement, and transparency.
Built-in benches and counters are poured in place concrete slabs. As monolithic forms, they create a sense of permanence, and interplay, with the concrete floor slabs.
ARCHITECTS who provided inspiration include: Rafael Moneo (Spain), Le Corbusier (France), Frank Lloyd Wright (US), Luis Sullivan (US), Herzog and DeMueron (Switzerland), Sigurd Lewrentz (Sweden), and Alvar Aalto (Finland).