Located in the hot climate of the Osa Peninsula in Costa Rica, House Mecano was designed by Roblesarq to optimize passive cooling strategies through bio-climatic design. The home features automated window systems and a manual pulley system that can alter the angle of some of the projecting eaves. The architect’s also cantilevered the complete roofline to create shade for the walls of glazings they protect while the pool out back to cool the air that passes over it.
House Mecano is perched on the top of a hill with no tall vegetation on three sides of it to provide shade, hence both structural shade and creative ventilation was paramount to the comfort of the homeowners.
The pulley-operated eave over the entry is both functional and beautiful and it creates a dramatic statement roadside. It is a definite plus to the curb appeal of the facade thanks to the ingenuity of the architects designing it to be a focal point perched on wood posts that are up and down lighted for further enhancement in the late evenings.
The two wood posts meet up and support a wood beam that acts as a pivoting point for the operable eave above and large angle brackets connect the posts and eave just above the light sconces.
The posts are set on concrete pilings surrounded by rockscaping with 3 large concrete pavers crossing the rocks for easy access to the front deck and door. The door is solid – but not for privacy as large expanses of glazings on either side illuminate the both the library and dining areas within.
Both the dining and library zones are on a raised floor with a curvaceous edge highlighted by a strip of LED lighting within its riser. This lit strip is both decorative and functional as it reminds those passing by of the change in floor level.
Just down the step from the dining room a hallway leads to an office a bathroom and a guest bedroom while next to the hall is the kitchen. The dining wall continues across the hallway and kitchen in the form of an exposed header that has been fitted with pot lights over the kitchen bar.
The kitchen is also well lit and well ventilated by the series of clerestory windows that wrap it on three sides thanks to the extra height of the ceiling.
Just behind the kitchen is the living room and while the rest of the social zone has a neutral palette of white and grey, the pillows on the couch and a low console on the far wall punch up the colour volume with shades of rose.
The living room faces the view through a wall of glazings that can be slid and stacked completely out of the way. What’s interesting about the view from the living room terrace is the completely exposed tub within the ensuite right beside it.
The ensuite features the same rose lacquered cabinetry as in the living room, which is just as well since from the terrace both can be viewed at the same time. The rose lacquer is a beautiful contrast to the charcoal grey of the stone tiles on the wall and tub surround, it’s a stunning and peaceful vignette next to the backdrop of the amazing views.
A wall separates the ensuite from the Master Bedroom but it neither goes to the ceiling, nor to the wall, it is merely a visual separation to the bed. The bed is positioned against the closet wall and overlooks the terrace, pool and those awesome panoramic views.
The pool is level with the terrace, which wraps it on three sides becoming the roof of a small utility room down below. Both the utility room and the grassy backyard are accessed by flights of concrete steps on either side of the pool. Notice the infinity edge of the pool with water cascading down the sides and into a concrete trough that then re circulates it back into the pool.
The centre of the pool lines up with the centre of the social zone and here, as in the front entrance; operable eaves can be raised or lowered for more or less shade – or to stop the occasional rain from entering the home when the glazings are open.
A second bedroom is located on the other corner of the home, but this one overlooks the side yard rather then the pool.
This bedroom has its own small private deck out front with planters on both sides and a small pathway of concrete pavers that leads to the front of the home where an office is located.
This bedroom is the most colourful room in the house with its tangerine, rose and turquoise pixelated bedspread. Here, like the other rooms walls of glazings open wide, clerestory windows open to release the heat and a ceiling fan keeps the air circulating to speed up heat removal.
Next to the second bedroom is one of the few exterior walls clad in wood rather then glass. This wall offers privacy to the bathroom within.
This bathroom is located between the guest bedroom and the home office and features an Americana artwork as well as a wall of striated ebony tiles that glow against the side lights on the mirror.
House Mecano is designed to take advantage of the panoramic views from both the social and private zones and while the social zone appears to be centrally located, it is actually off centre to the axis leaving more room for the Master Suite.
Did I mention the view?