Located beach front in Playa San Miguel, Nandayure, it is a vacation home defined by a hybrid structure of concrete and wood, which generates an open central space for common use to live, play and work, connected to the sea.

Studio Name:  Luz de Piedra Arquitectos
Design Team:  Pietro Stagno, Luz Letelier
Area: 360 m2
Year: 2019
Location: Playa San Miguel, Nandayure, Costa Rica
Consultants:  electrical engineer Claudio Soto
Photography Credits: Pietro Stagno, Americo Stagno
Other Credits:  general contractor Carlos Solano

Mangue House by Luz de Piedra Arquitectos - Sheet3
©Pietro Stagno, Americo Stagno

The footprint of a small existing house in poor condition was reused, from which its materials were recovered, especially pieces of wood; and the existing palm trees, the spirit of this beach, were preserved.

The use of few architectural elements and spaces, as a concept, is versatile and flexible throughout its life cycle, making it resilient for multiple future adaptations. Independence was generated in the use of intimate rooms: each bedroom has its own security door that leads to the semi-outdoor common meeting space; which allows multiple families to share the use of the house, as well as the possibility of a differentiated rental.

Mangue House by Luz de Piedra Arquitectos - Sheet5
©Pietro Stagno, Americo Stagno

The design principle is a fresh, open, double-height tropical central space, built from a structure of parallel wooden trusses, oriented to capture the permanent sea breeze, thus promoting natural cross ventilation.

This central space is connected to the pool, long and narrow, and is delimited by two modules of two floors with two private rooms each, connected by a raised walkway, also a place of contemplation, which provides dynamism to the use and views of the central space, and gives character to the work through its geometry of tectonic wood structure support.

The architectural concept, and the high and generous roofs, passively achieve fresh air inside the enclosures, air conditioning is not required (only fans), thus allowing glass to be eliminated, and promoting a close perception of the larger environment. For the windows, rough wooden shutters were used, as recognition of vernacular construction elements of the area.

Mangue House by Luz de Piedra Arquitectos - Sheet7
©Pietro Stagno, Americo Stagno

The materials are simple, local and heavy to withstand inclement salt and humidity; the main component is organic and renewable: locally sawn teak wood structure extracted in Nandayure, assembled with handmade steel plates, which were galvanized to extend their useful life.

Polished concrete was used for floors and embedded furniture, rust-inhibited steel doors for exterior doors, and the roof deck has a triple surface to mitigate solar incidence: strip wood ceiling, galvanized iron sheet and recycled old clay tile.


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