Tropical vegetation surrounds VOID's Guarumo concrete getaway in Costa Rica - architecture and design

Tropical vegetation surrounds VOID's Guarumo concrete getaway in Costa Rica



An offset stack of concrete volumes forms this small apartment building on Costa Rica's lush Pacific coast, by local architecture firm VOID.
The Guarumo building overlooks the ocean from a hillside plot in Santa Teresa, a popular surfing destination near the tip of the Nicoya Peninsula.
The Guarumo building is staggered down a steep slope
It houses five apartments that can be rented out separately, or as an entire villa for up to 14 guests.
Challenged by the steep topography, VOID chose to arrange the building as a stack of four cuboid volumes that are slightly offset from one another. All face west to enjoy water and sunset views.
Cuboid concrete volumes are offset from one another
This layout allowed for minimal movement of soil or construction of retaining walls, and for upper floors to gain a better vantage over the dense tropical foliage. Board-formed concrete was selected as the primary structural material. It wraps the accommodation blocks on five sides, leaving the sixth open for glazing.
Board-formed concrete walls are contrasted with weathering steel panels
The top two cuboids are almost identical in plan, each housing a two-bedroom apartment.
Sleeping quarters and en-suite bathrooms are positioned at both ends, flanking a small kitchen and lounge at the centre.
A communal living area is open to the landscape on all sides
All the rooms have floor-to-ceiling glass that opens onto balconies running the length of each volume.
The uppermost apartment also has access t...
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