Villa Akoya | Puntarenas, Costa Rica


Large terraces capture the wind and waves on the Pacific coast of Costa Rica. Set amongst idyllic white sand beaches and coconut groves, this low-key beach home was conceived to give its inhabitants not only a visual but also a literal connection to the sand and water where it belongs.


Horizontal roof planes create large indoor-outdoor spaces that integrate seamlessly and diffuse the perception of the home with its surrounding natural environment. Lightness and materiality are used to create a feeling of openness and airiness that permeates through the inhabitants.


The house was raised off from the ground by 3 steps allowing the inhabitants to have a more direct view of the waves and the beach break. This subtle move also helped to create a feeling of levitation above the landscape and protection. The house was then split up in 4 horizontal roof planes which, 3 for each bedroom and 1 for the main living area. This architectural strategy allows for every space to feel as the roof belongs to that specific location whilst dematerializing the edges of the home and creating the opportunity of cross ventilation between spaces. Controlled natural light then is allowed to permeate from 3 sides of every space making them feel more integrated to the surrounding landscape.


Traditional cinder block construction was used for the main structural walls of the house for its easy maintenance and durability. Light weight wooden roofs float above these walls and create large overhang extensions that protect the building from the elements whilst creating outdoor decks.


At Studio Saxe we believe that clever design should precede technology when designing a project. We use common sense bioclimatic strategies for temperature control to create spaces that require less energy consumption and provide an overall feeling of wellness. The “elevated” roofline above the walls of the house create the perfect opportunity for cross ventilation and controlled natural light. Long overhangs cool down the spaces during the day and protect from sun and rain. Active strategies are then introduced such as solar hot water, water collection, energy efficient systems, and others to supplement the passive cooling design of the project.


More about this project

Stunning Costa Rican beach home uses passive features to stay cool.

Large terraces capture the wind and waves on the Pacific coast of Costa Rica.

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Project Data

Puntarenas, Costa Rica
Date of Completion
Private Residence
Aprox. 302 m2

Project Team

Design Director
Benjamin G. Saxe
Structural Engineer
Sotela Alfaro Ltda.
Electromechanical Engineer
Dynamo Studio
Gad Harel
Andres Garcia Lachner


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