For this unique Costa Rican home, San Jose-based architects from MG Design Studio built one volume from zinc and the other from concrete. The zinc half houses the bedrooms, bathrooms and laundry room, while the architects have placed the open-plan kitchen, living room and dining room in the concrete zone.
“The textures of concrete and zinc reinforce the pure lines of the house, while basic materials such as concrete and zinc were sought to accentuate the simplicity of the project,” say MG Design Studio.
The concrete volume is made up of varying heights, with a mezzanine level housing a studio and photography darkroom. Downstairs, the long, black steel kitchen island is situated at one end of the long open space. The two levels of the concrete unit are connected by a staircase, formed by a continuous piece of steel that has been embedded into the wall.
The palette is made up of mostly black, concrete greys and white-painted walls. Light was a particularly important aspect in the design of the house, with the architects adding grid-like white window frames at the end of the concrete unit that cast linear patterns of light across the concrete walls.
“[We] used the route of the sun to create shadows and change the spaces according to the hours of the day and the use of spaces,” say the architects. “Light becomes one of the main elements, behaving like a texture that generates changing atmospheres.”
A glazed passageway joins the concrete volume to the zinc building, with steel beams forming a partially covered terrace area between the two rectangular blocks. Grey-toned stones fill the passageway between the two sections of the house, carrying the minimalistic theme to the outdoor spaces. This area functions as a patio and ‘contemplative space’ for the residents of the home, creatinga sense of silence and tranquility that bounces back inside.