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Casa La Garita

Faced with the decision of purchasing an apartment in a mid-rise building close to work that would have cost twice as much for a third of the area of this house, a young couple decides to live further away and to be related to the smaller towns of La Garita and Atenas.  This brought forth the opportunity to work with the building traditions of these old towns that maintain strong relationships with their rural/natural borders; in this sense the house is considered as an extension of the shade of the trees that flank the creek that in turn delimits the property.  Stones, reeds and a small bridge are “taken” from the ravine and brought to the house.  The use of ornamental clay bricks is recuperated from traditional perimeter walls and houses in order to create a neutral front that can be associated more to the infrastructure of the complex than to the other neighboring houses that tend to compete with each other for showiness.  This wall is used to alleviate the effects of the long eastern orientation (unnegotiable due to the plot´s geometry) in a hot town; the separation between the wall and the house serves as a cushion of air and water fed by the rain the gutters.


The roof is deposited on top of the walls as a single folded plane, which configures the top limits of space in  uncomplicated ways, the gap between the top of the walls and roof is left open similarly to the interstitial space where kids played in vernacular houses, a realm associated to privacy, security and recreation.


On the west side the roof is lifted in order to enjoy the tree tops and reeds are added to the gates to oppose organic matter to the radiation that filters through, but when the gates are opened the house is integrated with

the deck, the patio and the creek.


In summary, we sought a house that could fulfill the expectations of a costa rican middle-class couple which to a large extent suffers from the discrepancy between their desires and their ability to pay, by creating more quality space with less, cheaper matter.

Photography: Roberto D´Ambrosio

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