The project consisted of a new residence for a family of four, located in a 59,450 SF lot which is part of a bigger estate owned by a family succession. The estate is known to be a ‘green island’ among the neighboring suburban developments; so the client wanted to keep the privacy and ‘quiet ambience’ provided by the vegetation surrounding the new house. Some of the challenges where: an extensive program which required around 10,000 SF; a considerable steep site with slopes exceeding 1:2; a 10 feet wide road with limited access, poor soil conditions, and dense vegetation to be protected. In addition, the owner asked for a design which provided the benefits of a single level home, where all the main uses are adjacent to each other, and to have the garage at the same level. This particular request came as a reaction to previous proposals (by others) where a carport was provided adjacent to the existing road and an open bridge was used to connect that level with a multi leveled residence located below. Given those constraints, and the specific request to avoid the previous scheme, the proposed design was developed using the site contours as guide to locate the structure, generate geometry, and distribute the program. Formally, the scheme consists of a series of superimposed quadrangles rotated along the curved path of the road and contours, pivoting from the top level creating a ‘hook’ like shape which anchors the structure to the site. The design divided the program in three levels which spanned the height differences created by the sloping site, and zoned those levels depending on the use and privacy demands. The upper level, located at the top and adjacent to the access road, contains public areas intended mostly to receive visits, such a cantilevered porte-cochère, formal reception, and home office; serving as ‘street front’ for the house. The intermediate level, located below, is the main area and basically the ‘single level home’ requested by the owner. This level contains all private areas, including bedrooms, kitchen, family room, and living room, among others; it also has direct access to the garage. In the case of the living room, the area was designed as the main space and multi-level link which connects vertically all the program with a stand-alone staircase and big openings which allows client and visitors to enjoy the city views while descending to the lower level. In the case of that level, it is used to locate auxiliary spaces and private entertainment areas, such as game room, gymnasium, wine cellar, and pool. Once outside on the pool deck, the user is guarded by the structure behind and the dense surrounding vegetation, providing the sense of intimacy required by the owner.

Project Details

Location :

Guaynabo, Puerto Rico

Project Type :

Private House