Zurcher Arquitectos
Papagayo Peninsula, Costa Rica
Project Year
Andrés García Lachner


Zurcher Arquitectos as Architects

From the architect. During our walks through the site we found a few archeological pre- Columbian fragments made out of lava rock and clay. We realized that the local humble flora and fauna of the region inspired our ancestors. They were not about jaguars and eagles, for the contrary, they were inspired by the little cocoons, thorns and seeds. From there, we explored similar sources of inspiration to create the arts and crafts. With that in mind, we created the architectural concept for the project.

Through the design process, our concern was the site conditions.
The 28-acre oceanfront parcel, presented an irregular topography with a level difference of 60 meters between the highest and the lowest point. The buildings were configured in a way to optimize land use and construction efficiency and were strategically located to have a low impact on the natural water pathways. Orientation was determined by natural ventilation, daylight and ocean views.

There was a sincere approach on the materials used and a genuine absence of nonlocal ones. With this, we brought a naturalist approach to balance modern design with touches of character that could blend into the natural surroundings such as woven textiles, solid woods and carved local artifacts.

We divided the program in four components: guest rooms, composed by 7 building blocks of two and three stories high. Restaurants scattered along the project in three distinct spot, one of them with direct access to the beach. Main building composed by the lobby, meeting rooms and terraces encountered through a courtyard. Finally an 11, 000 square-foot Sanctuary Spa located at the tip of the site, as a final destiny into the deep natural forest.

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Project Credits
Cristobal Balenciaga Museum
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