- by Oppenheim
San Silencio merges silently with its wondrous setting, dramatically exploiting and enhancing the natural beauty of Central America to establish luxury hotel accommodations and private residences that are uniquely beautiful and luxurious. Reinterpreting the status quo of the tropical hospitality experience, San Silencio sets forth a new benchmark for design, quality and sustainability in the natural environment. Earnest and timeless, the architecture of San Silencio is simultaneously powerful, yet comfortable; primitive, yet innovative; casual, yet elegant; raw, yet refined. The resulting experience is sensual and sensitive, intentionally reduced to what is essential romantically establishing opulence through bold, elemental forms, sincere materiality/detailing, and the florid use of Costa Rica’s bountiful natural resources both physical (lava stone, teak, bamboo) and ethereal (sky, water, jungle, mist).
The architecture undulates harmoniously with the contours of the slopes and cliffs with nominal impact and primal elegance synchronizing with the topography and the rhythms of the environment.
Seamless and integral, the boundaries between man-made and nature, interior and exterior are deliberately blurred establishing maximum impact with minimum effort. Dramatically situated; yet, the residences, the essence of jungle eco-luxury are nestled into the landscape amidst endless pools and verdant flora– where architecture heightens rather than distorts ones awareness of the context. Beauty, power and humility are accomplished from a profound understanding of flow, light and orientation with the topography-strengthening relationships to surrounding blue (water) and green (land) scapes.
Simplicity and functionality are inherent to the entire design– so that nothing distracts the eye from the ocean and jungle. Villas, cottages, condominium residences, and hotel accommodations with their soaring horizontal lines and cantilevered terraces/ pools are all about space, not status-about connection, not dislocation with the aweinspiring planet we inhabit. Green roofs, deployed on all structures, provide perfect ideal thermal insulation, rain-water retention, and habitats for flora, fauna as well as human inhabitants.
The design logic is generated from a reverence for the land and awesome presence of the site. Sustainability is imbued throughout the life cycle of San Silencio-where intelligent planning provides innovative opportunities for energy and resource conservation, up-cycling (as opposed to re-cycling), waste, and healthy building initiatives– where ecology and sustainability set forth even greater guilt-free luxury, not self denial. The project will synergize with the environment– harvesting the power of earth, wind, and sun in a discrete; yet highly efficient manner. Passive means of cross ventilation, large overhangs, and proper sitting allow the project to minimize energy consumption and maximize comfort healthy living.
Great care has been given to utilizing local materials as well as various water conservation measures for both human and site irrigation (beyond super efficient fixtures–dual flush toilets, low flow showers, etc.)-establishing a relatively closed system of harvesting rain water in subterranean cisterns and re-harvesting grey/ black water though a living machine of botanical and biological nature. Means of nourishment (food for both human and land) will be obtained locally and supplemented by on-site gardens and systems. All systems and services will be completely integral to the design (inclusive of hydrogen powered vehicle paths and storage).
architect: Oppenheim | team: Chad Oppenheim, Carl Römer, Juan López, Carolina Jaimes, Jessica Santaniello, Robert Moehring, Santhosh Shanmugam, Helen Zhao, Rodrigo Londoño, Sebastian Velez, Jacobus Bruyning, Melina Corzo, Jose Ortez | client: Private | status: Project (2007) | location: Caldera, Costa Rica | climate: Hot, Tropical | material: undefined | environment: Seaside | visualizer: Studio | scale: 14.400 m2 large | types: hotel, residential | views: 2.421