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Bartlett Residence

SARCO Architects Costa Rica

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roderick_sarco, SARCO Architects Costa Rica

Project Name

Bartlett Residence


Guanacaste, Papagayo

Project Status


Year Completed



  • Structural Engineer: Heriel S.A.
  • Mechanical Engineer: Circuito S.A.



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Project Description

The Bartlett Residence was designed as a luxury vacation home in the middle of a dry tropical forest area. The property has a long and narrow building envelope area (limited by the development), that works parallel to the slope of the land, which is a fairly constant natural slope of around 30 to 35 degrees, forming into a natural ravine in the middle of the buildable space.

The design had to incorporate a quite significant overall height restriction of 10 meters, due to its location in a National Interest Area. The design theme of the slanted columns is derived from a functional aspect, of needing to drive the support position of these columns under the structure, up the slope. This would reduce the structure’s height to help for earthquake structural design, plus would also reduce the overall height in order to comply with the project height restriction.

Due to the slope and building envelope location, the home was designed elevated off the ground on the slanted columns, and the social areas and master bedroom suite were located on the upper (entry) level, where the jungle view and distant ocean view was best, and the guest bedrooms along with the outdoor covered living area on the lower level. The latter space was designed to integrate with the swimming pool, which features a swim lane under the structure of the house, and therefore providing both covered and uncovered areas inside the pool.

Upper level balconies allow for elevated views out to the jungle, and give the feeling of being right next to some of the tree canopies around. The expansive outdoor living space in the lower level is kept at a comfortable range all year round due to cross-ventilation and capturing of the upcoming ocean breezes.

The slanted column theme combined with either terraces or balconies all along the western façade allowed to have extensive overhangs over all areas of the home, protecting it from the direct solar radiation and allowing a reduction in air conditioning capacity.

The home was designed to allow natural cross-ventilation through the social areas and the master bedroom, to give the owner the option of opening up windows on mild days and therefore reduce the use of air conditioning. The open outdoor living area features larger open areas towards the view and slightly narrower openings at the back, allowing the natural flow of air and creating the conditions to generate a soft constant breeze through the open space.
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