At the same time, 11 Calle Virginia will also be located at the end of the stair street that will provide access through Paseo Árbol to Calle Cartagena, so once you have finished climbing up, you find the wide street and 11 Calle Virginia. This important position within town’s landscape was a key consideration in the architectural design.
The lot itself is oriented towards the north-west, which allows for panoramic views of the ocean, the horizon, and sunsets all year round. Doubly notable is the home’s alignment with the sun: during the equinoxes, the sun sets directly to the west between the Catalinas Islands.
With these topographical and urban features to engage with, Town Architect Juan Carlos Avelar designed a terraced home.
The rendering of 11 Calle Virginia
The urban setting and the awe of sunsets strongly impacted the design considerations of 11 Calle Virginia. This led to the prominence of multiple terraces in the home providing places to sit, lay back and watch the many-colored Guanacaste sunsets.
Most visible from the facade is the 2-story terrace fronting the street, facing towards the ocean. This terrace serves as a uniting feature for much of the home, and most of the home’s living spaces and bedrooms front onto this 2-story terrace.
The main floor has an arcade, with outdoor dining and 5 arches that front the street. The guest bedroom, kitchen, and living areas front onto this terrace as well as the side patios, providing light and cross ventilation in every room. Stairs, service areas, and laundry were moved to the back, to emphasize sociability close to nature and the view.
The second floor has the same terrace fronting the street, but instead of arches, it has an overhanging wooden balcony that is lighter in its design. This terrace is meant to be as open as possible, and has fewer visual elements blocking the views. Also on this floor are two bedrooms and the family room, which have access to the terrace, as well as the stairs and bunk room further back.
The central feature of the design of 11 Calle Virginia is the large balcony on the second floor, which provides a social, relaxing space to enjoy any time of day, especially to watch the sunset.
For its execution, Avelar drew from precedents in Antigua, Guatemala, the Canary Islands, Cartagena, Colombia, and Lima, Peru. Each of these locations have architectural styles that feature arcades with wooden balconies on top, which provided a baseline like proportions and the use of masonry and wood to help shape the timeless architecture of the home.
Like the recently completed 1 Calle La Ronda, 11 Calle Virginia presented the challenge of an irregular lot, which Avelar was able to parlay into a home that integrates with the street, provides clear access to the outdoors, and one of the town’s many premier ocean views.
From the street in front of the house there is a staircase to the left, that leads up to the terrace on the main floor. The arcade is a welcoming presence, and also features the door to enter the living room. Once in the terrace, there is a pool patio to the left and the rest of the arcade to the right, with a small garden at the end of the arcade. The guest bedroom is just before the garden and is designed with a natural privacy thanks to its position at the end of the arcade, despite being on the most public space of the house.
Once in the living room, there is a very open and ample space, with the kitchen on the right and stairs that go both down to the media room and up to the second floor. The stairs are semicircular, which makes them more comfortable to walk up as the circular shape is more natural when it comes to flow of movement.
The large family room is the welcome to the upper floor, with bedrooms on all sides and access to the terrace. The terrace is accessed by the rooms and the family room, and forms a natural gathering place surrounded by beauty.
As a whole, 11 Calle Virginia presents a striking terraced facade that serves as both widening of the street and terminus for the pathway from Calle Cartagena. The whole house was intended to be very open and connected, and provides common access to the outdoors on all floors.
To find more homes on Calle Virginia, or browse similar options throughout town, click the link below.
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