A minimalist dwelling nestled in a lush jungle setting.

Part of the larger Art Villas Resort in Costa Rica, the minimalist and dark Atelier Villa by Czech studio FormaFatal is a dwelling specially designed for the retreat’s owner and his family as a private home. The complex aims to provide the perfect opportunity to relax completely, embrace one’s creativity, and become closer to nature. It features three villas: the concrete Art Villa, the Atelier Villa, and the Coco Villa that consists of five egg-shaped houses. A multifunctional pavilion is also included in the resort’s layout. While studio FormaFatal designed the entire resort and the owner’s house, two different architecture firms completed the other villas.

Nestled in the jungle, in Bahia Ballena, Playa Hermosa, Costa Rica, Atelier Villa overlooks the lush greenery and the Pacific Ocean in the distance. In a similar way to the rest of the resort, the house has a special relationship with the landscape. It both immerses the inhabitants into the verdant setting and it minimizes its impact on the jungle. The residence has a pure, minimalist shape that seems to partially levitate over the tropical vegetation. The volume also boasts carefully chosen materials, including a green roof.

On the side that faces the other villas and the driveway, the studio used the shou sugi ban technique. This black wood wall doesn’t feature any openings to offer complete privacy. By contrast, the areas that face the jungle and the ocean have large-size aluminum sections completed with a warm color reminiscent of Corten steel. Made with perforations, they not only remain cool under the heat of the sun, but they also resist rust. The studio used different patterns for the panels to create a play between light and shadow throughout the day. While open, the aluminum panels double as canopies.

Refined living spaces open to the surrounding greenery.

Inside Atelier Villa, the living spaces maintain the same minimalist aesthetic. The storage areas, utility rooms, bathrooms, and kitchen occupy the spaces alongside the back wall. The rest of the house opens completely to the landscape, effectively transforming into a covered terrace. Sliding partitions also allow the inhabitants to create private areas as needed, or to open the rooms to each other. The patio leads to an infinity pool which features a partial roof covering to protect swimmers from the scorching sun.

The interior combines natural materials in earthy hues with brighter splashes of color and eye-catching designs. The material palette includes rustic wood, concrete, bespoke linen curtains, and Nicaraguan tiles. Custom made for the villa, most of the teak furniture has come to life with the help of local craftspeople. Apart from their own designs, FormaFatal also used lighting and furniture from a range of brands. Some of the lights come from well-known Czech glass-making company Bomma, while the designer furniture comes from Objekto, Marilou, Manufaktur, and Notre Monde. On this project, the architecture firm collaborated with Atelier Flera for the landscaping and garden elements. Photographs© BoysPlayNice.

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