Residencia Tomas De Gracia, 1982
The Site: is a unique pristine forest located within the Dorado Beach Hotel Complex.
The trees are old; ausubos, algarrobos, húcares, pomarrosas; and the ground is white silica sand lushly covered with native anthuriums. Ecologically this forest is the habitat of a rare spider specie.
Hence the conservation of the forest dictates the design solutions.
The house is formed by four function wings spreading among the trees and joined at the center with the family room and an active and passive terrace, axial to the two main tree groupings. The wings are irregular and fractured as to spare as many trees as possible.
No earth movements were done, the floor levels were stepped to the site with no disturbance to the topography. All foundation excavations were done by hand, as to protect the root system of the trees which because of high ground water level is quite superficial causing the trees to topple easily.
The roofs of the house are sharply sloped to shed the leaves from the forest canopy above. The use of high windows and skylights effectively capture the breeze and provide the natural light needed because of the heavy shading by the trees.
This design solution, in almost reverence to the trees, becomes a most pleasant co-habitat between nature and man.