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Casa Las Olas

Jaime Rouillon Arquitectura

Nacascolo, Guanacaste, Costa Rica

November 2022


Jaime Rouillon (Architect)


Iván Gutierrez (Junior Architect), Jose Pablo Cordero (Junior Architect), Daniel Cartín (Assistant Architect), Jaime Rouillon (Interior Designer)


Rebeca Schanberg


Christian Horan


The primary design objective of Casa Las Olas is to embody both simplicity and luxury while celebrating the natural surroundings. A key focus is placed on the feeling of serenity, while we circulate along the longitudinal section we compress and expand our senses through subtle design choices that carefully integrate with Peninsula Papagayo's rugged landscape.

The foundations, emerging on the north side, utilize shear walls on a cliff to support a slab forming the central open atrium that acts as a tropical garden and a metaphorical lung. The parallel planes of the pool and the floating roofline detached from the structure reference the horizontality of the ocean within the landscape. The levitating roof encompasses the entire social program by providing structural support and housing private areas on two lateral wings in which all rooms face views to the ocean and gardens.

In essence, Casa Las Olas seeks architectural excellence in its careful craftmanship of materials such as pigmented concrete and teak cladding, giving its mass a singular quality of a homogeneous unity and lightness throughout.


Casa Las Olas graces the Peninsula Papagayo, an exclusive gated community next to the Four Seasons Resort renowned for its natural beauty. Rather than aspiring to opulence, the projects seeks to create a balance between upscale lifestyles and the breathtaking surroundings - harmonizing with the unique Costa Rican landscape.

The site is located in an dramatic coastal tropical landscape. The saddle-shaped neck of land sloping steeply to the water with open views on three sides was both a exceptional opportunity and a challenge to integrate with the topography. The cliff has views on the north side of the gulf and on the south side overlooking the resort. We link to the ocean to the west with the oversized lap pool acting as a mirror. Casa Las Olas’ design derives from the nature of the site with the building blending seamlessly with its environment.

The design minimizes the impact of the house on the site by hovering over land and opening to the sky. Casa Las Olas becomes an asset to the larger community by embodying sustainability and integration with nature. The house, constructed in concrete, employs thoughtful design elements such as the oculus, tropical garden, and four tapered columns that evoke a temple-like feeling of serenity and a inspiring connection to the landscape.


Constructed with a blend of concrete and teak wood, Casa Las Olas is a testament to the beauty and practicality of sustainable materials. The use of teak goes beyond merely its visual warmth to act as functional response to the local climate through its use in brise soleil, enclosures, and outdoor showers. The central roof, appearing to levitate above the structure, unites the various functions of house while contributing to the overall sense of openness and interconnectedness with the surrounding environment.

The performance of Casa Las Olas extends beyond its material choices to a thoughtful consideration of natural ventilation. Three primary design elements: the oculus, courtyard, and the swimming pool are carefully integrated into the design to facilitate cross-ventilation and evaporation. The mirror water element acts as a conduit, expelling hot air and ensures a consistently comfortable living environment. All service areas are located out of sight in the lower level while the shear walls create a future gym/music room. The ocher pigment chosen for the house, reminiscent of the earth, imparts a sense of warmth and echoes the hues of summer sunsets. This careful color choice enhances the connection between the residence and its natural surroundings, infusing Casa Las Olas with an elegant and sustainable sense of place.

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