CIELOMAR is located in Peninsula Papagayo, a private luxury resort sanctuary that jots out into the Pacific Ocean in Costa Rica's north-west province of Guanacaste. With the Pacific Ocean to the west and a pond and world-class Arnold Palmer golf course to the east of the villa, the site design of the property focuses the views toward the ocean. The property faces the ocean from the vantage point of a promontory and cliff three hundred feet above sea level. This condition created opportunities for dramatic architecture, as well as presenting a serious structural challenge.
The Six Bedroom villa is designed as a "bow and arrow", cut into the promontory overlooking Prieta Beach and the Pacific ocean. The house steps down the cliff toward the ocean, presenting a modest one-story semi-circle form to the street and golf course, yet accommodating three floor levels edge of the terrace, creating the dramatic illusion of swimming on the ocean side. Organizing the levels downward and outward into the face of the cliff also presented the opportunity to cantilever the infinity-edge pool out over the three hundred feet above the ocean. A similar effect is created with a bridge or viewing platform that visually connects the upper level with the water, flying sixteen feet above the pool beyond the edge of the terrace. Standing at the end of the bridge gives one the impression of soaring above the jungle and the ocean. The bridge points to where the sun dips below the ocean horizon each evening, making the end of the bridge the best location for cocktail hour. The bridge also provides shade for part of the deck and the large outdoor dining table.
Placing the ninety-foot long pool cantilevered at the edge of the terrace satisfies the need for a barrier, so that the ocean view is unencumbered by a guardrail. The Olympic-size pool is lined with charcoal-black volcanic lava stone, imparting a deep blue color to the water. At times it is difficult to distinguish the edge of the pool from the blue Pacific Ocean beyond.
The "bow and arrow" design of the house -- with the bow as the house and the arrow as the entry ramp and bridge -- affords complete privacy to the large sunken courtyard terrace with pool and all rooms. Air-conditioned interior spaces open to the ocean views, as well as a large exterior covered loggia that functions as an outdoor living room, to enjoy Costa Rica’s famous warm and mild weather while being protected from the equatorial sun.
The villa provides views for all primary spaces: a salon large enough for a dining table and a bar; three family bedrooms; three guest bedrooms; two private studies; and the kitchen. This was achieved by curving the house in a semi-circle around a radial point in front of the bridge, so that each room has a slightly shifted view of the ocean to the west and headlands visible to the north and south. Media room/home theater; the gym; laundry room; and a two-bedroom caretaker apartment with separate entrance and mechanical systems, located beneath the two garages.
The master bedroom suite is entered from the main terrace, the loggia, or through one of the master studies via a private reading room. A unique feature of the master suite is a completely private, sunken Zen garden with an outdoor shower, which opens off the master bathroom. This creates an exotic retreat in which to bathe and relax.