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Collection by DEN Architecture

Culebra Beach House

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Seduced by the rustic natural allure of the place, the purchase of a prime waterfront acre in one of the original Spanish Virgin Islands was seen as a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity. During the design stages, the sight of neighboring uninhabited island across the bay, was of utmost importance, since the entire house evolves around capturing the view. The large dark boulders found on site became an autochthonous building material and provided many opportunities to integrate the house with its surroundings. The dark stones are scattered throughout the main exterior staircase that connects the two independent structures that form the house. At the end of the winding platforms, and parallel to the lot’s steep slope, the infinity pool blends seamlessly with an unimpeded view of the Caribbean Sea. The beach house’s 2,500 SF are distributed in two double-height buildings with four bedrooms, four and a half bathrooms, and ample supporting public spaces. Large wooden overhangs extend across the western façade to protect from solar heat gain, while restrooms, closets, and mechanical areas line the eastern face of the structure facing the mountain. Carpentry was built with local woods or “madera del país”, bathrooms were tiled with different varieties of stone, and decorative surfaces were clad with shell materials such as mother of pearl. The landscaping, consisting of either native or drought-tolerant species, integrates plants, boulders, and rocky paths collected from nearby beaches. A number of found objects such as driftwood and odd-shaped rocks compliment the rustic ambiance.

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