Everyone Loves an Oculus
In the remote mountains of Palmichal de Acosta, Costa Rica, local architect María de la Paz Alice, founder of Mazpazz Arquitectura, designed a 100 percent autonomous and self-sustaining home that frames its lush surroundings with a series of geometric openings. The home’s entrance, which the architect refers to as “the vortex,” takes the form of a poured-concrete cube with two prominent circular cutouts. Crystals encrusted in the floor capture and reflect light that passes from the sun and moon through the overhead oculus.
Initially, the idea was to seed the planter below the oculus with native grasses and shrubs, adding to the dwelling’s connection to the landscape. “Instead, the owners came up with a brilliant idea of placing a stone cairn there that will grow over time by inviting visitors to add a stone with each visit,” explains architect Hunter Gundersen. “Again, the owner wanted this special place to be all about time and connection.”
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