Czech studio Formafatal designs a villas resort in the Costa Rican jungle
Three unique villas: Atelier Villa, Art Villa, and Coco Villa, are the latest works by Formafatal studio that form a nature-immersed villa resort in the hillside of the Costa Rican jungle.
Hidden in the hills of Costa Rica, on a remote plot that overlooks Playa Hermosa, sit a three-part series of luxury villas. The series started with Art Villa, a five-bedroom family home commissioned by Filip Zak (the co-founder of Eyelevel).
Why Art Villas? To merge with the Costa Rican jungle in a luxury experience mixing adventure and mind-clearing
Filip and his wife Petra then began to transform the plot, which is surrounded by six acres of jungle, into a resort. The resort now encompasses the original family home, Atelier Villa, and Coco Villa.
The minds behind Atelier Villa, Art Villa, and Coco Villa – Formafatal
Formafatal architecture studio is a team of eight architects, designers, and scenographers, based in the Czech Republic. Initially founded by Dagmar Stepanova, the studio has grown to include almost 10 people in total.
The studio focuses on architecture, interior design, installations, and product design, not only in Czech Republic but across the world. In every project their main focuses are sustainability, preserving historical values, and creating cozy atmospheres.
Their work often includes collaborations with other artists because they love to support creative individuals, which results in a unique and innovative space.
Materials & Techniques – Corten and Shou Sugi Ban
Atelier Villa was designed for privacy and therefore the walls of the villa are mainly formed using perforated aluminum sheets coloured with a Corten finish to achieve a natural aesthetic that blends with the bark of the surrounding trees. The back wall of the villa is cladded in Shou Sugi Ban, a charred timber cladding using traditional Japanese techniques.
Art Villa is a simplistic combination of glass and concrete, which from a distance appears as a rock face hidden within the hillside. The large panes of glass offer an indoor-outdoor environment while reflecting the surrounding landscape, which further blends Art Villa into the jungle.
Coco Villa utilizes as much wood as possible throughout the whole villa to blend the seed-like pods into the natural landscape. Coco is designed like a treetop retreat when the lines between the indoor and outdoor spaces are blurred.
Style & Aesthetics – Immersed within the jungle
Formafatal took inspiration from the surrounding emerald jungle as well as the work of Brazilian architect Paulo Mendez da Rocha. The design of all three villas can be described as a tropical minimalist aesthetic, with Art Villa providing an additional dose of luxury.
Art Villa, the series debut, stands prominently in the hillside as the grand mansion. The two-story villa is 570m², which comprises 5 generous bedrooms all with private bathrooms, a foyer, main living room, kitchen, dining room, poolside terrace, and a playroom, gym, and dance hall located in the basement.
Art Villa is a rectilinear design with floor-to-ceiling glass sandwiched between three large horizontal lines of cast concrete. Protruding from the lower floors is a large swimming pool, constructed from cast concrete for a cohesive design. The floor-to-ceiling glazing elegantly reflects the surrounding emerald tone of the jungle to help blend the villa into its surroundings.
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The second in the series, Atelier Villa, is a 26-meter long prismatic object that seems to partially levitate over some of the jungle. Unlike Art Villa, Atelier Villa is windowless to maintain privacy, instead, the villa is framed in Corten-coloured aluminum sheets pierced with a multitude of holes so the occupants can still see the surrounding landscape.
Coco Villa is a collection of seed-like pods that have been designed to immerse guests in the jungle environment. The pavilion is a multifunctional space that includes a fitness suite for yoga retreats. Coco Villa has mosquito nets for walls, which makes this villa ideal for overnight jungle experiences.
Primarily furnished with bespoke pieces, made by local craftsmen, manly designed by Formafatal
From the Brazilian Nut tree terrace to the ceramic tiles on the kitchen wall and the linen curtains, Formafatal designed an array of bespoke furnishings and finishings for each villa, in order to define entirely a coherent design vision across the different residences while maintaining individual characteristics that differentiate them from one another.
Design memento – Connected yet separate
A beautiful aspect of Atelier Villa, Art Villa, and Coco Villa by Formafatal is that although they are all part of the same resort, they each offer a unique atmosphere and experience within the jungle. From hidden, to luxurious, to exposed in the treetops, each villa offers guests something different.
The writer’s comment – Breaking the divide between indoor and outdoor environments
Formafatal has gone above and beyond to create a series of villas that are all uniquely designed but all hold that same value of connecting guests to the outdoor environment. They have successfully blurred the lines between the indoor and outdoor spaces by using an eclectic mix of materials.
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