San Silencio

In awe of the site’s inherent beauty, we opted for a silent architecture that would amplify rather than overpower nature to promote a healthy environment and protect the ecosystem.

When designing the San Silencio lodge in Costa Rica, our objective was to place the buildings as delicately as possible in the coastal jungle of Puerto Caldera. Camouflaged in its setting, this quiet, sculptural architecture seeks to disappear, immersing people in the environment with a heightened experience of coastal sights and sounds.

Sensual and sensitive, buildings here are intentionally reduced to their most essential elements. A hushed luxury permeates the resort to elevate the qualities of Costa Rica’s bountiful natural resources, both physical—lava stone, teak, and bamboo—and ethereal—sky, water, jungle, and mist.

The desire to hide and cloak the project (the way an animal or insect might camouflage itself) led to structures placed around and between existing trees—their forms mirroring the contours of the land, making spaces that synchronize with the rhythms of the environment. We have deliberately blurred boundaries between human-made and nature, interior and exterior, so that the buildings feel like natural extensions of the jungle.

Beauty, power, and humility are drawn from a profound understanding of the seasons, the light and orientation, in an intimate relationship between architecture and its surrounding ocean and jungle habitats.

Sustainability is embedded throughout the lifecycle of San Silencio where intelligent planning provides opportunities for energy and resource conservation, upcycling, waste, and healthy building innovations. And, by sourcing food and operational needs from nearby communities, the project positively supports the local economy.

Port of Caldera, Costa Rica
155,000 SF
Masterplanning, Architecture
Project Team
Chad Oppenheim, Carl Römer, Juan López, Carolina Jaimes, Jessica Santaniello, Robert Moehring, Santhosh Shanmugam, Helen Zhao, Rodrigo Londoño, Sebastian Velez, Jacobus Bruyning, Melina Corzo, Jose Ortez
Image Credit

San Silencio