This month’s Off the Beaten Path home is a rarity for sure. Nicknamed “The White House,” this architectural gem perfectly captures the open spirit of Costa Rica. I spoke with one of the owners, Ken, a Los Angeles native who has a passion for exquisite architecture and the sunny shores of Santa Teresa…
Who designed the house?
“Michael Poirier, his work has been featured in magazines and journals internationally, including Architectural Record, GA Houses, The New York Times and The Los Angeles Times.”
Where did you get the inspiration to build such an exotic home?
“I have always loved modern architecture. In L.A., I live in a mid-century modern home I called The Strawberry House, which is also a design-centered home. My partner has always loved my L.A. home as well and so it was obvious that it would be the only way we would build.
Although it is exotic and unique for the area, it was also designed specifically to work for that particular environment in regards to air flow, rain management etc.”
What are some highlights of the property?
It’s steps away from the beach –that’s the biggest highlight. J Other highlights include the overall modern design, the floor to ceiling glass, the infinity pool, the wood ceiling in the master bedroom, the volleyball court, the kitchen that faces the ocean so you can watch the waves as you cook, and the fantastic local art. In general, we are also trying to make it as sustainable as possible. My girlfriend owns a small non-profit called Green Wave, through which we have implemented some environmental policies and she is working with our on-site manager on the development of many more. Also through Green Wave, we are supporting other Costa Rican non-profit groups and schools.
What is your favorite aspect of the home?
I like how the whole house opens to the ocean; it makes me feel I within an arm’s reach away from the waves at all times (and we practically are).
What attracted you to Costa Rica? And why Santa Teresa?
I was attracted to Costa Rica because of the long standing stable government and country with no army as well as the emphasis on education. We fell in love with Santa Teresa for the beaches, the surfing and especially our niche in Playa Hermosa- the overall undeveloped aspect of the area which makes it quiet and private.
What are your favorite things to do in the area?
Surfing! I also love cooking so I like to go to Honey’s organic market on Saturday’s, Product C for fish and the new Natura Mia for healthy food. There are amazing restaurants in the area one of the closest, Tres, has the most amazing coffee and they serve great raw food. I also like visiting the art gallery, ‘Inspiracion’ and as well as the RainSong Animal Sanctuary.
What is the best season to visit?
There are only two seasons in Costa Rica: wet and dry. Dry season is the most popular running from about November to the beginning of May. I actually like going down in the rainy season though. There are less people, its greener and I think the rain storms that only sweep through are fantastic.