Casa en la Colina
Playa Yankee, Nicaragua
Designing his own live-work-retirement home in Nicaragua, for architect Brian Wall, experiencing nature was at the top of his mind.
The husband-and-wife team at gw architecture, Brian and Alison, purchased the land for this home in Nicaragua with the goal to eventually retire there for 6 months of the year. They quickly realized that the experiences Nicaragua had to offer could not wait until retirement. So, the design of this home changed many times to accommodate the need to live and work in the remote jungles of southern Nicaragua. As business owners there is a pressing need to stay on top of projects, regardless of location. Their home employs opportunities to experience nature, gardens, family, and friends with nodes to quickly set up a workstation to work, while still enjoying the activity around them. If concentration or privacy is required, the home incorporated a guest house that doubles as a private office. Every space has a panoramic view of the Pacific Ocean and rain forest jungles that envelope the home.
The house was constructed entirely with a local labour force and locally sourced products, including wood fired clay brick, quarry cut stone blocks, and wood for roof trusses, doors, and windows. The brick arches are a feature of the home adding to the desired aesthetic. They are also a structure for the 20ft high courtyard walls. The central courtyard is the focal point of the house and offers a protected connection to all spaces within the home while still being an outdoor living space.
The couple now enjoys a work-life balance, splitting their time between living and working in Canada and their new home in Nicaragua.