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Design in Nicaragua

There is never a dull moment working at GW Architecture Inc! The GW team likes to keep work-life interesting by periodically taking on international projects, such as in Nicaragua. With a personal home 30 minutes south of San Juan del Sur, Nicaragua, one of the principals of our team enjoys the opportunity to take on projects in Nicaragua each year. The designs are unique, the climate is tropical, and the views are to die for; these projects are a favourite! As with all things worthwhile, these jobs present a few challenges along the way…

Here, There + Everywhere

Most of our clients are not residents of Nicaragua. We have worked with clients situated in Calgary, India, China and Edmonton; our team knows no boundaries when it comes to location! Fortunately, technology helps make the design and construction process of these projects possible from different countries and continents. Nevertheless, we rarely need an excuse to make a special trip to site!

What is an R-Value?!

Based in Winnipeg, Manitoba our team designs projects in some of the harshest climates on Earth. (Fun Fact: We are frequently colder than Mars! True story.) The building systems necessary for these areas of Canada are very specific to keep that frost bite out. Each wall and roof system require specific insulation requirements (R-Values) and barriers to keep the people inside warm and the building envelope protected from frost, thaw and moisture. Designing homes for a Nicaraguan climate shakes up our traditional building practices. At GW Architecture Inc. we love to learn and grow in our practice! We have learned neat tricks to keep interiors cool with brick and double wall systems. Whether it is +30 C or -30 C, considerations for the natural elements always influence our designs. In Nicaragua we have implemented strategic practices to capture the cooling effects of the wind, utilize solar energy, and create outdoor living and dining spaces. We feel we have fully embraced tropical design.

Toto, I’ve a feeling we’re not in Kansas anymore…

Prairie folk do not typically build homes on the side of hills, with reason… We have none! Nicaragua’s landscape is volcanic and at times mountainous with steep ravines. The areas along the coast have stunning panoramas from these elevated points, making it the ideal location to have a morning coffee and a Flor de Cana (rum) as the sun sets over the Pacific. It is our goal in each project to help our clients take advantage of these million-dollar views. An important component of our design process is locating the building on the site. Each site is unique, with varying conditions, scenery and landscape. Ensuring structural stability while maximizing the view is a key component.

See for yourself!

Curious what a day in the life of GW Architecture Inc. looks like in Nicaragua? The video below shows the trip to our next job site from our principal’s home in an area known as Playa Yankee to a development known as Playa Coco. The purpose of the trip was to position the home on the property for our client! Each job presents new experiences and adventures; GW Architecture Inc. is always looking for our next tropical project!

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