The Best Thing About This Beach House? The Lack of House.

Walls: When you're living in paradise, who needs 'em?

October 4, 2016 9:00 am

Lot of talk about walls these days — mostly from a certain presidential candidate who believes very strongly we should be building more of them.

But in the world of coastal architecture, there is an equally strong resistance movement dedicated to tearing walls down entirely. First we were incredulous; then we were smitten.

Now, we’ve found the deal-sealer: El Salvador’s Casa Azul, a breezy, sun-drenched, 4,000-square-foot paradise that is light on walls but heavy on pretty much every other amenity one might covet in a beach house. It was recently built for a family of four by design firm Cincopatasalgato.

The family, who commissioned the holiday home after a long bout of world travel, wanted something that would be friendly, warm and encourage their young children (four and six) to explore with few constraints.

While the design appears outwardly simple (How can you really go wrong planning a tropical beach house?), the beauty is in the details. A sculptural wooden staircase leads up the second floor, and rustic timber beams prop a thatched roof in beautiful juxtaposition to the polished and rough materials found throughout the residence.

And then there’s the obvious fact that cutting down on walls keeps the space open, welcoming and dreamy. The open floor plan encourages the kids to come and go, turning the whole lot into a playground that flows from indoors to out and back again.

There’s peace to be found for the adults as well. Small interior gardens scattered around an inner courtyard make the space feel seamlessly connected with the outdoors, while a massive outdoor kitchen and dining area are perfect for hosting.

The splashes of color in the stained wooden wall and yellow ventilation hood in the kitchen breathe life into the heavy use of concrete throughout; without them, and without the odd toy strewn around, this would be less “family holiday home” and more “sexy Bond getaway.”

But we’re not complaining. We want a house that can do both. 

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