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Atelier Villa in Playa Hermosa, Costa Rica by Formafatal

Czech architecture studio Formafatal led by Dagmar Štěpánová has recently completed ''Atelier Villa'' that is part of the Art Villas retreat resort in Playa Hermosa, Costa Rica. 

Architect's statement: Hidden in the lush jungle of Costa Rica is a small Art Villas resort, a space that transcends ordinary, inspired by the laws of the rainforest.

Nestled extravagantly in steep jungle canopy, Atelier Villa erases the boundaries between interior and exterior and highlights the constructional simplicity and pure lines (pura vida > pura arquitectura). 

resort villa in a jungle in Costa Rica image © BoysPlayNice

Art Villas Costa Rica

Not far from Costa Rican town Uvita - there is a hidden small resort Art Villas on the jungle hill above the beach Playa Hermosa. 3 unique villas and one multifunctional pavilion are scattered over a plot of 2 ha. When the investor approached the architects, he wished to create a place where the visitors merge with the surrounding nature, clearing their mind, experiencing luxury and adventure at the same time. He wanted to create a place that digs deep into everyone's heart when they taste it. The architects from the Formafatal studio followed the client's assignment and were also inspired by the atmosphere and colorfulness of Central and South America.

Atelier Villa in Playa Hermosa, Costa Rica by Formafatalimage © BoysPlayNice

villa in a tropical rainforest surrounded by trees image © BoysPlayNice

Atelier Villa

Atelier Villa was designed as a private residence for the investor and his family. Nestled against a steep slope, the 26-metre-long prismatic object partially levitates over lush tropical vegetation. Looking outside, there is only the distant ocean or green hills as far as the eye can see; the back wall facing the driveway and the neighboring villas is intentionally windowless, to maintain privacy.

The first and foremost priority is not only the idea of “erasing boundaries between interior and exterior” but also highlighting constructional simplicity and pure lines (pura vida >> pura arquitectura). The constructional system consists of a steel frame with a span of 4x4m.

Ground Floor PlanGround Floor Plan

Discreet wall colors in combination with the green roof allow the villa to really blend in with its surroundings. The ocean and jungle-oriented façades are fitted with large-size aluminum perforated sections which a) do not heat up in the sun and b) are rust-resistant. If pulled up, they double as canopies. The scale and pattern of perforation is different on each of the sections, thus creating an exciting play of light and shadow inside. The panels’ special coating is in the color of COR-TEN. The full back wall is in charred timber cladding treated with Shou Sugi Ban, an old Japanese technique of weather- and age-proofing the wood.

villa with roof garden image © BoysPlayNice

Disposition-wise, the villa possesses the same minimalistic spirit as its shape suggests. The utility and storage rooms, bathrooms and the kitchen are placed along the back wall. The layout of the rest of the house is very open; the boundaries between the inside and the outside world are gone and the whole space seems like a roofed terrace. Lightweight sliding partition walls may serve as a tool to create private zones and shake the space up as needed. The patio reveals an infinity pool, partly roofed and therefore protected from the scorching sun.

villa with swimming pool image © BoysPlayNice

Atelier Villa in Playa Hermosa, Costa Rica by Formafatalimage © BoysPlayNice

The whole interior is in warm, earthy tones of natural materials. All of the furnishings, apart from the lounge and dining chairs, are tailor-designed for this villa and custom-made. Commissioned in the area, the major part of the furniture was made with the help of local craftsmen. Some components were custom-made in the Czech Republic and transported to the site.

As for the Czech manufacturers, we decided to opt for the renowned Czech glass-making company Bomma and their Shibari lights that go hand in hand with the overall tropical feel of the interiors.

pendant lamp hanged over the dining table image © BoysPlayNice

wooden dining table with metallic chairs image © BoysPlayNice

Owner’s note

The Villas

In the lush jungle of Costa Rica is a space that transcends ordinary. Where day and night merge in a heavenly expanse of verdant flora, pristine beaches, and exquisite style. Here you’ll discover three distinct villas each with their own bold and unique architecture and style.

Art Villas is inspired by the laws of the jungle. Our villas strike a rare balance between encounter with nature and protected luxury accommodation. Here creativity springs to life as you mingle with the jungle’s breath, relax in comfortable, charming spaces, and surrender to your purest self.

Behold the vast, monolithic structure. Cool, concrete walls stand naked and confident inside the heart of the jungle. Expansive glass walls, jungle wood, and brave dimensions ignite, absorb, and reflect the raw elements of nature. Hand-painted walls capture the dynamic nature of water and mirror the surrounding tropical forest.

Glide across floors artfully designed with handmade Nicaraguan tiles. Softness, truth, and intention unite beneath your feet, evoking a sensation of antiquated times. Ornamental designs reminiscent of the past unite with the simplicity of modern design.

CoCo houses are inspired by seed cones, where nature contains its precious promise to the future.

Atelier Villa in Playa Hermosa, Costa Rica by Formafatalimage © BoysPlayNice

house design image © BoysPlayNice

bedroom with screened wallimage © BoysPlayNice

chair and screened wall image © BoysPlayNice

bedroom with glass and screened wall image © BoysPlayNice

colored tiles for flooring image © BoysPlayNice

cat walking by the wooden wall image © BoysPlayNice

green and fresh bananas on table image © BoysPlayNice

house with pool and nature view image © BoysPlayNice

living room with opened windows image © BoysPlayNice

cat is on the bed image © BoysPlayNice

stone washing basin in bathroom image © BoysPlayNice

bathtub near windows image © BoysPlayNice

bedroom with glass walls image © BoysPlayNice

screened walls let the sunlight enters the house image © BoysPlayNice

wooden dining table with chairs

image © BoysPlayNicebedroom at night with illumination can be seen through glass walls image © BoysPlayNice

wooden dining table and metallic chairs in kitchen image © BoysPlayNice

dining table with chairs image © BoysPlayNice

a house in the middle of jungle image © BoysPlayNice

swimming pool design image © BoysPlayNice

villa with screened walls in jungle image © BoysPlayNice

a house with vegetation on roof in the middle of tropical rain forest image © BoysPlayNice

metallic house surrounded with green plants image © BoysPlayNice

house with illumination at night image © BoysPlayNice

Atelier Villa in Playa Hermosa, Costa Rica by Formafatalimage © BoysPlayNice

jungle with trees and sea view image © BoysPlayNice

image © BoysPlayNice

Atelier Villa in Playa Hermosa, Costa Rica by Formafatalimage © BoysPlayNice

wood texture image © BoysPlayNice

yellow orchid flower image © BoysPlayNice

wooden wall texture image © BoysPlayNice

modern villa image © BoysPlayNice

Atelier Villa in Playa Hermosa, Costa Rica by Formafatalimage © BoysPlayNice

garden with flowers image © BoysPlayNice

house with plants on the roof image © BoysPlayNice


Project name: Atelier Villa

Architecture firm: Formafatal

Author: Dagmar Štěpánová

Co-author: Martina Homolková

Location: Bahia Ballena, Playa HermosaCosta Rica

Project year: 2017 - 2018

Completion year: 2019

Built-up area: 326 m²

Usable floor area: 298 m²

Site size: 25 000 m²

Landscape architect: atelier Flera 

Realization of screed surfaces: Different Design

Jungle watercolor painting: Můj Originál 

Photography: BoysPlayNice | Jakub Skokan and Martin Tůma

Client: Filip Žák



teak | custom made furniture designed by Formafatal

brasilian nut-tree/IPE | custom made furniture designed by Formafatal, terraces, suspended ceilings

Burnt teak planks | facade

steel | custom made furniture designed by Formafatal

aluminium | facade

concrete | floors, ceiling

cement screed | walls, custom made furniture designed by Formafatal

cement tiles - Granada Tiles Nicaragua

linnen | curtains, upholstered furniture designed by Formafatal



Paulistano chair | Objekto

Butterfly/BKF chair | Manufaktur+

Nesting coffee table set, Round tray coffee table set | Notre Monde

Soft sofa The Menfis | Marilou

Urbano and Hexagonal chairs | SDLZ



Shibari | Bomma

Hubble | Baxter

Line Voltage Track | Wac Lighting

By Naser Nader Ibrahim

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