in the hills of a pacific beach town in costa rica, VIDA masterplanning + design, in collaboration with pauline steenkamer from nosara design, have worked with the clients on the design of this ranch house with a suspension bridge, connecting inhabitants with the surrounding tropical forest. dubbed ‘pacífico ranch’, the concrete building includes a series of unique spatial elements and highlights, such as a weatherproof thatched roof and an impressive infinity-edge pool. 

pacifico ranch 1

all images by roberto d’ambrosio



according to VIDA, ‘successful projects happen where people and the natural environment can happily co-exist’. the importance of the indoor-outdoor relationship in contemporary architecture is not a new concept. however, when the ‘outdoors’ is a vibrant tropical forest with an ocean and sunset view in the distance, the need for a meaningful interior-exterior connection is almost mandatory. in this specific project, the architects aimed to generate spaces that respect and protect the natural surroundings, and at the same time allow people to form lasting memories within them. 

pacifico ranch 2



the timeless ‘rancho’ structure draws on the regional vernacular and uses a weatherproof thatched roof to complement the heavier concrete building mass. softened by overall interior design and the hand-picked furnishings, the deliberate exposure of the patterned thatch roof is a reminder of the regional culture and the beautiful but often complex forms of nature.

pacifico ranch 3



one of the most distinct parts of the project is the 18-meter long suspension bridge which allows residents to transfer safely within the ranch, while also incorporating a sense of adventure. a brief to ‘tread lightly’ resulted in an instinctive design methodology between the consultants: strategies included the cantilevering of the structure and a flexible roof design which resulted in the removal of only two exotic trees – an impressive feat given the forest setting. the bridge provides a light-weight connection over the natural forest and drainage systems below. meanwhile, it also offers a great photo opportunity for the visitors. 

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project info:


name: pacífico ranch
architects: VIDA
interior design: nosara design
management: sphera sustainability consultants
engineering: S3
general contractor: rodrigo altmann
bridge contractor: metalfutura
landscape contractor: greengo gardens 



designboom has received this project from our ‘DIY submissions‘ feature, where we welcome our readers to submit their own work for publication. see more project submissions from our readers here.


edited by: myrto katsikopoulou | designboom