The Retreat
Playa Grande, Dominican Republic

Located on an undeveloped site in the Dominican Republic, the Retreat at Playa Grande is designed to take full advantage of the pristine beach scape at the front of the property, balancing expansive views of the Atlantic Ocean with the experience of the lush, dense jungle that dominates the majority of the site. The project includes a main house, lunch terrace, pool, spa pavilion, and guest house, totaling approximately 25,000 square feet.

In the most diagrammatic sense, the Main House is simply a transformation of a courtyard parti. Directed by solar orientation, natural ventilation and the desire to preserve all existing trees and vegetation, the evolved form is a drifting ring that shifts in plan and section just below the jungle’s canopy. The roof is a ruled surface requiring over 200 scissor trusses; each is dimensionally unique, but simple in joinery and construction. The result is a highly complex and fluid structural condition that shifts along corridors, curves through primary double height spaces, and rotates to navigate the geometry at each corner. The design facilitates a panoramic experience of the site, from its diverse jungle landscape to its vast ocean views.

Structural Engineer: Silman

The Playa Grande Main House is the result of collaboration with local architect Estudio Sarah Garcia and landscape architect Juan Diego Vasquez.

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