Architect Ronald Zürcher reveals his passion for nature and reverence for the Chorotega people with an organic planning approach that treads lightly on the land.
By Danielle Finnegan | April 12, 2023 | Guanacaste
Real Estate

In Papagayo’s newest neighborhood, The Enclaves at Nacascolo Bay, a fresh take on contemporary tropical architecture has emerged, bearing the unmistakable signature of iconic Costa Rican designer Ronald Zürcher. With a career spanning 45 years, Zürcher has designed some of the most notable buildings in Costa Rica, imbuing each with the unique identity of its surroundings. His philosophy is simple: every place has its own character, shaped by its traditions, timelines, and landscape, and the architecture that is implanted in each site must respect and identify with this particular character.

Traditional Costa Rican Metate

For Zürcher, The Enclaves represent the culmination of his legacy in creating a new architectural vocabulary that is uniquely Costa Rican, free of colonial influence. His inspiration for the project came from the metate, a pre-Colombian tool used to grind herbs and color that is still used today. The metate shape is reflected in the roofs of The Enclaves, providing a beautiful facade and shelter from the rain and sun. Drawing further inspiration from the natural environment, Zürcher has created a design that evokes the lush rainforest characteristics of the area while still reflecting the tropical dry forest. The Enclaves offer the “best seat in the theater with panoramic views of the Nacascolo valley, the preserve, Nacascolo Beach, and the bay,” Zürcher said.

Adding to the allure of The Enclaves is its proximity to Peninsula Papagayo’s newest amenities. The neighborhood features a walking path to Nascascolo Beach with access to the newly reimagined Casa de Playa by Andaz, which will debut in November 2023. The new beach house will offer residents more leisure and relaxation opportunities. In addition, golf, tennis, and pickleball are just a ten-minute walk away, and a new sports park is slated for 2024 and is less than fifteen minutes along the Papagayo trail.

Roofs Inspired by the Curvature of the Metate

This latest neighborhood is a testament to Zürcher’s dedication to creating architecture that is beautiful and respectful of its surroundings. With The Enclaves, he has added another jewel to his crown, a masterpiece that will stand the test of time and provide luxurious, sustainable living for generations to come