Framed by back-to-back bays 250 feet above the Pacific in the Papagayo Gulf, this pristine eco-paradise on Costa Rica’s north pacific is being adorned by an architectural wonder. An intercalation of concrete, stone, copper, and glass into an inviting canopy of tropical dry forest. Predock calls his creation here the necklace.
Antoine Predock (b.1936 in Lebanon, Missouri) was a natural choice for this dream project; unlike most leading architects he works predominantly outside of urban centers. Practicing out of Albuquerque, New Mexico since 1966, he developed his unique sensibility, characterized by poetic bold forms, seemingly emerging right out of the local geology, effectively blurring distinctions between the manmade and the natural. The winner of the Rome Prize and the top honor in America – the 2006 American Institute of Architects Gold Medal – Predock realized over one hundred buildings all across the United States, Canada, China, and Qatar. I caught up with Antoine Predock over FaceTime between New York and Albuquerque to discuss original intentions and inspirations for his unique vision.
Vladimir Belogolovsky: What attracted you to Costa Rica?
Antoine Predock: Throughout my life Costa Rica has been a mythical dream country to me. Yet, I never visited until this opportunity with Bahías. I traveled in the region and I thought I had a sense of what it would be like. But it really surprised me, especially the culture of peace and feeling you get from people here. When Ticos greet you, instead of saying buenos días or good morning in Spanish, they say pura vida, which literally means pure life. There is a feeling of such exuberance here. So, of course, when we were asked to do a project at Peninsula Papagayo, we immediately agreed. I was very excited.