From the moment you approach this “hacienda” looking house, the lush landscape tells you the owners love nature. But most important is that what you see first is not the house but the plants, covering the roofs, walls and surroundings. The green roofs are there to protect the inside of the house against the heat of the sun, but in this case they also provide extra ground for the climbing plants to cover the sun exposed facades.
Early in the design of the house, the owners required not to use A-C and this shows up. The main building sits on a small ridge, facing the prevailing winds to maximize internal air movement. The rooms have high ceilings as well as openings on opposite sides of the building to allow cross ventilation.
No glass is used in the building and the doors and windows are made of fixed louvers or carved wood pieces to assure adequate ventilation even with the rooms locked. The “stack effect” - hot air rises and cool air falls - is exploited to provide passive ventilation with the installation of thermal chimneys. Wood monitors with exquisite carved wood pieces are inserted in the middle of the roofs and they help draw the warm air upwards and replace it with the cooler ocean breeze.