Located on an undeveloped site with scenic and lush views of the Dominican Republic, the Retreat House was designed by New York-based architectural studio Young Projects. The aim is to make full use of the pristine beach in front of the property, while balancing the expansive Atlantic Ocean views with the dense jungle experience that dominates most of the site.
The retreat house is one of five structures that make up Welness Retreat. The project includes two guest houses, a yoga pavilion, a beach spa and a relaxation structure adjacent to the beach, with a total area of approximately 30,000 square feet. All structures and interiors were designed by architects, with gentle winding paths connecting each area.
The retreat house is the second collaboration between Young Projects and its clients, a New York-based couple. Previously, Bryan Young and the couple worked together in a triplex apartment in downtown Manhattan. For this current project, the client wanted a refuge from city life where quiet private spaces for contemplation coexist seamlessly alongside communal areas for creative exchange and entertainment.
In a diagrammatic sense, the retreat house is simply a transformation of a section of the page. Directed by the orientation of the sun, natural ventilation and the desire to preserve all existing trees and vegetation. These residences take on an evolving form of floating rings that shift in plan and passage just below the forest canopy. The roof is a regular surface requiring more than 200 scissor rolls, each having unique dimensions, but simple in workmanship and construction.
The result is an incredibly complex and fluid structural state that shifts along corridors, curves through primary double-height spaces, and rotates to navigate the geometry at every corner. The design facilitates a panoramic experience of the site, from its diverse forest landscapes to its expansive ocean views.
architect: Young Projects