By caroline

Tropical Interiors and ­Architecture

Where is paradise: at the end of the earth or at home on the sofa? For many, the word paradise conjures up images of a sunny beach with palm trees. For others, it might mean pristine nature, a lively city with much to see and do, lazing in a hammock, or relaxing anywhere with a cool sea breeze. All of these versions of paradise can be found in the tropics.

More than anywhere else on earth, the tropics demand an architecture that can bridge the gap between what is outside—sea, sand, sky, and sun—and what lies within. The villas, family homes, artists’ ateliers, beach shacks, and urban pieds-à-terre featured in Living Under the Sun embrace their outdoor surroundings to offer fresh, often surprising indoor possibilities that are ideally suited to their climate. The elegant work featured in the book exemplifies how to create tranquil settings to soothe our hectic lives, regardless of our geographical location.

Reveling in the tropical charm of Living Under the Sun’s interiors, décor, and design, perhaps you will even be inspired to create your own paradise at home. Get the book here.


Brazilian brutalist architect Paulo Mendes da Rocha breathed life into the urban tropical home he built in the mid-60s and recently restored for interior designer and MiCasa shop founder, Hussein Jarouche. Juxtapositions of color and form enrich the interiors while massive geometric concrete volumes define the architecture, and contrast with a verdant garden.



This home is a showcase for sunlight, tropical weather, and ancient landscapes. Constructed from rough stone and slung low beneath the canopy of trees, the house is carefully aligned with those age-old slopes.



In a world heritage rainforest, Bennett used experimental passive design and thermal massing techniques tailored to the tropical realm. The architect made the roof a garden that buffers the interiors from heat absorption through layers of greenery, soil, and air and compares the casement windows to “sails” that “harness prevailing breezes.”



Aamer Taher grew a vertical tropical garden villa when hired to add a third house, courtyard, and koi pond in consonance with the family’s two already existing residences. The architect revisited the original house’s emphasis on plantings—trees grow through their balconies—when he sowed a wilderness of creepers that ascend timber trellises high above the rooftop pool.



While in the cold north privacy is a precious thing, good weather in tropical climes makes for a more public existence. The first of a number of bungalows in development, the Lounge will become the template for a larger series of long and short-term rentals. The concrete body of the guesthouse comprises three interiors—kitchenette with bathroom, a kids’ play area, and living room—inside a long box that opens on both sides at its center.



Between San Salvador and the Guatemalan border, this beach house for a family of four backs up onto the shore, making “the ocean their garden,” says architect José Roberto Paredes of Cincopatasalgato. The whole house boasts floor-to-ceiling and wall-to-wall sliding glass doors and generous windows designed by Salvadoran talents Harry and Claudia Washington, who designed much of the furniture in the house as well.



For two art collectors, Weinfeld created an art residence and support center for the incubation and promotion of the arts that feels like a real home. The composition of the facade, clad with graphically striped cement plaques and glass, shifts constantly with the opening and shutting of the bedroom windows.



Ratiwat Suwannatrai nested the humidity-resistant 350-square-meter raw concrete and cement screed house optimally within an 8,000-square-meter property on the edge of Thailand’s largest national park after taking the site’s natural furnishings into account, which were all incorporated into the design. oPnBX established relationships between the manmade and natural elements and between indoor and outdoor space.


All pictures were taken from Linving Under the Sun: Tropical Interiors and ­Architecture.

Read more here:: Living Under the Sun