New York studio Champalimaud transformed a 1920s residence that was destroyed by a hurricane into a luxury holiday home on a resort in Dorado, Puerto Rico.
Called Su Casa, the property forms part of the Dorado Beach Ritz-Carlton Reserve, which was also ravaged by the Caribbean island’s deadly Hurricane Maria in 2017. The residence was built in 1928 by Clara Livingston, a pilot whose father owned the 1,400-acre property in Dorado, to replace a wooden plantation house that was wrecked by the 1903 Hurricane San Felipe.
Livingston sold the property to Laurence Rockefeller, a third generation of the wealthy American Rockefeller family, who turned the house and the surrounding lush site into the Dorado Beach resort in 1958.
Luxury hotel group Ritz Carlton took over the property in 2012 and has run the house as a private holiday home for families and large groups. In 2018, it enlisted New York-based studio Champalimaud to oversee the renovation of the home, following the aftermath of the hurricane. Principal designer Anna Beeber and fellow principal Elisabeth Rogoff designed the renovation with the aim to restore the key characteristics of the residence. Livingstone had completed in the mission-style, choosing thick concrete walls to bolster from future damage, long wooden eaves and Spanish clay tiles.
The design team also wanted to makes the most of its surrounds, which includes greenery, a colourful tiled patio at the entrance and a grand infinity swimming pool that extends towards the Atlantic Ocean.
Champalimaud pared back the material palette, transitioning from dark wooden window frames and terracotta flooring to lighter and brighter finishes such as limestone and pale timbers. Livingstone’s original antique wooden furniture is peppered throughout, alongside pieces that Champalimaud custom made in New York, as well as designs by studios including Allied Maker and Minotti. A highlight of the property is a series of colourful murals created by Puerto Rican artists.