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Puerto Rican Villa Wrapped in Sleek Steel 'Microscope Slide'

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Funky shapes add character to the work of Diaz Paunetto Arquitectos.

When tackling the tricky renovation of a San Juan home, Diaz Paunetto Arquitectos—known for remarkable building transformations—needed a way to shield the front of the house from the sun while also giving it some much needed character. Inspired by the owner’s job in the medical field, the architects designed a perforated steel screen that looks strikingly similar to a giant microscope slide.

The cellular screen design was originally sketched by hand and then digitally recreated using parametric software. The resulting shapes could then be laser-cut into Corten steel and assembled on-site. The screen provides visual interest, shade, and privacy while maintaining air flow and a play of patterned light in the home.

The rest of the 13,670-square-foot home is composed of a series of clean white volumes with marble floors and ample windows.

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