Costa Rica Treehouse : Holiday House by Olson Kundig

 Designed as an open-air surfer hut in Santa Teresa, Playa Hermosa

Architects : Olson Kundig
Design principal : Tom Kundig, 
Principal : Kevin M. Kudo-King, Project architect : Martina Bendel
Photos  ©  Nic Lehoux

Olson Kundig :

Costa Rica Treehouse is inspired by the jungle of this densely forested site on
 the Pacific Coast of Costa Rica. Built entirely of teak wood harvested on-site, 
the retreat engages with the jungle at each of its three levels: at the forest floor,
 the middle floor is nestled within the trees, and the top level rises above
 the tree canopy with views of the surf at nearby Playa Hermosa beach.

The clients are surfers as well as avid environmentalists, and this project
 reflects their deep commitment to sustainable land management in Costa Rica.
 Designed as an open-air surfer hut, the project engages the Costa Rican
 landscape in various ways, from the vegetation accessible just off the
 main floor, to the larger weather and surf patterns one 
can experience on the top level.

Tom Kundig, FAIA, RIBA :

The project has an intentionally small footprint and is quite tall – this allowed us
 to maintain a light influence on the site while engaging with the natural
 landscape in different ways on all three levels of the house. 

Designed to operate passively, the home is intended to breathe and remain open to
 the elements in this temperate semi-tropic environment. The top and bottom floors are
 completely open to the elements with a double-screen operable wood shutter system,
 allowing daylight and natural ventilation, but also privacy and security when 
the owners are away. Shading, a 3.5-kW photovoltaic array, and a rainwater
 collection system make the house’s compact footprint
 even lighter on the land.

Area: 2140 ft²

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