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Couple sitting on timber deck of open-air timber overlooking pool
Illuminated entry door of timber home
Distant view of sustainable open-air timber home surrounded by trees

Costa Rica Treehouse was designed by Olson Kundig as an open-air timber hut for clients who are surfers and passionate environmentalists. The house sits in densely forested jungle on the Pacific Coast of Costa Rica. Being in a temperate semi-tropic environment it is intended to remain open to the elements so it can breath. The top and bottom levels are enclosed with a double-screen operable timber shutter system. This allows for the spaces to be naturally ventilated and to control shading, privacy and security. The second floor, housing the bedroom is the only level with glass.

Couple sitting on loungeroom in open-air timber home
External side view of open-air timber house

This three story home is designed to allow the owners to experience the jungle on each floor, but in different ways. The ground floor connects you to the jungle floor, with views out from the kitchen across a timber deck to the pool. The second floor is enclosed in glass and is nestled amongst the trees, and the top floor sits above the tree canopy and provides views across the jungle and the ocean. What an amazing place to enjoy your morning coffee and check out the surf!

The home is constructed entirely of teak which was harvested onsite, and was used for the floors, walls and ceilings. Large structural columns have been left in a semi-unfinished state so large tree trunks rise up through each level of the dwelling, adding to the feeling of living within the jungle.

The home was designed to minimise it’s impact on the land so its footprint is small and it run off a photovoltaic solar array and rainwater tanks.

Woman in kitchen of all timber home
Night time exterior side view of timber battens
Aerial views of Costa Rica Treehouse surrounded by jungle and beach

Sustainability specs:
– Built entirely of teak harvested on-site
– Open air hut, naturally ventilated
– The home is drenched in daylight, reducing it’s reliance on artificial lighting
– Operable timber screens control shading, privacy and security
– Small footprint to minimise it’s impact on the landscape
– Photovoltaic array solar panels on the roof
– Rainwater collection tanks

Timber operable screen closed in loungeroom of timber home
Timber operable screen open in loungeroom of timber home
Exterior view of an open-air timber home at night with lights on
Timber floor, walls, and ceiling in the dining room
View of Costa Rica Treehouse at night from a distance with lights on
From the architect:

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.

Images courtesy of Olson Kundig. Photography by Nic Lehoux

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