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.
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.
Related project: If you like open-air timber projects, check out the Bambu Indah Hotel
– 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
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.
Nadine is the founder and editor of Eco Edition and founder of the Eco Edition Design School. She’s an experienced interior designer, sustainable materials consultant, speaker and serial home renovator.