Olson Kundig designs Costa Rica Treehouse to tread lightly on the earth - architecture and design

Olson Kundig designs Costa Rica Treehouse to tread lightly on the earth

American firm Olson Kundig Architects has completed a three-storey nature retreat in Costa Rica, featuring local teak wood, slatted walls and columns made of tree trunks.
Envisioned as a surfer hut, the Costa Rica Treehouse is located in a dense jungle near Playa Hermosa beach.

The clients, who lives in the US, are surfers and passionate environmentalists. The house is meant to embody "their deep commitment to sustainable land management" in the small Central American country, which is known for its rainforests, volcanoes and scenic coastline.
"The project has a relatively light, natural footprint on the landscape, both in terms of the site itself, but also in using available local materials that are helping advance the next level of environmental stewardship in Costa Rica," said Tom Kundig, cofounder of Olson Kundig, in a project statement.
The dwelling was constructed using teak and cenizaro wood that was locally harvested. A large roof made of wood and metal extends beyond the building, providing shade and protection during rainstorms.
Walls consists of wooden screens that allows daylight and fresh air to flow into the enclosure. In certain areas, the walls slide open and offer a direct connection to the lush natural surroundings. The second floor is the only level with glass windows.

"Designed to operate passively, the home is intended to breathe and remain open to the elements in this temperate semi-tropic environment," the studio said....
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