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photo of Costa Rica Treehouse Receives AIA Small Project Award

Costa Rica Treehouse Receives AIA Small Project Award


Olson Kundig is excited to announce that Costa Rica Treehouse (led by principal/owner & founder Tom Kundig and principal/owner Kevin Kudo-King) has received a 2023 American Institute of Architects (AIA) Small Project Award. This program highlights projects with small footprints or small budgets, showcasing architects’ ability to achieve design excellence within these constraints. In 2019, AIA incorporated the Framework for Design Excellence to further assess building performance and foster a holistic, technically rigorous review process.


Costa Rica Treehouse is a 2,140-square-foot home inspired by the jungle of its densely forested site on the Pacific Coast of Costa Rica. Designed to operate passively, the home can breathe and remain open to the environment at each of its three levels. The top and bottom floors open completely to the elements with a double-screen operable wood shutter system that allows daylight and natural ventilation, but also provides 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.


“It’s an honor to have a project like Costa Rica Treehouse, which is deliberately small and seeks to have a minimal impact on its site, recognized by the AIA Small Project Awards,” shares Kundig. “I’m incredibly grateful for the amazing client – especially their conservation agenda and commitment to living small in this big landscape – as well as the talented and future-thinking teammates and partners who contributed to this project.”

Costa Rica Treehouse, Santa Teresa, Costa Rica

Design Principal: Tom Kundig, FAIA, RIBA
Principal: Kevin Kudo-King, AIA, LEED® AP
Project Architect: Martina Bendel
General Contractor: Dante Medri
Associate Architect and Structural Engineer: Daniel Sancho
Mechanical and Electrical Engineer: Energetica Soluciones y Consultoria
Gizmo Design: KB Architectural Services
Lighting Design: Niteo Lighting
Landscape Architect: Vida Design Studio