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photo of Costa Rica Treehouse
Photo: Nic Lehoux

Costa Rica Treehouse

Santa Teresa, Costa Rica

Costa Rica Treehouse

Santa Teresa, Costa Rica

  • Design Principal

    Tom Kundig

  • Principal

    Kevin M. Kudo-King

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

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 that allows 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.

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. Tom Kundig, FAIA, RIBA




AIA National Small Project Award


AIA Housing Award


AIA Northwest and Pacific Region Design Awards, Citation Award



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Out of the Woods book / Gestalten publishing

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