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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

Team

Awards

2022

AIA Housing Award

2021

AIA Northwest and Pacific Region Design Awards, Citation Award

Publications

2021

“Costa Rica Treehouse.” Living in Nature. London: Phaidon, Apr. 2021, 20-23. Book.\

Harrouk, Christele. “World’s Greatest Places Include Revitalized Riverfronts, Affordable Artistic Incubators and Superlative City-States.” ArchDaily, 16 Sep. 2021. Web.

“Jungle Living.” Tree Houses: Escape to the Canopy. Melbourne: Images Publishing, 76-81, May 2021. Book.

Monie, Karine. “La Casa del Arbol.” AD Mexico y Latinoamerica, January/February 2021, 112-119. Print.

Moss, Chris. “Costa Rica’s Buzzy Nicoya Peninsula Is a Natural Haven for Creatives.” Conde Nast Traveler Online, 11 Jun. 2020. Web.

Moss, Chris. “Naturally Good.” Conde Nast Traveler, January/February 2021, 2, 71-79. Print.

Narro, Itziar. “7 maisons en pleine nature qui se fondent dans le paysage.” AD Magazine (France), 3 May 2021. Web.

Welton, J. Michael. “In ‘Working Title’, Tom Kundig’s Artistic Eye.” Architects + Artisans, 26 Feb. 2021. Web.

 

2020

“Adam Richards’ Nithurst Farm wins Wallpaper* Design Award for Best New Private House.” Wallpaper*, 9 Jan. 2020. Web.

Baldwin, Eric. “Tropical Modernism: Costa Rica’s New Elevated Treehouses.” ArchDaily, 30 Jan. 2020. Web.

Camillo, Paola. “Tom Kundig.” Contract Book, #3 / Jul. 2020, 108-112. Print.

“Costa Rica Treehouse.” Archello, 11 Feb. 2020. Web.

“Design Giants with Tom Kundig, Hosted by Cindy Allen.” Interior Design Magazine / DesignTV by SANDOW, 1 Jun. 2020. Web.

Dowdy, Clare. “A new spin on the dream country house.” BBC News Online, 17 Jun. 2020. Web.

Fazzare, Elizabeth. “Tour These Never-Before-Seen Tom Kundig–Designed Structures.” Architectural Digest, 22 Apr. 2020. Web.

Ganea, Simona. “10 Beautiful House Designs from Tropical Costa Rica.” Homedit, 4 Sep. 2020. Web.

Hastings, Rebecca. “Look up! Luxury treetop homes for living the high life.” MSN Money, 24 Jan. 2020. Web.

“Judges’ Awards Preview.” Wallpaper*, Jan. 2020, 100-101. Print.

Nair, Vedika. “These uniquely situated, ingenious designed treehouses in India and Costa Rica epitomise sustainable luxury.” Elle Décor India, 27 Apr. 2020. Web.

NeueHouse. “A Conversation with Tom Kundig & Mark Rozzo.” NeueJournal, 28 Sep. 2020. Web.

Orton, Troy. “A Striking Treehouse Set in Costa Rican Jungle.” Plain Magazine, 14 Sep. 2020. Web.

Out of the Woods book / Gestalten publishing

Rozzo, Mark. “Call of the Wild.” Air Mail, 13 Jun. 2020. Web.

Silbert, Jake. “Tom Kundig Celebrates Illustrious Design Portfolio With ‘Working Title’ Monograph.” Hypebeast, 1 Jul. 2020. Web.

Stathaki, Ellie. “Exploring the scope of Tom Kundig’s international oeuvre.” Wallpaper*, 27 Jul. 2020. Web.

Stevens, Philip. “interview: tom kundig discusses his collaborative, hands on approach to architecture.” Designboom, 23 Jun. 2020. Web.

Terrebonne, Jacqueline. “Why Architect Tom Kundig’s Work Perfectly Exemplifies How We All Want to Live Now.” Galerie, 19 Jun. 2020. Web.

Welton, J. Michael. “29 Masterworks in ‘Tom Kundig: Working Title.'” Architects + Artisans, 15 Jul. 2020. Web.

 

2019

Angelopoulou, Sofia Lekka. “Tom Kundig builds surfers treehouse using local teak wood in Costa Rica.” Designboom, 19 Apr. 2019. Web.

“Costa Rica Treehouse.” Architizer, 14 Aug. 2019. Web.

“Costa Rica Treehouse.” World-Architects, 10 May 2019. Web.

Dowdy, Clare. “Olson Kundig’s sustainable teak holiday house in Costa Rica.” Wallpaper*, 30 Jul. 2019. Web.

Dowdy, Claire. “Tree Love.” Wallpaper*, May 2019, 149-150. Print.

Gallagher, Katherine. “This Costa Rican treehouse is built entirely out of locally sourced teak wood.” Inhabitat, 9 May 2019. Web.

Hugron, Jean-Philippe. “Le Mythe de la Cabane.” Architectures a Vivre, July/August 2019, 192-197. Print.

Ingram, Tracey. “Surf and Canopy.” URBIS, October/November 2019, 98-105. Print.

McKnight, Jenna. “Olson Kundig designs Costa Rica Treehouse to tread lightly on the earth.” Dezeen, 12 May 2019. Web.

Park, Hana. “정글 숲과 하나 된 건축물 costa rica treehouse.” Ehousing, July 2019, 132-139. Print.

Pintos, Paula. “Costa Rica Treehouse / Olson Kundig.” ArchDaily. 25 Apr. 2019. Web.

Schouten, Jan Maurits. “Boomhuis van lokaal teak.” Het Houtblad, June 2019, 20-25. Print.

Schwab, Lena. “Nur Surfen Ist Schoner.” Hauser, October/November 2019, 4, 8-10, 12. Print.

Singhal, Sumit. “Costa Rica Treehouse in Santa Teresa by Olson Kundig.” AECCafe, 19 May 2019. Web.

Wang, Lucy. “An Olson Kundig Tree House Peeks Over the Treetops in Costa Rica.” Dwell, 13 Jun. 2019. Web.