There’s a good reason why this beautiful, natural wood treehouse blends in perfectly to its surroundings on the Pacific Coast of Costa Rica — the entire structure was built using the trees from the property site. Nestled in the jungle and complete with ocean views, the house, designed by Tom Kundig of Olson Kundig, was inspired by the owners’ love for surfing and environmentalism.
There are three floors to the treehouse, with the top floor visible from above the tree canopy, and the bottom two levels hidden among the dense trees. Occupants are able to check the surf at nearby Playa Hermosa Beach from the comfort of the top floor.
Wood has the power to be a green, renewable resource when used with sustainability in mind. Nowadays, there are plenty of companies that offer certifiably sustainable wood that comes from forests that are responsibly managed to avoid things like erosion, pollutants and habitat loss. Locally harvested trees, like the ones used to build this surfer’s treehouse, can reduce the environmental impact of construction projects. Apart from contributing to social aspects of sustainability by utilizing local employment, green construction using locally harvested trees also helps to minimize carbon emissions from transportation.
The designers took advantage of the natural sea breezes and tropic environment through the passive, open-air design of the structure. The lush vegetation is accessible from the bottom floor, which opens to a courtyard that helps blend the house into its setting. A double-screen shutter system, also made of teak wood, allows the two bottom floors to either open up to the elements, ventilation and natural light, or close to provide privacy. The treehouse is powered using a 3.5 kW solar array, and a rainwater collection system helps reduce the house’s carbon footprint.
In the evenings, the lights shine through the slatted walls to create an ethereal glow that shimmers through the thick leaves and trees that surround the property, making this unique treehouse an even more beautiful addition to the area.
Photography by Nic Lehoux via Olson Kundig