Architecture is more than creating a sound building. It’s a craft that couples personal style and visual appeal with goals for the space. In the case of the Garden House, a project located in Playa Tamarindo, Guanacaste, Costa Rica, it’s a family home that meets the challenges of immersing into the surrounding landscape while maintaining a low carbon footprint.

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A two-story home with a gated driveway area on the lower floor and a green balcony on the second floor.

Garden House is more than shelter, although it is built to provide shelter for everyday life and in the case of natural disasters. It’s an example of how a structure can sync with nature. To start, architects built the home on stilts for a minimal site impact and to allow for a green space on the ground floor. The design takes into account rising sea levels and the potential for future flooding. 

Related: New apartments bring sustainable architecture to the Upper West Side

To the left, a person sits on a gray armchair inside. To the right, large glass doors open onto a balcony where a person sits with a baby.

Costa Rica is world-renowned for taking progressive action in the fight against climate change. With that in mind, the Garden House took the lead on creating an energy-efficient space through the use of high-efficiency double glass sliding doors and windows that allow in copious natural light while helping to moderate temperatures indoors. They also promote natural ventilation and eliminate the line between indoor and outdoor worlds.

A kitchen with white counters and cabinets. Above the sink is a square, sliding glass window.

Also, the water from the AC is captured and reused, along with rainwater harvesting that is filtered and used for irrigation. Water shortages in Costa Rica and across the globe inspired the designers to use high-efficiency faucets and toilets. This eco-friendly water supply supports the many surrounding gardens, which double as a privacy barrier and natural shade. The design hopes to set an example for the potential of “food production wall systems,” where even small homes can provide their own food.

A baby crawls on the green balcony as an adult watches in the distance. To the right, open doors show a bedroom inside.

While the design may start from the ground up, even the roof works in conjunction with the other sustainable elements. The architects say, “The roof bends like a leaf to provide proper shade for the house and water drainage slope while capturing the sun’s energy for the use of the Garden House.” This is done through the use of solar panels.

+ LSD Architects

Via ArchDaily

Images via Andres Garcia Lachner