Costa Rica – Ben Gardcia Saxe / Studio Saxe
Built area:  300m2 including decks
Year built:  2013

Floating above the steep incline, the home offers magnificent views over the jungle to the ocean
Floating above the steep incline, the home offers magnificent views over the jungle to the ocean

From the architect:

The design of this house for the Gooden-Nahome family was predicated on its difficult site. The owners found an incredible view of the ocean but the steep slope meant that any property set into the hillside would only offer panoramic views from the top of the house. The studio explored many architectural solutions that are used in the area – such as creating large retaining walls and cutting back the soil – but sometimes the simplest solutions take the most consideration.

Piering allows the natural land forms to be retained. Cutting and filling would have meant an expensive retaining wall and would have interfered with the natural drainage of the site.
Piering allows the natural land forms to be retained. Cutting and filling would have meant an expensive retaining wall and would have interfered with the natural drainage of the site.

The final house is made of a series of prefabricated living pods that ‘float’ above the forest floor on concrete stilts. Connected by flying bridges that hover over the landscape, this house could easily be extended over time by inserting new modules. The combination of intelligent concept design and advanced engineering saved the clients a large amount of money on the construction and allows the natural terrain underneath to breathe, grow and change over time.

The projecting roof-line provides maximum sun protection while the folding screen walls provide perfect ventilation.
The projecting roof-line provides maximum sun protection while the folding screen walls provide perfect ventilation.

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Another innovative design by the same architect is The Container of Hope