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Modern refuge in the Costa Rican jungle

transformed an abandoned steel frame and concrete slab structure into a five-level, 18,000 square foot, indoor-outdoor residence called ‘Casa Torcida’, on a rain-forested mountainside overlooking the Golfo Dulce in the Osa Peninsula, Costa Rica. The primary criteria for this project were to be environmentally sensitive, technologically advanced, and modernist by design. A spectacular view out to the bay merges with the infinity pool. A flexible building perimeter provides a seamless flow from inside to out that completely blends the built environment with the natural setting.

The house is entirely self-sufficient. Energy is provided by photovoltaic cells on the roof and a hydro-electric plant on site. Roof water collects in a 75,000-gallon cistern, precluding the need for well water and eliminating any impact on the water table. Appliances and lighting were chosen for low power consumption. Solar hot water panels provide domestic hot water. Maximizing cross ventilation and ample overhangs has eliminated the need for air conditioning in this year-round tropical climate.

The house incorporates movable and adjustable louvered and screened panels in each living space and movable glass walls that allow the rooms to fully open so that indoors is completely merged with the outdoors. Cabinetry was locally fabricated from trees originally harvested from the foundation area and all materials were locally sourced whenever possible. These technological features, architectural planning and sensitive detailing create an indigenous yet distinctly modern piece of architecture.

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Looks good now..but mold and mildew will have it say very soon. All that openess in a tropcal rain forest????