K House by Datum Zero in Nosara, Costa Rica

Project: K House
Architects: Datum Zero
Location: Nosara, Costa Rica
Photographs by: Courtesy of Datum Zero

K House by Datum Zero

The K House is a beautiful modern dwelling located on a spot within the mountains of Nosara in Costa Rica. The location enjoys spectacular views of the Pacific Ocean and the design by Datum Zero makes sure to make the most of it with vast open spaces and plenty of glazed surfaces to let the sunlight in.

K House is a residence located in the mountains of Nosara, Guanacaste, Costa Rica, with spectacular views of the Pacific Ocean.

We were hired by a very interesting client, a young lawyer from San Francisco, California, with a great passion for surf, which is what brought him to Playa Guiones. The project had a difficult site, a modest budget, and a client with a passion for architecture, definitely a challenge for us.

We designed K House around three premises, the first premise is a contextual response: the house is organized as a horizontal bar anchored at one of its ends to a concrete base and suspended at the other end amid the forest by thin steel columns which in some cases rise over 5 meters high. This allows the house to be lost among the treetops with its open terraces, large openings and extensive eaves, connecting with the canopy of trees, living and blending with the landscape. The concrete base functions as the point of support of a thin vertical tower containing a series of spaces for meditation connected to the exterior with a staircase leading to the upper terrace, to appreciate the majestic view of Playa Guiones on the Pacific Ocean. From this platform the client can check the surf in the morning before venturing into his daily surfing.

The second premise was adaptability, we wanted to design a house that would fit properly and honestly with its environment and with the site, which is a dense mass of trees on a steep hill, in which it was very important that the house easily adapt to drastic climate changes between wet and rainy October and dry and dusty March. This premise led us to design the house as a respirator, a house that filters the sun, wind, air and even the views, a careful selection of local materials that allow us to reinterpret local rural architecture present in modern terms. Teak panels with a sieve inside were designed for the cladding systems, allowing the house to breathe through its walls and keep the bugs out. Huge openings into the interior spaces and terraces provide a continuous relationship between the inside and the outside of the house. The only area of ​​the house that touches the floor is the master bedroom, located on the lower level of the concrete base, this volume supports the “zen tower”, coated in steel sheets left to oxidize and sealed. This materiality provides an almost religious sense of permanence, old in appearance, forgotten, used, simple, a perfect space for meditation.

The third premise, honesty. An honesty derived from its modest budget, without acrobatics. The house is built on a modular steel system of 5×5 meters, clad by teak paneling, plywood ceilings and prefabricated trusses with tensile systems, all elements assembled on site to conceive what we consider a modern Costa Rica beach house.

Datum Zero


Tags: Costa Rica, datum zero, exterior, interior, K House, modern, nosara

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