studio saxe preserves costa rican resort with an added emphasis on sustainability

studio saxe preserves costa rican resort with an added emphasis on sustainability

in secret to the international surfer community, around the beaches of playa guiones in nosara, costa rica, is a resort designed by studio saxe — the ‘gilded iguana’. the project uses elements of historical importance at the serene location to develop a modern tropical paradise.

all images by andrés garcía lachner


the architects of the gilded iguanastudio saxe, attempted to preserve the site by restoring the existing dilapidated house ‘as a tribute to the memory it holds for locals, travelers, and the town at large. the new restaurant has become an epicenter for town gatherings, food and concerts. thus, this restoration process is ‘one of the very few samples in costa rica that acknowledges the importance of preservation of traditional tropical architecture.



the overall landscape of the resort was designed by the architects to complement the existing house with various new structures placed precisely to create ‘a heart center‘ which used the communal area and pool as a focal point for guests.



additionally, the studio also placed an emphasis on sustainability to protect the area. a bioclimatic design was used, emphasizing solar orientation, shade, utilizing the wind currents in an attempt to develop a strategy that could assist in controlling the temperature. sustainable technologies were also utilized such as water treatment systems, solar heating for water, food from sustainable farms ‘create a positive impact in the town of nosara and generate new jobs for the community.



project info:


builder: lhc
hotel consultant: consuhotel
interior design: so a interiorismo
structural engineer: sotela alfaro ltda.
electromechanical engineer: dynamo studio
landscape: zamia
pool: joan roca
treatment plant: tebag
irrigation consultant: hidroplant technology
consultant: access point

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