studio saxe clads 'tres amores' house in costa rica with charred timber façades

studio saxe clads 'tres amores' house in costa rica with charred timber façades

studio saxe, the architecture practice led by benjamin garcia saxe, has completed a charred timber dwelling that frames views of the pacific ocean. the firm was commissioned to design a family residence perched on the hilltops of nosara, a village on costa rica’s nicoya peninsula. called the ‘tres amores’ house, the project seeks to blend with its natural surroundings, while opening to the dramatic ocean and mountain views.

studio saxe tres amores
all images by andres garcia lachner



studio saxe’s design comprises two extended horizontal roof planes that provide protection from the natural elements, while creating large terraces. a tall vertical volume of circulation interrupts the rooflines and joins all parts of the dwelling. the architects say that dark and matte materials were taken as inspiration from the surrounding natural landscape to create a dialogue between the home and its mountainous backdrop.

studio saxe tres amores



as a result of the constrained nature of the size of the site, studio saxe decided to create a house composed of two floors that are staggered to break the mass of the dwelling. living public spaces below are linked to private bedrooms above by a vertical core that serves as the main entrance and offers framed views of the ocean. the softer interior spaces are juxtaposed against the harsher textured exterior cladding of charred teak wood and black framed windows.

studio saxe tres amores



together with a team of engineers studio saxe decided to create a lightweight steel structure that would be pre-cut off site and assembled quickly and efficiently on site. ‘the construction method of this dwelling came directly from understanding the capability of the soil to hold weight and the seismic conditions that exist in costa rica,’ explain the architects. the design team sustainably sourced local teak wood, which was charred and finished with natural oils to add longevity to the material.

studio saxe tres amores



studio saxe explains that it begins every project with a careful analysis of the site conditions, including the study of wind patterns, sun exposure, temperature, and other aspects. the house uses the power of the sun to heat water, thus minimizing energy consumption. water is also recycled through a filtering system. ‘this design is a clear reflection of an approach to design that combines high tech preemptive design with low tech construction methods,’ says the team.

studio saxe tres amores

studio saxe clads 'tres amores' house in costa rica with charred timber façades

studio saxe clads 'tres amores' house in costa rica with charred timber façades


studio saxe clads 'tres amores' house in costa rica with charred timber façades



project info:


name: tres amores
location: nosara, guanacaste, costa rica

date of completion: january 2020

client: the srebnick family
area: approx. 515 sqm / 5,543 sqf
architect: saxe studio
design director: benjamin g. saxe
builder: JIMACO

structural engineer: sotela alfaro ltda.
electromechanical engineer: CIEM elecromecanica
photographer: andres garcia lachner

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