el refugio
photo of El Refugio, Vacation home in Costa Rica

south Elevation

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photo of Exterior covered walkways

Exterior covered walkways

photo of exterior

east elevation

photo of bar and outdoor dining area

bar and outdoor dining area

photo of open air bedroom

open air bedroom

photo of dining and adjoining kitchen

dining and adjoining kitchen

photo of interior of compound with pool in evening

interior of compound with pool in evening

photo of Monsoon friendly elevated covered walkways

elevated covered walkways


This vacation home, built in 2002, is set on the edge of the Gandoca-Manzanillo National Wildlife Refuge near the Caribbean Coast of Costa Rica. Set on top of a hill with partial views of the sea, the house is constructed amidst the trees to preserve the jungle that surrounds it. During the day, the house captures sea breezes from the north; at night it is cooled by the mountain breezes from the south. The house is built almost entirely of indigenous wood, with the construction based on the use of heavy native timbers. Using native materials and techniques was decided upon because of the natural beauty of the woods and, more importantly, these materials better endure the severe environmental conditions. Featured in Architectural Digest in August 2002.