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Jungle Frame House, Costa Rica, by Studio Saxe


Studio Saxe oriented this steel-framed home in Costa Rica around a “tropical atrium”. The three-storey atrium is lined by glass and wooden louvres so that the jungle is visible from much of the home.

Green Architecture and Sustainable Vision in Costa Rica

Costa Rica is not just a travel destination; it’s a canvas for sustainable and green architecture, beautifully embodied by the Jungle Frame House. Designed by Studio Saxe, award-winning architects in Costa Rica, this steel-framed residence innovatively brings the lushness of the jungle indoors, offering a remarkable testament to eco-friendly architecture services.


The client’s dream was straightforward yet profoundly evocative: a living space deeply connected with the jungle, blurring the boundaries between inside and out. Entrusted with this vision, Studio Saxe made a bold decision. They harnessed the property’s downward slope, which leads to a picturesque creek overlooking the jungle, to conceive a large triple-height space. This ingenious design allows inhabitants to gaze up at the sky from the jungle floor, enveloped by the majestic trees surrounding the house.


The project’s concept is a masterstroke of creative building design. It presents a paradox: sinking the house into the ground while crafting a soaring vertical atrium. This counter-intuitive approach results in a breathtaking moment of discovery upon entering the residence. The dwelling comprises bedrooms that seem to float above the terrain and communal living spaces where the line between indoors and outdoors is wonderfully blurred.


The main living area is strategically positioned at the heart of the forest. This design choice facilitates the creation of a towering space above, drawing the forest’s essence within the house’s walls. This intimate relationship between the built environment and nature is pivotal in eco-friendly architecture services. And in doing so, the conventional and often obtrusive white air conditioning units are replaced by a transparent structure harmoniously intertwined among the trees. Every design element is meticulously thought out to respect the natural topography and tree placements, exemplifying Studio Saxe’s prowess as creative building design experts.


Sustainable architecture doesn’t stop at design. It permeates into the construction methods. Prefabricated off-site, the house’s vast metal I-beams ensure a lightweight, sustainable, and fleeting construction process, treading lightly on the jungle beneath. This modern approach, combining steel and traditional teak woodwork techniques, speaks to both innovation and reverence for tradition. Quick on-site installations and cost reductions further underscore the sustainability drive.

Sustainability is a core principle, not an afterthought for Studio Saxe. Their design effectively shields the house from the harsh afternoon sun through a louvered wall, casting a mesmerizing play of light reminiscent of sunbeams filtering through dense foliage. Strategic openings facilitate cross-ventilation, negating the need for air conditioning. In their choice of materials, the architects ensured minimal site impact during construction. The prominent use of reforested certified teak and solar-powered utilities diminishes the carbon footprint, making the Jungle Frame House a beacon of sustainable architecture in Costa Rica.

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