Part of

Author Archive

House in Cahuita









Located in Cahuita on the Caribbean Coast of Costa Rica, the house was designed by Architect Gianni Botsford of Giani Botsford Architects with structural designs by Engineer Toby Maclean of Tall Engineers and built by Lechenne Construction. Consisting of two twin pavilions, the house uses geometry based of a twenty-two degree parallelogram and consists of two pavilions connected by an elevated walkway. The larger pavilion serves as a study while the other features a small bedroom and bathroom.


Although a modern house, the structure makes use of traditional construction methods and materials. The structural framework is composed of timber beams laid out at various angles to compose a rhomboid grid. Lateral bracing is provided by the rigid corner details where up to eight beams intersect at different angles, while the roof and walls serve as a load bearing diaphragm.








The roof is composed of plastic-coated corrugated metal sheeting and attaches to an internal fixed element glass louvre system via 50/200mm studs. The louvre system along with horizontal eaves allow for the use of a 100mm sliding door. On the roof’s exterior, timber battens serve as point bearers for the sheet-zinc concealed rain water gutter and allow for air circulation.



The walls consist of either a glass louvre system supported by vertical 50/200mm studs or 50/200mm laurel beams/ studding covering the interior wall with the plastic-coated corrugated metal sheeting on the exterior. The bottom of the wall is comprised of a 50/50mm closing strip, a 30/30mm aluminum angle, and an insect screen to prevent insects from entering the open air system that flows throughout the building.

Featuring excellent ocean views, the house is extremely environmentally conscious and uses the sea breeze to naturally ventilate the home. Additionally, no trees were felled and the house was constructed of local materials.

Written by Kelsey Stonecipher

January 27, 2012 at 6:08 pm

Posted in Uncategorized