Osmosis

CLIENT:

Undisclosed

SITE:

Playa Hermosa, Jaco, Costa Rica

COST:

$680,000.00

DATE OF DESIGN:

2009

DATE OF COMPLETION

2010

PROGRAM:

The location for the Osmosis house is at a hilltop overlooking the ocean in the Central Pacific Region of Costa Rica. The point of departure in this house was the questioning of the potential layers or folds to be invented between the “inside” and “outside”.
The tropics have no extreme seasons where temperature or humidity drop and rise dramatically through a yearly cycle. The need for sealing buildings is minimized to protection from insects and excessive humidity. Extreme heat or cold are not factors that need be dealt with in the tropics as they are in temperate regions.
The views of the site oriented the adequate spaces to sleep, eat, rest, and play. Some of these spaces needed more protection and privacy than others and eventually the coagulation of three defined cells or volumes was created.
Two of these volumes held the bedrooms. These two volumes had the potential of closing off completely and creating a solely interior space. The remaining volume contained the kitchen and living area that was half contained and half open.
In between these three volumes a web was created that had both a permeable roof and a permeable set of walls. The systems developed for the top cover where a plastic membrane roof that was translucent and a fabric ceiling that was suspended and translucent as well. The entirety of the space in between the 3 solid volumes was bathed by light during the day. The walls that contained this interstitial space where built permeable to the outside as well. These walls where a double layer of expanded metal framed in trays that mounted over a steel structure containing in its center a bug screen for a total of (at times) 5 layers of materials that diminished the visibility and light through it but kept a constant and even flow of air across it.
Added to this was the strategic placement of larger than average door and window systems that where operable to control the speed and direction of air flowing through and too all the extremities of the permeable volume.
The end result was a house that the client continually adjusts and is adjusted by its inhale and exhale of air and light.

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