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Project N2, Costa Rica

Amsterdam-based architectural firm zU-studio has conceived Project N2, a private residence situated atop a hill with a commanding view of Santa Teresa Beach in Costa Rica. This location is a haven for bird enthusiasts, boasting a rich diversity of over 80 bird species. In this setting, the project aims to capture the essence of freedom of movement and a connection with nature. The design of the house takes inspiration from the graceful flight of local birds as they survey the horizon and soar over the sea. It seeks to emulate the moment of takeoff and the elegant motion of wings. The resulting building features a simple yet distinctive structure that seamlessly blends with its surroundings, embodying elegance and simplicity both inside and outside.

zU-studio’s private house in Costa Rica evokes the image of overlapping bird feathers, creating a sculptural roof. This roof is constructed using a lightweight framework that forms a series of platform-like shapes at different heights. These platforms allow natural light to filter through, creating captivating windows in the first-floor bedrooms. Some platforms are accessible, extending into terraces and providing unique spaces for exploration. The design emphasises organic forms, resembling overlapping leaves that embrace views of the sea.

The design team has prioritised unobstructed views and cross-ventilation throughout the house. The structure’s rounded shape maximises the ocean-facing metres. The height of the house peaks at 7 m in the centre and gently descends towards the sides, seamlessly integrating with the natural environment. The surrounding landscape features a central courtyard adorned with vibrant flowers, serving as both a welcoming space and a communal gathering area. The interaction between interior and exterior spaces is a key feature of this three-storey building.

The ground floor encompasses communal areas, including a connected living space, kitchen, and a central courtyard that invites guests into the house. An atelier at the back of the structure adds versatility to the space. Three private bedrooms on the ground floor offer stunning sea views, while an open semi-circular terrace platform features a pool and provides direct access to various areas on the ground floor. On the first floor, two suites serve as master bedrooms, flooded with light from three facades. These suites also feature generous terraces that seamlessly connect with the roof platforms, completing the harmonious design.


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