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Ksymena Borczynska: Traveling in Costa Rica as the pandemic started, my partner and I found a piece of land in the tropical rainforest and decided to create a home. We set up a tent and spent a few months living in it and getting to know the area. Then we started building the house, gradually, following the ideas and needs which came from an understanding of the place.
What we were certain of was that we want to spend our days outdoors, explore nature, and that we want our house to have a minimal impact on the environment. We also wanted to design and build as much as possible on our own. The majority of the structure and most of the furniture were designed and hand-made by me. My partner developed off-grid water and electricity systems and created the lighting concept.
The light corrugated roof is supported by slender doubled columns and doubled beams, all made from the same 2’’x2’’ local semi-hardwood called laurel. Columns are anchored in a series of small concrete foundations. Inside the house, the natural clay ground and its topography is preserved and covered with a layer of gravel, with wooden and concrete platforms rising from it.
Rainwater, flowing from the roof into the wooden gutter, supplies a water tank and a pool. Curtains are drawn during heavy rains, providing a translucent, dancing-in-the-wind protection. The light and flexible design works well in this area, where seismic activity and soil movements are commonplace. The use of light components makes it possible for the structure to be built by just one person.
Spaces are defined by their surroundings, which enclose them, extend them, open views… At night, soft warm light defines the columns and illuminates the spaces and the nature around them.
The surrounding trees create shade for the house and there is a breeze coming from the valley in the forest. That, and obviously the openness of the structure, prevents accumulation of heat and humidity. We did not cut a single tree to construct the house, only a few dangerous branches needed to be removed.
Living in this house means being in constant and intense contact with nature. We can feel every change in light, wind, temperature, humidity; there is an endlessness of smells. We got to know all the animals which live around and in the house, their personalities, their habits. We are woken up by the songs of parrots and monkeys and the continuous, ever-changing melody goes on throughout the day.
We have never had a bad experience with animals. We remove venomous snakes with the tongs and release them in the jungle. The customised, spacious mosquito net gives us the protection we need at night. And the very simple design of the house, with no hidden or multi-layered parts, allows us to see which creatures want to cohabit with us. And then to decide if we are up for it.
▽场地平面图 Site Plan
▽建筑平面图 Floor Plan
项目名称：Open Jungle House
Project Name: Open Jungle House
Completion Year: 2022
Scale: 150 m2
Project Location: Costa Rica
Landscape/Architecture Firm: Ksymena Borczynska
Contact e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
Lead Architects: Ksymena Borczynska
Design Team: Chris (electricity and water systems, lighting design)
Photo Credits: Ksymena Borczynska
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