Take a tour of Pergola House in Costa Rica – a leafy residence open to the elements

Based in Costa Rica, Pergola House by Studio Saxe is a serene escape that blends indoor and outdoor living

Costa Rica Pergola House
(Image credit: Andres Garcia Lachner)

Laying low within the treeline, Pergola House is nestled within the leafy terrain of Playa Grande, also known as Salinas, a beach community and surf hot spot on the Pacific coast of Costa Rica. Designed by local architectural firm, Studio Saxe, the residential building breaks the boundaries between indoor and outdoor living, embracing the country's abundant nature.

Costa Rica Pergola House

(Image credit: Andres Garcia Lachner)

Inside Pergola House in Costa Rica

As with the studio's previous projects, such as Suitree Experience Hotel, Jungle Frame House, and Raintree House, the architects were inspired by the native landscape for this project. The aim was to construct an ocean-view beach house, an idyllic escape for a dynamic and active lifestyle. The home stemmed from a desire for renewal, as the clients were tragically faced with the loss of their Californian home to wildfires.

Costa Rica Pergola House

(Image credit: Andres Garcia Lachner)

‘We envisioned creating a home that would symbolise new beginnings and the resilience of the human spirit,’ the clients said. ‘Studio Saxe captivated us with their philosophy of design that not only blends seamlessly with its surroundings but also encapsulates the personal journey of its inhabitants.’ Propelled to seek a fresh start, the clients commissioned the residence as a symbol of resilience to provide a sense of sanctuary for the family.

Costa Rica Pergola House

(Image credit: Andres Garcia Lachner)

The design approach focused on a series of pergolas to seamlessly unify the gardens with the living space. Harmonising with native foliage, the façade consists of a series of structured rib elements designed to expand and contract responding to the presence of trees and topography. Intentional gaps are left within the roofline to accommodate for vegetation, and extend the outdoor experience.

Costa Rica Pergola House

(Image credit: Andres Garcia Lachner)

The house's structural metal ribs were constructed off-site and simply assembled at the plot to cause minimal disruption to the environment. This is a common way of working for Studio Saxe. It allows the practice's architecture to respect and also effortlessly merge with its context, as the building site navigates its way around existing trees. 

Costa Rica Pergola House

(Image credit: Andres Garcia Lachner)

Pergola House was designed with principles of sustainable architecture in mind, so further materials were sourced locally for a light-touch construction process, which offers a contemporary take on traditional Costa Rican architecture.

Costa Rica Pergola House

(Image credit: Andres Garcia Lachner)

The open plan design allows for a cooling sea breeze to wash through the rooms, as strategically placed windows support natural ventilation. The warm Central American sun helps generate energy through solar panels, while water recycling systems filter through the home and cool the exterior walls.

Costa Rica Pergola House

(Image credit: Andres Garcia Lachner)

Costa Rica Pergola House

(Image credit: Andres Garcia Lachner)

Costa Rica Pergola House

(Image credit: Andres Garcia Lachner)

Costa Rica Pergola House

(Image credit: Andres Garcia Lachner)

studiosaxe.com

Tianna Williams is the Editorial Executive at Wallpaper*. Before joining the team in 2023, she has contributed to BBC Wales, Ford UK, SurfGirl Magazine, and Parisian Vibe, with work spanning from social media content creation to editorial. Now, her role covers writing across varying content pillars for Wallpaper*.