No Footprint House in Costa Rica by A-01 Architects | Yellowtrace

No Footprint House in Costa Rica by A-01 Architects | Yellowtrace

No Footprint House in Costa Rica by A-01 Architects | Yellowtrace

No Footprint House in Costa Rica by A-01 Architects | Yellowtrace

 

The No Footprint House (NFH) by A-01 is set amidst the small village of Ojuchal, Costa Rica, at the edge of vast tropical rainforests. Driven by efficiency and sustainability, the home was developed as a prototype residential typology for large-scale serial production. Available as of 2020, NFH was prefabricated in the Central Valley of Costa Rica before being transported to site on one single truck.

The design responds to the humid, tropical climate, prioritizing passive climate control through natural ventilation and solar shading. A central service core contains all services, technology, storage, bathrooms, kitchen and laundry. By compressing utilities into one compact unit, A-01 enabled an open floor plan around the core, while contributing to the efficiency of the building in terms of assembly and maintenance.

Built as a floating steel structure with timber finishes, vertical structural columns and inclined outer create a double-layered ‘envelope’, to which additional furniture pieces are ‘plugged’ in. The incline decreases the direct impact of sunlight and precipitation, in turn protecting the elevated floor plan from overheating and water that splashes up during heavy rains. Panels along the façade can be opened or closed individually in order to regulate views and exposure, augment or reduce airflow, and create privacy and security. The operable panels convert the interior into exterior spaces and play with the indoor-outdoor dynamic of tropical architecture.

 

No Footprint House in Costa Rica by A-01 Architects | Yellowtrace

No Footprint House in Costa Rica by A-01 Architects | Yellowtrace

No Footprint House in Costa Rica by A-01 Architects | Yellowtrace

No Footprint House in Costa Rica by A-01 Architects | Yellowtrace

 

Private rooms can be closed off through sliding glass panels and full-height curtains, allowing for changing degrees of spatial separation or social integration. The upper section of the house remains permanently open, assuring unobstructed airflow and cross-ventilation, with panels of mosquito netting to prevent insects. NFH is connected to the public water and energy grid, which in Costa Rica is powered almost entirely by renewable resources. Water is heated locally through solar energy, which is harvested on top of the roof. Designed to blend with its natural surroundings and minimize the impact of construction, the project seeks integrated sustainability in terms of its environmental, economic, social and spatial measures.

In its initial phase, the NFH comes in three different sizes – ‘tiny’ at 36sqm, ‘mid-size’ at 81sqm and ‘family home’ at 108sqm – that can be customized in terms of structure, material finishes and desired level of services. The first of its kind in Central America, each house is configured from a catalogue of prefabricated components, selected based on their origin, processing, and environmental performance. Material options include structural steel, louvres and perforated panels for facades, bamboo and timber ceilings, and mineral and synthetic finishes for walls and floors. These are all adjustable according to the specific needs of each client.Click To Read Entire Post

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