Skip to main content

beach barn: a home open to lush nature

Located on a rectangular beachfront lot in Costa Rica‘s central Pacific area, Beach Barn by Inverse Project is shaped by an integration with lush nature. The gentle slope towards the ocean and the existing grove of coconut palms, frequented by sloths and macaws, provide a serene foreground to the ocean views. The clients called for a functional, single-level home that fluidly transitioned from indoor to outdoor spaces. Thus, the concept is inspired by a large barn roof with differing north and south pitches, creating a clerestory window that captures the morning sunlight.

This open design allows natural ventilation, as hot air escapes through a slot running the length of the structure. The barn roof, set atop two large parallel stone walls, establishes a strong axis from the entry to the seaside, enclosing the main living space and extending to create outdoor areas: the arrival courtyard and the outdoor living terrace.

images © Andres Garcia Lachner

bespoke architecture by inverse project

The architects at Inverse Project hide the Beach Barn’s main entrance amongst a lush, tropical courtyard, leading to a large, off-center pivot door made of Guanacaste wood. This door features a long pull resembling driftwood, crafted by a local metalworker. A bespoke wooden sculpture, designed using parametric software by Inverse, partially screens the open-plan living area and depicts an ocean wave. Designed to take full advantage of Costa Rica’s mild climate, the Beach Barn includes a large outdoor terrace for living and dining, as well as a saltwater infinity-edge pool which becomes especially scenic at sunset, reflecting the colors of the ocean. A large, wood-framed sliding door can be used to protect the interiors from the elements.

beach barn inverse project
this Beach Barn in Costa Rica opens fluidly onto the surrounding nature

inside the costa rican dwelling

The Beach Barn’s interiors by Inverse Project consists of a wide, open central space flanked by four modules make up three bedrooms and a garage. These separated volumes form garden courtyards, allowing natural light and greenery to enhance the living spaces and bedrooms. The master bedroom features Guanacaste wood panels behind the bed, mimicking the concentric ripples of raindrops on water. Hand-blown glass lamps resemble water droplets, and large windows offer direct ocean views. Bathrooms have polished concrete floors transitioning to flush slatted wood in the shower areas, with indirect lighting below floating sink counters and behind mirrors.

Brazilian Gneiss stone flanks the central living space walls, with floor lighting highlighting the stone’s texture. The roof, designed with sustainability in mind, features clay tiles and solar hot water panels. Large ceiling fans in living spaces and bedrooms reduce reliance on air conditioning. Lighting by Ilumineisn plays a crucial role, using indirect dimmable LEDs to save energy and control ambiance. The main living space features a lighting control system with preset light scenes and motorized roll-down window shades.

beach barn inverse project
inspired by a barn, the design uses clerestory windows and ventilation slots beach barn inverse project
the main entrance opens to a courtyard through a driftwood-like door beach barn inverse project
the interior features a central living space and separate bedroom modules