Project Teahouse

Building an oceanside Costa Rican home that embraces the thought that prizes humility and austerity and finds beauty in imperfection.

Ten years ago, I discovered & fell in love with a small town in the Pacific coast of Costa Rica
Playa Guiones
I learned to surf there
Playa Guiones
My daughters swam her first lap there
Playa Guiones
And where they started to ride waves
Playa Guiones
It’s also where I met one of my best friends in the world, Ru
Playa Guiones
I was lucky enough to have a hand in helping Ru build the best surf school in the world
Surf Simply
And Ru constructed a beautiful resort for Surf Simply
Surf Simply
After 10 years of looking for the perfect lot, Ru gave me a call and told me he found one. It’s a 4 minute walk to surf.
Guiones Beach Club - Guard House
Bonus is it is literally right beside Ru’s own dream lot
Guiones Beach Club - Guard House
We immediately asked Roberto, the project manager who built the resort, to lead our project. Ru & I are using the same architect, contractor and crew to gain some economies of scale. Plus, it’s more fun to build together
Guiones Beach Club - Guard House
I knew I wanted to build a home that is just enough. A thought & design that prizes humility and austerity and finds beauty in imperfection.
Fundación Casa Wabi
I was always inspired by Casa Wabi, the arts foundation in Oaxaca, Mexico that was designed by one of my heroes, the architect, Tadao Ando
Fundación Casa Wabi
I took a pilgrimage to the art island of Naoshima to see, feel and touch Tadao Ando’s work
Naoshima Island
I was inspired by Tadao Ando’s pioneering use of concrete form work
Benesse House Hotel Oval Building
Tadao Ando allows his structures to flow and conform to nature
Benesse House Hotel Oval Building
The first designs from the architect were beautiful but just not right. I did not want a house that could be at home in Malibu, Chiba or Singapore. I wanted one that was designed specifically for our town and our land.
Playa Guiones
I sat in a local restaurant and hand drew the layout of the home I wanted. I grew up in Asia and have always wanted a courtyard home where the soul of the home is right in the middle of it
The Harmony Hotel
And I also laid out the 3 ethos of the home: (1) Give me a home that is just enough, (2) That will embrace the imperfections, patina & humility that comes with living in a tropical jungle by the ocean, and (3) Respects the colloquial Tico architecture & way of living with the land.
Playa Guiones
I was especially inspired by Tadao Ando’s use of Mexico’s traditional paha roof with his signature concrete.
Fundación Casa Wabi
Especially his use of the traditional Mexican paha roof, made out of dried palm leaves which allows air circulation
Fundación Casa Wabi
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