Cold Box

Architect: Fernando Martin Menis

Location: Pueblo Viejo de Sarapiquí. Costa Rica

Use: Office

Client: FUNDECOR Costa Rica

Budget: $500,000 USD

Awards: 2011 Concurso_ 3er Award

This project is born from two basic actions: one, the extrusion of a cubic element made out bamboo (of 20x20x20meters) that emerges from the ground blending into the surrounding area, a portion of nature that will hold the proposed programme. On second place, an existing cube is emptied which generates an habitable void in its interior, being able to walk around it in different directions and burrowing into the bamboo cube in the volume needed for each space.

The project which adapts to the terrains’ topography is distributed in two heights. The public spaces are located at entrance height, helping us avoid unnecessary circulation crosses. Also, the auditorium features an independent access point to the building; this is a key point, since it allows this space to function independently, even if the rest of office building is closed, being also an energy saver, since only the auditorium would be running.

The collected water is accumulated in a big closed deposit made out of concrete walls, permitting the convection between soil and water, conceding the latter its’ warmth to the soil, therefore being ready for it’s recirculation for the façade and the forgings. The cold water recirculates cyclically up to the metallic surface that surrounds the spaces, absorbing the heat from the interior, produced from the human usage, consequently cooling all of the spaces.