Puerto Escondido Residence

2012- 2015

Status: Ongoing Construction


Architect: IM/KM - Rene Nava Oteo and Mary Elizabeth Burton with Vo Trong Nghia (Roof Design)
Engineers: ARUP (Civil), GMS (Structural), ICOR (MEP), WEdesign (Landscape), Clarient Group (AV), Joel Trace (Pool Design) Design Plus Studio(Lighting Design)
Project Management:  IM/KM, Inc. 
General Contractor: Construcciones de Bahia de Puerto Escondido, Juan Herrera, Betsy Cerrud de Quintero, and Crew
Site Work + Landscaping + Reforestation: Main International, S.A., Saul Cedeno, Horacio Peralta, and Crew

This 14,000SF residence and spa located on 30 acres of ocean front property on the Pacific coast of Panama celebrates the spirit of the tropical jungle surround. The client wished to have a tropical modern tree house nestled within a lush forest. The design process began with a comprehensive study of the existing conditions and a plan to reforest the land. By the time construction is complete, a tropical forest will be integrated with the buildings, and the site connected to the adjacent forest via planted biological corridors. In addition to extensive fieldworks in reforestation, the tree house concept was structurally reimagined to fulfill the clients dream of a luxurious indoor/outdoor home in which you were always in touch with the surrounding ecosystem.

The modern jungle treehouse aesthetic is achieved through a 2-story tower of rustic reclaimed heavy timbers and glass, surrounded by a series of pavilions nestled into terraced gardens lush with tropical foliage. This home is about its wild and landscaped gardens, which are an extension of the exterior living spaces and connect each distinct pavilion.The glass tower reflects the natural surroundings, and the surrounding pavilions use wood and thatch to effectively nestle the rooms into the foliage. A network of forest trails connects the main house with 2 guest cabins, the pool pavilion, and the spa.

The client wanted to be net zero with irrigation, a lofty goal in Panama where there is not a drop of rain for half of the year. As part of the site planning, we are building several dams to harvest rainwater that will support irrigation of the site landscape year round.

Status: construction began November 2014

View another project: