This little house in Guanacaste, Costa Rica, cannot be ignored and neither can its name: A Forest for a Moon Dazzler. In fact, it is so unique that it was awarded winner of ‘Best House in the World’ category at the 2010 World Architecture Festival (WAF 2010).

We love the way the bamboo is cut into rings and expressed in the façades and ceilings, and the simplicity in which this achieves such a powerful look. This home is stunning in its detailing and in its minimal plan too. The inner courtyard is also beautiful, connecting the two rooms of the house and featuring a planted tree and some hammocks, reinforcing the laid-back feel of the place. We also like how the façade can fully open or close, allowing the house to merge itself with the outside forest or shut itself down like a protective cocoon. Peaceful is the glow you get inside the windowless home, as daylight is allowed to filter through the walls and ceilings instead.

All in all, the poetry of this place is easily palpable.

This dwelling comes charged with a nice background story as well. Architect Benjamin Garcia Saxe designed this house in the Costa Rican jungle for his mother – the Moon dazzler – as a means of creating a safe place for her to call home. He explains that the moon was an important element for his mother. Each night she would look at it and feel closer to her son despite them being far away. For this reason, Benjamin designed a dynamic roof system, which can be opened at night allowing his mother to lie in bed and fall asleep under the stars and the moonlit sky. Now that is a feature to aim for!


The building has the ability to vary its privacy settings, through its dynamic bamboo facades which can be opened and closed. [Source: Benjamin Garcia Saxe]
Exterior view of the small but perfectly formed house, clearly showing its intricate, lightweight double roof system. [Source: Benjamin Garcia Saxe]
The design consists of two inside areas linked together by a private courtyard space. [Source: Benjamin Garcia Saxe]
Who needs a door or a window when you can have an entire facade open up? [Source: Benjamin Garcia Saxe]
Bedroom view. [Source: Benjamin Garcia Saxe]
Even when the facades are closed off, the bamboo cladding lets significant light into the building, creating a wonderfully original atmosphere. [Source: Benjamin Garcia Saxe]
Close-up showing the distinctive bamboo cladding of this building by Benjamin Garcia Saxe. [Source: Benjamin Garcia Saxe]
Close-up of the textile screens with the bamboo profiles on the other side. [Source: Benjamin Garcia Saxe]
Roof detail. [Source: Benjamin Garcia Saxe]
With the inside lights on, the cladding of the building reveals itself as a clever game of geometric silhouettes. [Source: Benjamin Garcia Saxe]
Picture of the front of the house with its natural surroundings, displaying its distinctive bamboo cladding. [Source: Benjamin Garcia Saxe]
Construction: Phase 1 [Source: Benjamin Garcia Saxe]
Construction: Phase 2 [Source: Benjamin Garcia Saxe]
Construction: Phase 3 [Source: Benjamin Garcia Saxe]
Construction: Phase 4 [Source: Benjamin Garcia Saxe]