Oppositions of Materials and Tools
Materials and tools
Architecture is constantly creating conflict with other elements in space. An opposition in architecture is that of tools and materials which limit the ability to construct and design suitable spaces. Deep in the rainforests of undeveloped regions of the planet there is little access to technology and materials which seem necessary for creating decent living facilities. When venturing to Costa Rica for my first time, my family and I stayed in an almost completely self-sustaining resort hidden in the depths of the Osa Penninsula. Bosque del Cabo works with nature to obtain electricity, produce food, and control temperature.
Almost all electricity at Bosque del Cabo is generated by a stream which falls from the cliffs around the resort to the sandy shoreline. The energy from the falling water is transferred into electrical energy which in turn powers the ten bungalows and two private houses. In addition to the hydroelectric power, the restaurant is solar powered. The energy to make the meals at this rainforest restaurant is the same energy that generates the growth of the fruits it serves.
Bosque del Cabo’s landscape is speckled with fruit trees and shrubs. They are harvested daily and chopped up for meals in the restaurant. All additional ingredients are sought for at the local food markets where farmers sell their homegrown goods. Each of the meals served at the restaurant is made from scratch and homegrown materials.
All of the facilities at the resort are naturally heated and cooled by breezes. All rooms are completely open and houses are constructed with door less doorways and glassless windows. Water is heated by the sun, and refreshingly cooled by the earth. The architecture of these remarkable spaces has been shaped by the influences of nature and the lack of man-made materials. The thatched roofs of banana leaves and jungle vines are yet another prime example of the influence available materials and tools can have on the space created. What architecture is all about in the sense of materials and tools is that of looking beyond the initial obstacles and using what is available in the most efficient means possible. This is innovation.