Costa Rica Hooch

The Costa Rica hooch design was conceived and modeled in 3D CAD in the studio of Darrel Deboer in two weeks of February, 2006. The all bamboo concept, and remote site (no electricity) was motivation for a variation from the pre-fabricated, plywood hip roof. The new gable design allowed galvanized roofing to be applied with no cutting. The modified, dutch hip roof was achieved with custom made spanish tile bamboo end panels, pre designed and fabricated by Martin Coto- the premier bamboo artisan of Costa Rica.

The site selected was on the upper edge of a large bamboo plantation of guadua and Dendrocalamus asper bamboo- from which the materials for the hooch were harvested and preserved with a pressurized borax solution. The view from the site looks over banana plantation to a mountain panorama. Through the rainforest to the West, the Pacific ocean can be seen. While building, we were visited by a troupe of monkeys who peered over the treetops to check out us and the hooch. Toucans, and various other animals I have never seen or even heard of also visited.

The hooch, the largest to date, 12' by 12', will serve as a wildlife observatory, and for occasional sleepouts for students in the tropical studies program at Pitzer College. The grounds are those of the Firestone Center for Restorative Ecology and the result of a collaboration of Pitzer College and Dianne Firestone.


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