How can we celebrate the most elemental sensory experiences – gathering in open air spaces, relishing breathtaking views, and retreating to cool, sheltered environments?

RISE Common House | Costa Rica

RISE Costa Rica is a new 800-acre wellness community near San Isidro, cultivating a community of like-minded entrepreneurs celebrating wellness and happiness. This client is making an overarching commitment to regenerative practices: “it is not our duty to leave a better world to our children, it is our honor.”

MD is leading the masterplan and residential community at RISE, striving to certification of the Living Building and Community Challenges (LBC+LCC).

Type: Community Common House
Location: San Isidro, Costa Rica
Size: 5,000 SF
Target: LBC & LCC Petal Certification

RISE Costa Rica Common House Floor Plan


The Common House occupies the most prominent site within the eastern half of the property, with 360 degree views to mountains, forest, river and valley. 5,000 square feet of interior space supports 8,000 square feet of outdoor areas to host community events and small group gatherings. Lounge area, dining space, shared office, and mind-body spaces with an art studio and childcare are all contained by three interconnected elements under a unifying roof.

Like other RISE structures, the lifted vegetated roof admits light from all directions through a continuous clearstory, reinforcing circadian rhythms through low energy, daylit spaces. Under the expansive ‘RISE’ roof, secondary pavilions provide necessary functional requirements, such as sauna, spa, recording studio and conference room. The naturally ventilated structure uses thick mass walls and floor to store thermal ‘coolth’ and deeply fenestrated wood screen walls to modulate light. Local materials and craftsmanship is celebrated throughout. The pool is a natural freshwater eco-pool system with no chemicals used.

Future Design

Future phases of the overall community includes a food forest, permaculture mandala garden, wellness resort, urban village, school and recreational areas. Restoration of the landscape will bring bio-diversity back alongside human habitation, offsetting carbon footprints as the development grows.

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