This project is developed on the North Pacific side of Costa Rica for a private client and started in 2015. The project consultant is Jason Lauve (Mr. Hemp) from Colorado, the Architecture firm is Studio Saxe out of San Jose and the hemp building expert is Steve Allin from Ireland.
After catching a glimpse of his presentation in New York this Summer at the Southern Tier Hemp Summit, we finally were able to meet with Mr. Lauve in Mexico. He is the man who wrote the first hemp law in Colorado with Representative Wes McKinley in 2012 and won a pivotal Cannabis trial in Colorado in 2009 and got 2 lbs 2 ounces of Cannabis back from the police in the courtroom. What amazing accomplishments for all of us.
Architecture is where Mr. Hemp started with his schooling back in the 1980’s and built his first bale structure in Boulder, Colorado over 25 years ago.
We sat with Jason, at a café in San Cristobal de las Casas, as he paused for Hemp News on his way to Costa Rica on TheHempCycle.
The Hemp Art Studio is located in a Zone 4 earthquake zone, the Earth in this area has a ground acceleration potential of 0.4g, which is huge. This is a fantastic opportunity to demonstrate the strength and performance of the hemp concrete materials. The design is representative of a flying bird for the floor plan the stairs as the “head” of the bird and the 2 window bays are the “wings.”
The view opens up in two directions towards the Pacific Ocean to the West only 2,000′ away, so you can watch the Sun set throughout the year as it moves from South to North and back again. The central spiral stairs go to the roof terrace for those cool evenings watching the stars in the Milky way above.
There is another function to the location of the stairs and that is to lead the eye away from the WiFi tower and a large hotel as well, that sit directly in the center of the view. So now it is out of mind with the vistas framed to either side. This can be seen in the map below where the red dots represent the hotel and tower.
The site pad is on a cliff about 200′ above sea level with a cliff behind the studio as well. The driveway is a very steep approach from the main road below. The temperature in this region is very high and the rainy season is from May to November. The dry period is from January to March. The warmest month is March and the coolest month is May. September is the wettest month and February is the driest month. This will really give an opportunity to demonstrate the wide range of performance from hemp materials.
Inside, you will find two massive windows that open up completely to allow the breezes to pass through the studio unimpeded. There is a feeling of complete openness, yet the space is also shaded from the harsh morning Sun so the floors stay cool all day. There is a large wall in the back that runs North to South that creates a space between the rock face and the studio, with a bathroom and small kitchen space. This “hall” is framed on both ends with another set of windows that open up the ends for circulation of air.
“It was not cheap to import the Hemp into Costa Rica, as with Haiti the authorities find a way to add extra costs at the last minute.” -Steve Allin
We will keep you up to date with what Mr. Hemp is up to in the future.