Kabëk (Quetzal)
Úbáli Tropical Living

Kabëk (Quetzal)

úbáli tropical living as Architects

Úbáli Tropical Living develops eco-friendly modular homes for private and hotel projects in Costa Rica, a Franco-Costa Rican alliance that consists of the implementation of pre-designed structures that respond to a series of tourist development problems for expatriates and nationals who decide to open an hotel business or a private tiny-house to rent on collaborative platforms.


The owners Arthur Micheron, Architect and Pablo Valle, Civil engineer of Úbáli tropical living created a line of modular houses designed as customizable products in accordance with the Costa Rican physical, social and economic context. Its creation was named Úbáli, which means Chameleon in the Costa Rican indigenous language Bribri, this name highlights the importance of the structures to embrace the tropical context and generating experiences with the comfort and modernity of urban life in rural contexts.


Costa Rica's goal is to be carbon neutral in the year 2021, which is why Úbáli has been given the task of providing designs for hotels and holiday cabins that limit the ecological footprint.


Most of these structures being prefabricated and detached from the ground limit the ecological footprint of the projects, the gray work is reduced to the foundation. The models integrate the entire structure to the finishes, as well as bathroom furniture, kitchen and electromechanical installations.


The first modular house model, the Úbali 1.0 model, Kabëk (Quetzal), is ideally suited for mountain climates, this model has an atypical concept, with an intimate shape that communicates with nature so that guests have privacy and dialogue with the space around them. Its flexible structure allows it to adapt to sloping terrain, dense forests and humid tropical climates.


The cabin includes all the electromechanical installations, the septic tank and the facilities necessary for its operation. The modulation of the cabins allows to make certain adjustments to shorten or enlarge the cab according to the needs. The structure is lightweight in metal construction with an external lining in industrial zinc and internal walls in gypsum and densglass.


Úbáli's appeal lies in two essential parameters, the economic interest and the short realization time. It is built with a surface and a tighter budget, defined based on an analysis of investments in that sector and with the premise that they are models that will be replicated. The duration of the procedures is used to realize the prefabrication, which allows the project to be installed within 7 weeks after obtaining the permits.


Customers can request complementary services in case they want to make a swimming pool, a terrace, access, landscaping and even have an accompaniment in interior design. They also have the subscription of a maintenance service to facilitate customer operations.


Úbáli also offers the possibility of making unique designs and hope to be able to ship their models in other countries.


Material Used :
1. Prodex, Insulation
2. Lamina Metalock, Industrial Zinc, facade
3. Akari, windows frames
4. Gypsum and Densglass, interior panels
5. Handcrafted kitchens and bathroom
6. Concrete foundations 
7. Steel prefab structure

This story is available in multiple languages
Share or Add Kabëk (Quetzal) to your Collections
Project Credits
Product Spec Sheet

Interior panelsGYPSUM
Product Spec Sheet
Interior panels
Punta de Mar
next project

Punta de Mar

Valencia, Spain - Build completed in 2018
View Project