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Our practice

Cañas Arquitectos is one of the most experienced and internationally decorated Costa Rican Arquitectural firm dedicated exclusively to Contemporary Design.

Cañas Arquitectos was founded in 1975, with the clear and passionate purpose of being a solely contemporary design studio. It was a time when the Costa Rican society had little or no exposure and understanding about how fabulous design is. Although we have purposely kept the practice small, we have accumulated vast experience over the decades in working all types of projects for local and foreign clients. 

The studio was conceived from the beginning with a deep belief in the power of imagination, creativity and a strong love of nature, and especially, a love of the tropics. 

We firmly believe that great design goes hand in hand with the environment and this is the first step in achieving a sustainable project. Costa Rica is blessed with a wonderful climate. Our designs allow you to gradually experience outdoor living and closeness to nature with luxury and wellbeing. 

We have a proven team of specialized consultants who help us find the most sensible design solutions for all areas of the project; be them from ancestral “low tech” to industrial high-tech, and offer standards of the tropical RESET, Carbon Neutral, or LEED certifications of sustainability

We choose and design with the most appropriate sustainable strategies, emphasizing the passive ones, to create architectural elements that uniquely characterize the project. For this we have a team of specialized consultants who help us to find the most sensible solution for the project’s ecology; from ancestral “low tech” solutions to high-tech ones, in order to offer standards of RESET, Carbon Neutral, or LEED certifications of sustainability.        .


“When the right thing is in the right place, we are moved” David Byrne.

We always create spaces designed to improve your quality of life.

We create and arrange them to suit your way of life and give them as much of nature’s touch as you are comfortable with.

Our architecture arises from here and now.


With “here”, we mean the site conditions, location, orientation, topography, flora and fauna, views, climate (macro and micro climates), neighbors and urban or rural context…etc. All those unrepeatable conditions and parameters which we use to engage the project -in the best and most elegant way- with its surroundings, taking advantage of their strengths and facing problems respectfully and with responsibility.

We believe that the best architectural work is one that, being respectful of it’s context, seems to a have always been there.


“A now” – the zeitgeist. We seek beauty that balances the possibilities and responsibilities (of the present and the future), which the project offers us at the time. We know that outstanding architecture does not necessarily need the latest technology or the highest budget. We believe that by using design with common sense, it always achieves the simplest and most elegant solutions; that which solves the majority of problems and provides the greatest beauty to the project.

This is a guiding principle that we presume – it helps us design architecture with strong fundamentals, and also to (hopefully) create those magical spaces that remain in and elevate our daily lives.

Space, art and magic

We all live in a multidimensional world, and space is an integral part of ourselves. In fact everything, including our bodies, is made of more empty space (space between atoms) than material itself. That’s why believe that, as a species, we feel drawn to creations that highlight space. We look for and resonate deeply when confronted by a view to an open horizon, a valley, or the Grand Canyon, the night sky (outer space) or certain art works and buildings.


We are a creative company, composed of creative people. We range from architects and designers, to artists, photographers, sculptors, painters and musicians.

We love what we do, and it’s a pleasure and an honour for us to offer you our work.


It is very important for us to give something back to our community. Our team is personally involved in teaching at Universities, projects promoting public spaces, cultural, and social improvements.