In an extremely narrow lot with slopes on two sides and an existing platform at a level of 4m above the street, the first thing tackled was the access ramp and parking. Once it was ready, the house was designed occupying almost the entire area of what  was buildable.

Project Name: Casa V & A
Studio name: Cañas Arquitectos
Location: Tres Rios Costa Rica
Year 2019
Architectural Design: Víctor Cañas, architect, Hon FAIA
Design Team:  Sara Araya Barrantes. Andrés Cañas. architects
Structural Engineering : Sotela Alfaro Ltda. Juan Carlos Sotela
Electromechanical Engineering: ECG. Ing. Roberto Donadío.
General Contractors: LR Ingenieros. Ing. Luis Diego Rojas Lizano.
Photography: Fernando Alda

Materials palette

A reduced materials palette is used.

  • Exposed concrete walls
  • Red laminated glass that works as a mirror in the entry hall and allows us to glimpse the interior of the house.
  • Polycarbonate in the central skylight.
  • Grey porcelain tiles for the floors
  • Plaster ceiling.
Casa V&A By Cañas Arquitectos - Sheet5
©Fernando Alda


One of the main design goals was to have open views of the mountains and the city of San José from all the main areas of the house.

O the ground floor, transparent open spaces were designed that flow together and are articulated in a double height skylit lobby with a reflecting pool that flows from the entrance hall through the social areas, crosses a lift gate that separates interior from exterior and joins a small swimming pool.

On the top floor the 3 bedrooms have city and mountains view. The corner main bedroom enjoys a spectacular panorama view.

Casa V&A By Cañas Arquitectos - Sheet7
©Fernando Alda


The stairs going up to the second floor are a focal point due to its its sculptural design. The first section is made of floating concrete steps on a stone slope that cascades down from the outside and penetrates the house. The second section, painted white as the wall from which it cantilevers tends to blend in while  contrasting in form with the first section.

Basement: circular stairs go down from the terrace to a guest bathroom and storage.

Casa V&A By Cañas Arquitectos - Sheet8
©Fernando Alda

Cañas Arquitectos

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

Victor Cañas founded Cañas Arquitectos in 1972, with the purpose of being a solely  contemporary design office.

Cañas Arquitectos was born at a time when the Costa Rican society had little or no exposure and understanding about how fabulous design is. Over the years, more people have been exposed to and educated in good design, thus it has become more valued and now Cañas Architects is recognized as one of Latinamerica’s architectural offices with a longer and most committed trajectory. Among our most distinguished achievements is to be the Architectural office with most wins of the Gran Premio ( Main Prize) at the Costa Rican Architectural Biennale, and also Victor Cañas is the first Honorary member of the American Institute of Architects in the category of Architectural Design in Central America.

Cañas Arquitectos was conceived from the beginning as a company in love with nature, and especially, in love with the tropics. We firmly believe that great design goes hand in hand with the environment and this is the first step to achieve a sustainable project.

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.


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