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  • Eckard Enterprises, LLC
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  • Eckard Enterprises, LLC
  • Eckard Enterprises, LLC

Costa Rica's Architectural Design Styles

June 14, 2017



Architecture throughout Costa Rica has various designs and styles depending on the location. When you travel to Costa Rica, you will notice the country lacks the colonial-era buildings often found throughout Latin America. Many of Costa Rica’s traditional architecture have been lost due to weather conditions, volcanic activity and earthquakes which has paved the way for more contemporary buildings to be built.


Costa Rica has four distinct styles of architecture that are most popular with locals and foreigners alike.


Modern Colonial-style
The most popular architecture style in Costa Rica today is by far the modern colonial-style. This architectural style appeals to locals and foreigners and was popularized by Zürcher Arquitectos. The architecture style is known for having terra-cotta roofs, tiled floors, arched windows and wrought iron fixtures. Homes and buildings will normally have warm and inviting colors ranging from dark reds to deep oranges.


Modern colonial-style homes are popular throughout the country and can be found in the lush tropical landscapes and in more dry, arid country side. As Costa Rican real estate continues to grow, developers are taking note from locals and foreigners and continuing the trend of modern colonial architecture throughout their designs.


Tropical Modern Style
The second most popular style home is the tropical modern. This style is highly popular among foreigners and is mostly found in the tropical landscapes of Costa Rica. The idea behind this design is to incorporate an indoor-outdoor approach so its key to have a seamless integration between the home and surrounding landscape.

Tropical modern homes in Costa Rica have clean, white walls with expansive windows and tall ceilings. This allows for complete harmony between the nature of Costa Rica and the architectural style.


Bali Style
Bali style has made a relatively recent appearance in Costa Rica and is mostly seen in private home developments and hotels. It is an indoor-outdoor design with heavy use of bamboo and thatch material. Although this style has gained some popularity with the growing tourism industry, it isn’t ideal with the surrounding environment as it could let in bugs and animals with its open floor plan.


Tico Home
The most commonly seen style architecture throughout Costa Rica is the Tico home. This style is primarily built in rural areas and working class neighborhoods and is mostly made out of cinder blocks and cement panels. Zico homes are less expensive than the popular modern colonial style and are quicker to resale. However, they often are small with low ceilings and tiny windows which is why this architectural style is not very popular with foreign buyers.


As the tourism industry in Costa Rica steadily grows, modern architects are building new commercial and residential developments with sophisticated designs. These projects are modernizing Costa Rica’s architectural style and gaining global attention from foreign investors who are looking to purchase real estate or call this beautiful country home.

Source: Real Estate Costa Rica

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