Room and Ficus – A Contemporary Retreat Overlooking San Jose City

Completed in 2012, this glazed retreat can be found along the coast of San José Province in Escazu, Costa Rica. It’s been been designed by the local architecture studio, Cañas Arquitectos.


The project, dubbed Room and Ficus, aimed to provide a relaxing getaway that would soak up the exterior views, while also minimizing its impact on the surrounding environment.



Set on a sloping mountainside site, the building makes use of steel columns to elevate it off of the ground level and minimize disruption to the earth below. All told, Room and Ficus contains a total of 560-square-feet (52-square-meters) spread over a single level.



The retreat is surrounded by tropical plants and trees (belonging to the Ficus family, hence the name). The designers were given a simple brief by the clients: to create a place where one can enjoy the view and spend afternoons and evenings with friends and family.


The entire front and side walls of the structure are glazed. The floor-to-ceiling windows frame views of the San Jose city below, as well as the volcanic mountain range in the distance: “The Escazu mountains with it’s Pico Blanco or White Peak, [feels] so close that you can touch them with your hands.”


The interior of Room and Ficus itself is a contemporary affair. Slick modern finishes make up the decor with the steel frame structure being clearly visible throughout.


The retreat comes complete with a generous kitchen, living room, and dining area. To the rear there’s also a bathroom and to the front, there’s a large exterior deck with additional seating areas. From the architects: “To sum it all up: a light and clear project, which is not intrusive, designed to immerse yourself within the scenery.”

For more retreats, check out Chronos House, a family holiday home from Buenos Aires. Or, Balnarring Retreat, a multipurpose retreat from Australia. See all retreats.

Via ArchDaily
Photos: Jordi Miralles

Niall Burke

Structural engineer by day, tiny house designer by night. Niall has a keen interest in small spaces, green design, and sustainability. He started developing Humble Homes while studying for his masters degree in engineering. He is the founder and managing editor of Humble Homes.

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