About.

INSTINTO

We believe good design does more than just look pleasing. It improves people’s quality of life.

About our Studio

What would life look like without design? It’s hard to imagine, but you know that it wouldn’t make a lot of sense.

Design isn’t just about making something that looks pretty. It’s about improving the quality of life of those who use the design. That’s why we create houses and buildings that actively improve the lives and experiences of our clients. They are beautiful… but they also make sense.

Here’s how.

We integrate our projects into the environment, creating each structure to fit perfectly into its habitat. We seek to understand the world we live in, designing buildings in harmony with their surroundings.

It’s holistic. Each project is a puzzle that pieces together exploration and investigation, nature, contemporary technology, local charm, thoughtful materials, and a deep respect for social, economic, and environmental impact.

Our drive is to compose symphonies that marry reason with emotion, in order to delight the eye, surprise the mind, and build habitats where memories will be made. Each creation is made hand-in-hand with our clients to create real solutions, regardless of the scale or budget.

Instinto Studio creates sustainable, tropical architecture.

At our heart, we create unique experiences with nature.

ALEJANDRO GONZÁLEZ ZAMORA
PRINCIPAL CO-FOUNDER.

Alejandro graduated from Veritas University with a degree in Architecture in 2015. From the very beginning, the pursuit of survival in complicated and extreme environments motivated and thrilled him.

Alejandro seeks to create structures that thrive, despite rain, heat, or foliage of the Costa Rican setting. He exhaustively studies every environmental factor and is meticulous with every detail, from design to materials to construction. There’s a beauty you only see when all the parts of a project come together.

His experience ranges from tropical boutique hotels that delight their guests to private homes that make their inhabitants comfortable and content. He’s as comfortable on the construction site as in the office, an ease that comes from having so many designs go through construction. Alejandro knows what works in construction and how to speak contractor, just some of the many details of the process he is passionate for.

Not satisfied with remaining static, Alejandro is an avid musician and guitarist in a band, the art director at Studio Hyperspace where he explores artistic expression through large-scale digital illustrations, and a frequent student. He specialized in Project Management at LEAD University and DesignThinking & Business Design at Veritas University.

LAURA MORELLI LIZANO
PRINCIPAL CO-FOUNDER.

Laura’s vast experience in architecture began in 2008 when she graduated from VeritasUniversity. From there, she hit the ground running, pushing herself to learn as much as she could and expand her knowledge and abilities without ceasing.

Laura knows the ins and outs of sustainable design, beginning with her Master’s Degree inArchitecture, Energy, and Environment from the ETSAB Polytechnic University of Catalonia in Barcelona, Spain, where her thesis “Practicable Facade in the Urban Context for Warm Humid Climate” received honorable mentions.

Over the last decade plus, Laura has only intensified her passion for bioclimatic architecture and how the structures she creates coexist in the tropical context. While her experience is broad, ranging from Costa Rica to Barcelona and back in cities, beaches, mountains and beyond, her expertise can be found in the big picture, as well as details. You’ll find she knows the best materials to use as building facades when building in tropical environments.You’ll also find her searching constantly for better solutions.

There’s little in the architecture world that can daunt Laura, who has over a decade experience with commercial hotels, private homes, remodels, institutions, and dozens of other projects of large and small scale that she’s seen to fruition. Wherever the industry goes, you’ll find Laura there, whether it’s working with sustainable design based on years of experience or exploring new trends.

CESAR COTO
PRINCIPAL CO-FOUNDER.

Cesar started working in the world of architecture in 2013 and graduated from Veritas University with a degree in Architecture in 2014.

Cesar draws inspiration from a strong connection with nature, a respect for the natural world that his family instilled in him since he was a child. He has an innate ability to conceptualize projects and is known for creating exceptional initial concepts. He sees each project as its own unique challenge and looks forward to finding the right solutions for each specific element, regardless of scale.

A profound love for Costa Rica’s natural paradise drives Cesar to create a masterpiece out of each project in order to do the setting justice. Beauty deserves to exist with beauty. He challenges himself to break the mold, finding new and better ways to fit architecture seamlessly into its organic context.

Sports like surf, tennis, and swimming let Cesar have constant contact with the world in which he builds. The adrenaline, passion, and respect that sports have taught him constantly motivate his creativity. Cesar is a man who rarely stops moving and never stops imagining and creating.

Meet Our Team

DANIEL OBANDO MUÑOZ

BIM CM ARCHITECT
DANIEL OBANDO MUÑOZ

Daniel graduated from Costa Rica Institute of Technology with a degree in architecture in 2019 after having worked in architecture and construction since 2016. He noticed early on that the better the information a project has, the better the project will be. This led him to develop his expertise in Building Information Modeling (BIM).

As a self-diagnosed BIM nerd, Daniel advocates for a data-driven methodology to architecture, knowing how valuable information is in enabling better decision making, efficient planning and executing, and optimized construction processes.

Daniel’s experience ranges from Costa Rica to Colombia to the United States. He has worked on a number of large housing and commercial projects, giving him an edge on projects of high technical complexity. This is evident in his thesis in architectural acoustics at the University of Santiago, Chile. As a part of the project “Adaptable Acoustic Prototype for Multifunctional Spaces,” his work is displayed at the Museum of Contemporary Art in Santiago.

When you combine Daniel’s technical experience, his passion for information, and his sensitivity for design, the result is an excellent complement to the team, capable of translating the purest design intentions into efficient and executable construction solutions.

HAROLD SOLANO

BIM ARCHITECT – 3D VISUALIZER
HAROLD SOLANO

Harold graduated from the Hispanoamérica University in 2010, though his vast experience working alongside architects and structural engineers is what has most given him his incredible insight into the technical and visual aspect of architecture that he is known for.

From the very beginning of his career, Harold has had a gift translating architectural ideas into concrete designs. He considers his perspective on architecture to be highly rational and logical, apparent in how he has excelled at the technical development of projects. Combined with his years of hands-on experience developing a varied portfolio of residences, apartment buildings, hotels, luxury buildings, and even bridges, this makes him an exceptional asset on any project.

Harold’s passion lies in 2D and 3D design, especially with detailed renderings. His talent is truly spectacular and has proven to be amongst the best in the country. Whether while working, studying, or on his own time, Harold constantly pushes the known bounds of visual communication, working to more accurately transmit the essence of each project.

This passion is evident in his own studio, HASS, where Harold explores diverse artistic techniques and ways to more accurately communicate the architectural atmosphere that each project requires.

BETSY QUIEL

BIM ARCHITECT
BETSY QUIEL

Betsy Quiel graduated with a degree in architecture from Universidad Latina de Costa Rica in 2016. Since then, she has been focusing on honing her skills in Building Information Modeling (BIM), resulting in 5 years worth of valuable knowledge.

Her experience stretches from small to large-scale, which include both residential and commercial projects internationally and locally. Some of Betsy’s notable projects include private residences along the coasts of Costa Rica, as well as in urban centers, institutional telecommunications buildings, airports, and hotels.

Betsy’s academic excellence has served her well, translating to an ability to keep projects focused and on track, without missing a detail. She attributes this to a high level of organization combined with passion for architecture. Outside of architecture, you’ll find her mountain biking throughout the Costa Rican outdoors. Whether from her years of experience in architecture or navigating the tropical weather on her bike, Betsy has developed a keen capacity to adapt to any circumstance and give her best, no matter what comes.

ALEJANDRA PAIZ

PROJECT ARCHITECT
ALEJANDRA PAIZ

I graduated in 2020 from L’École Nationale Supérieure d’Architecture de Lyon (France) with a Master’s Degree in Heritage Rehabilitation and Sustainability. During my academic journey, I also had the opportunity to do a year abroad in Portugal, at the Universidade de Arquitetura do Porto, where my love for colorful tiles and sober gestures made sense in my head.

While in Porto, I worked in a rehabilitation architecture studio which focused on bringing light and a modern twist to some of the older buildings in the city: I quickly understood that to respect the existent was to respect history and nature. The importance of new elements only becomes valuable when it acknowledges its site and heritage.

With a mixture of sadness and excitement I came back to San José where I worked in Interior Design for 2 years as a Project Manager and Designer: this opened my horizons to an understanding of details that I hadn’t had the opportunity to explore.

I consider myself a nostalgic person: cooking to remember people and taking pictures to remember moments. I love being outdoors, practicing Muay Thai in the mornings and trying new food whenever I can.

KAT

PR & COMMUNICATION
KAT

Kat does not hail originally from the world of architecture but rather from the world of communication. In 2014, she graduated from Oregon State University with degrees in International Studies and Public Health. Soon after, she moved to Costa Rica, where she immersed herself in the world of written communication and marketing.

For the last decade, Kat transitioned from teaching English in Costa Rica to working with marketing and content teams. At Instinto Studio, if you write in, inquiring about a project, you are likely to communicate with her for preliminary exchanges.

GLORIANA SEGURA

PROJECT ARCHITECT
GLORIANA SEGURA

Gloriana Segura is a 2019 graduate of Universidad Veritas, where she earned a degree inarchitecture. Since graduating, she has worked on a variety of projects, gaining experiencein both residential and rural design.

Additionally, Gloriana has worked with several architectural firms, contributing to commercialprojects and vertical buildings. Through this work, she has gained extensive knowledge ofthe various configurations and legal requirements of the building industry.

Gloriana is particularly passionate about sustainable architecture and its potential to blendwith nature while minimizing environmental impact. She is also an avid yoga practitioner andnature enthusiast. During her free time, you may find Gloriana hiking in the mountains ofCosta Rica or exploring the beaches of Guanacaste with her dog, Kenya

DANIEL JIMENEZ

BIM ARCHITECT
DANIEL JIMENEZ

Daniel earned his degree in Architecture from the Costa Rica Institute of Technology in2019. Since 2017, he has been involved in the design and construction industry, workingwith companies that focus on various aspects such as visualization, BIM consulting, design,and construction.

Through his extensive experience and involvement in multiple aspects of the constructionprocess – from design conception to project completion – Daniel considers the application oftechnology and information crucial to improving the construction process and its outcomes.

His constant interest in learning new things has led him to research different topics, such assustainability and accessibility, and their relation and application within architecture. Thisallows him to conceive projects that are more comprehensive and socially andenvironmentally conscious.Outside of work, Daniel enjoys sports and adventure. Crossfit,mountain biking, and hiking in nature are among his favorite activities.

ELISA SANCHEZ

JR. ARCHITECT
ELISA SANCHEZ

Elisa Sánchez is a recent honors graduate from Veritas University. Her interest in creativityand design dates back to her early years, and she always knew she wanted to pursue acareer in architecture.

During her university years, Elisa acquired a diverse range of technical and theoretical skillsthat have made her a competent professional in her field. She had the opportunity to work onpractical and team projects, experimenting with different design approaches and techniques.

Elisa has several artistic passions, all of which can be applied to architecture and design.She enjoys post-production and giving personality to her projects through graphic design.Photography is another medium that she uses to express her creativity, as she loves tocapture moments.

Elisa’s love for learning about different cultures began in high school when she had theopportunity to participate in exchange programs with countries like Germany and the UnitedStates. During her travels, she is most passionate about learning about the culture andarchitecture of these places. This, combined with her love for photography and art, allowsher to bring a unique perspective to her work in architecture and design.

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