Our Team

Our Country

Our team of architects is inspired by nature and the environment of Costa Rica. We strive to create homes that are not only aesthetically pleasing but also functional & environmentally conscious. We are dedicated to creating homes that are respectful of the environment, while also providing you with a unique and creative space that you can call your own.


Our team is composed of talented and driven young professionals seeking to create meaningful and lasting change through their designs. With a deep passion for their craft & Costa Rica, they are committed to producing innovative and sustainable solutions that not only meet the needs of their clients, but also enhance the communities and environments in which they are built.

Rhina Portillo

Founder, Architect & Client Relations

Fabian Mena

Design Architect

Matt Usher

Founder & Technical Lead Architect

Rafael Lopez

Design Architect

Juan Diego Salas

Project Manager

Alisson Cespedes

Project Architect

Randall Diaz

Project Architect

Christian Jimenez

Electro-Mechanical Engineer

Frequent Questions

While every project and client is unique, we have gathered a set of frequently asked questions along with their corresponding answers.
Why work with StudioOctava?
What are the services you provide?
What type of projects are you taking on?
What are your fees?
How much do your projects cost?
In which parts of the country do you offer your service?
How long does a project take to build?

About Us

Our Work

Hi! We are Rhina and Matt, a married couple of architects with kids and a dog. Rhina is from Costa Rica, while Matt originates from Austria. We strive to combine meticulous attention to detail and high-quality standards with a focus on comfort and warmth in our designs. As family, homeowners, rental owners, and business owners ourselves, we understand our clients' manifold challenges and aspirations. We strive to assist them where we can with their projects here in beautiful Costa Rica.

Our Education

We had the privilege of working and learning from Zaha Hadid, a distinguished Pritzker Prize-winning architect, on projects across Vienna, London, and Beijing for five years. We also spent a year under the tutelage of Kazuyo Sejima, a respected Pritzker laureate from Japan. Matt's Civil Engineering and Architecture expertise, combined with Rhina's skills in Architecture, business, and relationships, and our global experience, allow us to deliver a great client experience.

Wanna Meet Us? Get In Touch. No Strings Attached.

or drop us a mail with your question here:


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Our Guide.

Property Development in Costa Rica

We put together a guide for aspiring homeowners & private investors in Costa Rica. In the guide you will find everything we wished we had known before developing our first property. We cover things you should know about purchasing a property, legal requirements, architecture & engineering and tips and tricks that will help you to make better decisions during your first steps of your project.