Benjamin Garcia Saxe

— Studio

— Our History

Benjamin Garcia Saxe set up his own architecture practice in San Jose, Costa Rica in 2004. Benjamin studied architecture in Costa Rica at Universidad Veritas and later went on to receive a Professional Masters of Architecture Degree from the Rhode Island School of Design, USA. He also holds a degree in Education for the Arts and Design from Brown University in USA and is actively involved as an invited lecturer at Universities in England, USA, and South America.

As well as being the executive director of Benjamin Garcia Saxe Architecture, Benjamin is currently also an associate of British architect Sir Richard Rogers in London. He has personally participated in the design of large scale developments around the world; those which include Tower 3 of the World Trade Center in New York City, high end leisure, residential, and offi ce schemes in Europe, Middle East and China; and more recently the design of a residential development in Monte Carlo for the prince of Monaco.

— Our Work

In almost 10 years, Benjamin Garcia Saxe Architecture has evolved to become an international architectural practice currently working with diverse clients both in Europe and the Americas. Our current projects include a range of scales which go from one off family homes to large scale master plans and buildings. Currently most of our work is concentrated in Costa Rica, and we also engaged in projects in USA, El Salvador, Chile, England, Spain, and Australia.

— The Power of Design, Creativity and Common Sense

We believe in the power of design as a tool to love others with our work and provide them with a better quality of life. Irrespective of scale or budget, we are certain of the amazing power of creativity and common sense and have been able to create an architecture which is not only an intimate response to our clients, but also an efficient and responsible implementation of construction within the natural world we live in. We are strong advocates of an “Avant-Garde Architecture of Common Sense and Beauty”; qualities which are often lost in 21st century architecture. We know that good architecture has nothing to do with putting a lot of money into a building, but is rather closer to a subtle understanding of basic and intrinsic humanity and our relation with the environment.

— Technology

We are firm believers that technology should not be used to solve the problems of architecture which were created by poor design. Rather, we believe in a more intelligent, responsible, and adequate use of technology that informs the design process to create efficient buildings before they are built. We have built a reputation of being able to manage correctly beauty through materiality coupled with a very practical approach to Bioclimatic Architecture through common sense and proven by scientific analysis.

— Sustainability

We are constantly on the look for clients who share our values and views on how to manage resources and how to develop a way to live and work more responsibly in the 21st Century. For us, sustainability is more of a way of life which is permeated in how we live our lives and our impact on this world. We do not believe in adding sustainable measures as add-ons or “makeup” to architecture, but that rather see this as an intrinsic part of design and the language of a building. We believe that a building should speak for itself and express the values that the creators and clients want to imprint. From the beginning of every project, we collaborate with sustainability consultants that help is determine the life span and impact of a building from “cradle to cradle”. We introduce, all the way from our concept design stages, ideas and measures of waste and water management, energy production and consumption. Our aim is always to produce Carbon Neutral developments which not only save money in the long run but also are sensible financially and create little impact on the environment.

— Materiality and Light

We love what we do and believe strongly in the involvement of the architect as a sculptor and explorer of materiality. We understand the typical methods of construction, but rather delve deep into trying to bring back some traditional crafts which might have been lost in modernity. We are constantly developing ways to combine very functional and durable contemporary materials with natural ones in a clear balance between functionality and atemporal playfulness. We are interested in exploring light as it is manifested through architecture and how this can also be transformed to create architecture which is full of joy and beauty. In every project we discover the language of architecture as it evolves from a process that engages these multiple factors. We believe more in a way of thinking about architecture rather than repeating the same architectural response in every project.

— Community

We understand that architecture sits within the broader scope of community and thus should respect, promote, and enhance the healthy social and cultural activities that already exist in a particular location. We believe that architecture can come to fi t and sometimes even promote positive change to the sense of place of a city or town. Public space and human interaction are for us vital components within architecture that can begin to promote a healthy blend of ideas, culture, and wellbeing. Thus, we don’t see the architectural object as an entity on its own, but rather as the result of understanding its context to provide an adequate relationship with its surroundings to promote community, health, wellbeing, and ultimately a culture.

— Social Responsability

We believe that we are very fortunate and that we have a duty to give back to our community through charitable donations and sometimes with our time and work. We have been actively involved in helping non-profit organisations realise work that we deem is important and necessary. We commit 10% of our profits to charitable donations which are mainly focused in the communities and countries we work in. We believe it is important for our staff to understand in the flesh the real problems that we can try and help through our work and resources. Recently the design of a house we created using disregarded shipping containers in Costa Rica, has become a prototype for refugee housing in Africa and been adopted by many around the world as an alternative to low income housing.