The process of building is just that, a tried and true methodology found within a systematic approach of assembling structures to form a completed whole, an idea coming to life. What varies is the approach, the details, and the commitment to the project.
For this group of architects, Fernando Prieto Coronel, Marc Etienne Levesque, and Esteban Rojas, as well as with the collaboration of Walter Leone, based out of Ojochal, their philosophy is to create projects that are in harmony with their surroundings, where every project is unique and the location tells you what it wants to become. First they look at the vision of their client. What are the needs and functionality required of the spaces? They are very conscious of what it means to bring the project from the stage of ideation to that of completion. From budget constraints to the interior design, the architects work together to bring about the maximum expression of the designs in accordance with their client’s desires. They are acutely aware that they are joining the client on the journey through this creation process where they are to provide a final and integral solution. There are three cornerstone pillars within their focus: the environment, the end user, and the vision. It’s all about the components coming together to form the intrinsic character of the build, for every project to be in harmony with it’s surroundings, for each space to be designed and analyzed for the psychology of the space and it’s intended use, for what is created to push boundaries of experience and world vision. And to achieve these last, it is only well done through an in-depth understanding and analysis of the project from start to finish. Indeed it does start with taking into account factors such as where the sun rises through the sky, how the cross winds breeze through the property, what views can we set our eyes on. From there, paired with the list of necessary functions the structures must perform, all elements are taken together, considered and as its output comes the ‘croquis’ (sketch).
For this studio firm, at the base, the ideas must be both be credible and realistic as they are attainable, financially, functionally and constructively, given the various terrains found in Costa Rica. “We are very conscious in that we want to see in every project that comes to life”, says Fernando, and so they are sensitive to their clients respective needs and work towards scaling projects that fit everyone’s sensibilities. Their work truly resides in working out the details, providing the approach to build and it’s all about the design’s implementation. They are here to create projects that are harmonious, attainable, creative, and most importantly personalized.
This project is markedly their culmination of 10 years of working together having won 3 nominations in international contests, the prestige award that they brought home was for most sustainable build in 2020. Akka is what you could call urban acupuncture in the jungle, based all around holistic health it had to have a variety of functions: to serve as a community center, yoga shala, a temple of peace and host space for practicing alternative therapies, in addition to nestling into its overall environment, a mountain slope found in the depths of Costa Rica.
The architecture itself moves with the trees, where the roof imitates the jungle canopy, capturing the rain as it falls and giving way to the feeling of a temple of peace within the heart of the rainforest. It was a build that was a true testament to the exactitude of the attention to detail, with many aspects of the project being borne from the Golden Ratio (Fibonacci). The process itself was a continual back and forth between building and developing the project, within a feedback loop. The project Akka Institute is a contemporary mix of organic materials, refined, that perform to fit its desired function in harmony with the Nature that surrounds it.
As successful as the Institute has been, and having submitted this project to an international contest for a future build, these architects have done it yet again and will soon begin a container inspired multi-storey project in Spain – stay tuned!
CONTACT ARCHITECTURE FIRM
View their finished project and work of art: https://youtu.be/rk8J3vS5gTI