San José, Costa Rica
Private Contest Finalist
San José de Costa Rica is a city in full growth, but in a constant clash between historical conservation and modern development. Over the last few decades many of its architectural legacies have been lost (tree-lined streets, arcades, meeting places, amongst others). Only a few buildings remain, surrounded by a convulsive city that seeks to regain its identity.
The new Legislative Assembly will be an architectural complex presenting clear lines – modern, sober and representative of the values that characterise the country: transparency, solidarity and freedom. It also aims to become a turning point in the capital’s urban development, given the ongoing need to create democratic, plural and sustainable cities, where buildings are integrated in with public spaces and, more importantly, with their citizens.
This architectural proposal establishes a clear rhythm for this kind of institutional architecture, with clear-cut corners, incorporating double-height transit ways, generating patios with perimeter-covered corridors amidst vegetation, in a transitional phase between the public and the private. It was considered essential to develop a connecting element that would convert the historical core of the city and allow for connection to newer buildings. And above all, a place to ensure the free discussion of the ideas of the people with their representatives in a framework of security and spatial quality.