Placemakers: Conversations with New Town Founders and Designers
with Charles Brewer, Sara Picado Bega, and Juan Carlos Avelar, and moderated by Rodrigo Bollat Montenegro
On September 23rd, 2020, the ICAA hosted a live panel discussion on the principles of placemaking at Las Catalinas, Costa Rica, featuring town founder Charles Brewer, and Town Architects Sara Picado Bega, and Juan Carlos Avelar. Rodrigo Bollat Montenegro moderated the discussion, and led a Q&A session in which the panelists answered questions from the virtual audience.
Surrounded by tropical nature on land and at sea, Las Catalinas is a beautiful, car-free, fully walkable beach town in Costa Rica. Over the last ten years, developer Charles Brewer has built a robust team of town architects who, together with many international traditional architects and architecture students, have led the design of numerous houses, restaurants, small hotels and inns, plazas, and parks in over sixty acres of construction. Las Catalinas has been the recipient of numerous accolades and has been published in The New York Times and the Wall Street Journal.
Charles M. Brewer is the founder and managing partner of Las Catalinas Holding Company, the organization responsible for developing the town of Las Catalinas, Costa Rica. Before Las Catalinas, Brewer founded and was chairman of Green Street properties, a building company geared at achieving high performance building and development projects that optimize health and comfort while minimizing impact on the local and global environment.
Sara Picado Bega is an American architect, and the Senior Town Architect at Las Catalinas. Picado Bega has a Bachelor of Architecture from the University of Notre Dame in Indiana.
Juan Carlos Avelar is a Guatemalan architect and urban planner, and worked in Cayalá before serving as the Town Architect at Las Catalinas. Avelar received his Bachelor of Arts in Architecture from Universidad Mariano Galvez in Guatemala, and his Masters in Architectural Design and Urbanism from the University of Notre Dame in Indiana.
Rodrigo Bollat Montenegro is a licensed architect in New York and in his native Guatemala. He has contributed to and coordinated the architectural design of new traditional neighborhoods in Guatemala and Mexico, with Estudio Urbano & Leon Krier. Additionally, he has independently designed residences in Guatemala City and Costa Rica. He holds a Master of Architectural Design and Urbanism from the University of Notre Dame, and a Licentiate of Architecture from Universidad Francisco Marroquín in Guatemala.
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