Young Tico Gains Worldwide Recognition as Top Urban Architect

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    Costa Rican, architect Diego Van Der Laat, was recognized by the American Journal Complex, highlighting him as a worldwide innovator for the urban environment.

    Diego Van Der Latt is one of the rising stars in Latin America. Van Der Laat, along with nine other professionals under 40, were featured for their roles in developing the Jade Museum in San Jose.

    “Diego Van Der Latt is one of the rising stars in Latin America…the Jade Museum looks like two rocks that have been halved, making the work a strong statement from the street” noted Complex journalist, Emily Leisz, who specializes in art and architecture.

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    The Jade Museum opened in 2014 with the goal of attracting more visitors. Previously it was in the upper floors of the INS.

    Van Der Laat said it was a surprise to be on the elite list, but it was also a great recognition of the entrepreneurial work that he and his colleagues from San José Revés had done.

    “I could not build the same shopping center 20 times and be happy, I need to express myself in different ways,” said Van Der Laat, who won first place in the Matter Batter competition where contestants had to develop a dam designed with the remains of a nuclear submarine in September 2014.

    The Tico’s beginnings in architecture were not easy; in 1999 he decided to abandon a career in law at the University of Costa Rica to follow his passion for architecture.

    Diego is convinced that he made the best decision after being rewarded with admission to the renowned house of British Education, Architecture Association.

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