ANDRINA FONSECA

Andrina’s passion for design and architecture launched as a 9 year old child when her parents could not purchase the doll house she wanted, and instead gave her wood blocks to build her own.

Andrina was born and raised in Costa Rica, where she earned her graduate degree in Architecture and is a registered architect; her professional journey continued to California in the late1990s.

Earning her Interior Design and Interior Architecture Certificate from UC Berkeley catapulted her career in the United States. In 2000, after a Berkeley professor discovered her talent, she was invited to work at Gensler, ranked number one Architecture and Design firm worldwide. After her first year at Gensler’s headquarters in San Francisco, she was directly promoted to Associate and later became one of the first accredited professionals for the Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design.

At Gensler, Andrina specialized in retail and hospitality design with clients such as Ford, Sephora, Hyatt, and Hilton amongst many others. Andrina’s multilingual skills and multicultural empathy allowed her to work in a variety of countries such as Mexico, Chile and Brazil.  During this time, her highest profile client was Steve Jobs with whom she worked directly as the project architect during the design-built process of the Apple Store prototype.

After the intense subsequent retail rollout, and as her three children were growing, Andrina decided it was time to return to her roots in her native Costa Rica.  She felt it was her duty as a designer, architect, and mother to return to sustainable living practices and show her children the Costa Rican way of life.

Soon after moving back home, Andrina became a designer and architectural consultant for the Las Catalinas, where as part of the new urbanism town offerings, she opened her picturesque ocean side studio appropriately entitled, “D’Aquí”, meaning “from here”.  Most of D’Aquí’s architectural finishes, art, furniture, lighting, and unique pieces are produced with pride by local residents utilizing local resources and materials. Andrina believes as an architect she has a duty to protect the environment and the local culture:  sourcing her studio with locally made products fosters this.

Because of Andrina’s international design exposure, she understands the expectation of her clients coming from abroad while maintaining an awareness of preserving what brought them here in the first place.  She provides Las Catalinas home owners with authentic, truthful pieces that allow each home to come to life.  She translates high end vacation houses into homes that can be built with local resources by local people.

When Andrina installs the finishes, art or furniture from her studio in the new home, she is providing a sense of cultural place for her clients while at the same time providing a livelihood for the local businesses.  By empowering these local manufacturers, she not only preserves the environment and culture, but also the sense of family, which, as a wife and mother, is a priority for Andrina.  She is providing local craftsmen an opportunity to put food on their table, or, perhaps to purchase or make a doll house for a child of their own.

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