A video that played at the 2009 gala opening of Texas A&M’s Soltis Center for Research and Education in Costa Rica includes comments by an assistant dean at the College of Architecture, whose students’ design concepts significantly influenced the final appearance of the center’s buildings.
“The thing that excites me is when I hear academic folks who will be using the facility talk about how incredible it is compared to what they’re used to,” said Elton Abbott, the college’s assistant dean for international programs and initiatives, in the video.
The Soltis Center for Research and Education, located on a 40-acre site donated by Soltis adjacent to the Monteverde Cloud Forest about a two-hour drive from the Central American country’s capital, San José, was built by Bill Soltis, a 1955 mechanical engineering graduate from Texas A&M.
The center’s buildings are based on the best designs from a spring 2006 studio at the college in which 62 students from architecture, landscape architecture and construction science, produced a site analysis and 12 different design concepts. Abbott‘s contributions to the college’s influence on the center included providing oversight during its construction.
Soltis donated the land for the center with the aim of providing an international experience for Aggies and protecting the area’s unique ecological setting while increasing awareness for preservation efforts. He has spent most of his life in the construction business, including construction of facilities in Costa Rica.
To view the video, which includes images of the center and its environs, visit the vimeo website.