Jiménez-Fonseca, Hernán (1942--) By Guzmán-Verri, Valeria
Costa Rican architect Hernán Jiménez-Fonseca obtained his degree at the Universidad Autónoma de Mexico (UNAM) in 1970. Like many Costa Rican architects of his generation, he trained abroad since there were no architecture degree courses in the country until 1971. After settling back in Costa Rica he designed the National Bank Agency in Puriscal, which was built in 1973. However, it was in 1976, when he won the competition for the Costa Rican Association of Engineers and Architects building, that there came a turning point in his career. With its monumental concrete structure and distinctive form, the building became a significant reference in Costa Rican architecture. Throughout his career, and alongside his designs for residential, religious, and institutional architecture (Pinares Apartment Block, 1980; Turrialba Catholic Church, 1999; Fire Station in Puriscal, 1982), Jiménez-Fonseca won a number of important competitions, such as the National Assembly in 1991 (unbuilt) and the National Centre for Culture in 1994. He was also a member of the jury for high-profile urban projects such as the Square for Democracy. As a competition-winner and jury-member, Jiménez-Fonseca left a lasting and influential mark on the urban setting of the country’s capital.