Richard Garcia affirms that “whether we like it or not, life will change”. After the Coronavirus pandemic either subsides or is managed, there will be the need to adapt.
In this new normal, there will be a marked return of the vestibule, hall, foyer or ante-rooms. This essential place will serve as a transition point between the exposed exterior and the safe interior. In this context, Richard Garcia perceives there will have to be a rethink as to which suitable materials will best comply and conform with the new consciousness: it is to live and work within sanctuaries where surfaces have to be frequently sanitized. Materials, therefore, have to be durable and able to withstand all the added scrutiny and attention.
He encourages clients, because they are durable and easily maintained, to use natural stone on countertops for bars, kitchens and bathrooms. His preference is stone on the facade, highlight walls and entry spaces to create an impression. From black or white granite to marbles in natural colors in varied textures and patterns; from lit onyx to black, brown or grey slate, he loves stone for its “natural pattern and imperfections”.
He feels strongly that it is an imperative for an architect to understand the construction budget. Whether he is dealing with end users or not, this equips him to make responsible recommendations to achieve his clients’ objectives.