Linda StoickSan Francisco, CA
"In retrospect, because Sylvia supervised all aspects of this project, it saved us from the long distance commuting and insulated us from the day to day difficulties that are part of any construction process which are magnified in a place like Mexico."
Imagine this: You love the ocean, surfing, gazing at the sunsets, sunrises, walks on the beach, collecting shells….the problem is the only place you can afford to buy a beachfront property -- is Mexico.
In a spontaneous and exuberant moment, you place your trust in a mutual friend who is selling the lot, put down the cash, meet with a Mexican attorney and take possession of your beautiful but undeveloped land near the ocean.
In all candor, we did not speak the language, we had never engaged an architect before and simply put – had no idea what we were doing. We were then introduced to Sylvia St. Clair. She took us to see some of the homes that she had built and walked us through the process of building in Baja, where the building materials consisted primarily of concrete and much of the labor is furnished by hand not machine.
Without exaggerating, we went through no less than 5 design phases, halted construction entirely due to a local land use issue and made a last minute change that added an additional floor to the building. Through all of these starts and stops, Sylvia managed the construction and labor flow, insured the safety of the work site and made modifications that we incorporated into the final design. Sylvia also acted as our project manager. In retrospect, because Sylvia supervised all aspects of this project, it saved us from the long distance commuting and insulated us from the day to day difficulties that are part of any construction process which are magnified in a place like Mexico.
Ultimately, we created a house that has been a sanctuary for our family and due to its unique design created by Sylvia -- a beautiful modern structure that provides a mountain and/or an ocean view from numerous vantage points. In short, Sylvia took a naked piece of land and transformed it into a place of tranquility. When we are there, we feel rejuvenated and grateful to be occupying such a wonderful space. Since we have finished the project, Sylvia continues to be very responsive to all related concerns, even though her professional obligations have ceased. In summary, we entrusted this complex undertaking to Sylvia and she has forever earned our gratitude, professional respect and exceeded our expectations.
Fred HagenPenticton, BC
It was a pleasure visiting with you the other day and I am not surprised to hear of your recent award. Your talent far exceeds that of a wonderful architect. Throughout the four years that we worked together it was clearly apparent that you had the skills to turn our dream into a reality - one even better than we’d imagined.
So often it was difficult for me to describe various features, characteristics and feelings that I wanted our place to have, but your ability to interpret and create our vision was astonishing. I appreciated your openness and partnership throughout the process.
My family and I have received countless compliments on what a marvelous home we have. Recently, three specialists in the real estate and property management fields were astounded by the quality of your design and the comfortable feeling it created. It is obvious that your deep knowledge of all of the trades required to create this home, as well as your expert communication skills with them, have proven to be very beneficial in attaining the desired final effect.
Please accept my thanks for the excellent work that you did for us and a sincere congratulations on a well deserved award.
Jan and Mike Turner
Not having any building experience, much less building in Mexico, the construction of our casita was a problem.
Sylvia St. Claire acted as our project manager, assisted us with design, defining spatial awareness, made suggestions for electrical and plumbing issues, communicated daily with our Mexican contractor and was always just a phone call away if we had a question. Sylvia was the key to making sure our building ideas were not lost or changed in language interpretation. If problems developed she was always there to make it right..
Yes, we were pleased with Sylvia's knowledge and professionalism, her ability to keep the project moving in looking ahead in anticipation of supplies, etc. Yes, we are pleased with our casita which also has the capacity for expansion if so choose in the future.
Thank you Sylvia...Great job!!!
Richard ScottTodos Santos, BCS
Sylvia was the architect for a fairly extensive remodel/extension of our house, which has been very effective and enjoyable for us. Her sense of proportion is excellent and her choice of materials has created a very pleasant harmony and unity. She closely supervised the construction and responded quickly when necessary. If you choose her, I believe you will be in good hands.