The “Business of Architecture” podcast is one of the most popular ones focused on architecture today. Hosted by UK-based architect Rion Willard, the interviews feature successful company owners and underline what makes their secrets and approaches to management and an impactful architectural practice so successful. It aims to investigate management ideas in the context of architectural enterprises worldwide. One of the most inspiring episodes that have been produced is “Benevolent Success in Architecture”, in collaboration with Benjamin Garcia Saxe. Sharing Benjamin’s journey to becoming the architect at Saxe studio and building an ethos in his practice, this episode serves as motivation for any designer to make the best of a poor circumstance or perhaps even nothing at all and build a legacy from it all.

 Podcast for Architects: Benevolent Success In Architecture with Benjamin Garcia Saxe by Business of Architecture - Sheet1
Benevolent Success in Architecture with Benjamin Garcia Saxe_

Guest Profile: Benjamin Garcia Saxe | Benjamin Garcia

The episode highlighting Architect Benjamin focuses on his initial project, which features his mother’s house, and the development projects he undertakes today. His creative appetite required how the feel of spaces and what it feels like to be in them. During his early years of working at RSHP London, he ventured alone as an extension of his graduation thesis to create a house for his birth mother. He created a house out of the basic construction materials available, which were the materials his mother used to live in, to offer a decent home, since he was recalled by the challenges and tragedies of his childhood. The inhabitant claimed she wanted to sleep beneath the moonlight since it reminded her of her son. This was her method of connecting on a subconscious level with her son.

 Podcast for Architects: Benevolent Success In Architecture with Benjamin Garcia Saxe by Business of Architecture - Sheet2
Forest moon Dazzler project_

His values and ethics towards his mother earned him the title of “World’s Best Private House” at the World Architecture Festival Awards (WAF Awards) 2010. This small step was the start of his career in his later years.

Episode Summary

The episode begins with a talk about his mother’s residence and the voyage that preceded it. Dealing with the challenges of being separated from his mother, he was adopted into an architect’s family with the help of family and neighbors, and art centered his interests. To pursue this passion, move to the United States, and marry at such a young age represented a significant hurdle in and of itself. Learning small talents along the road at odd jobs only fueled his desire to become who he is today. His work as an independent firm explains the challenges and tackles that get him through. This not only demonstrates how the architect’s communication skills and talent drew his clients in but also how he secured their comfort by building genuine relationships and understanding their wants and expectations. His adventure led to a snowball effect that took him from one client to another. Today, Studio Saxe talks about competing with prominent developers and being held up as an example to foster a decent living experience rather than solely profit.

Gardenia apartment building_

Key Takeaways | Benjamin Garcia

The focus is on the humanitarian nature that is lacking in the corporate world rather than just the economic churn. His principal ethos is to create a balance between being sustainable in an economic sense with the order of a corporate environment and one of the side challenges of keeping up with creative burnout. His perspective on trust and the execution of this balance gives his business the edge in the intangible aspect of the world of corporate giants, making them more appealing to the eyes.

Going back and forth, he discusses his early days, highlighting the difficulties he encountered in finding the perfect match and customer for his business, and how he eventually learned to say “no” to any unsuitable client. Selecting the right client is key, with which the blend of the client’s dream, budget, and the architect’s craft can give one just the right results.

He also prefers to serve as an advisor to his clients but also finds methods to add value outside of the sphere of design. This strategy for nurturing connections is credited to his great pipeline of work. This not only increased his clients’ trust and understanding, but it also helped him gain his next client and so on.

The results of subconsciously being in people’s minds and mastering communication have played an important role in his ethos, and he further explains that being one step ahead in communication means reaching out to the public, which is critical in the marketing process. He mentions an entrepreneurial aspect that not many firms of his scale engage in and fall into not getting the right recognition that a firm needs to economically sustain itself in the industry. 


Rion Willard (2022) [online] | Spotify The business of architecture UK |  Available at: <>  [Accessed on 5 October 2022]


Tanvi is just like a book, never to be judged by her cover. She’s a passionate architect, who wants to explore the limits of architecture and capture those subtle nuances through writing. Looking for the creative juice she often finds herself deep into the intriguing realm of thoughts. Hence, she's a firm believer in designing experiences through her words and maybe even literally.