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Bodhgaia Architecture

Bodhgaia Architecture is founded on the principle of mindfulness (bodhi) of architecture's impact on the human spirit and on the earth as a living system (gaia). Each project is a precious chance to fulfill a function through design that uplifts the spirit and treads lightly on the earth. The spaces we live, work and play in should be imbued with the aesthetics of beauty, harmony, natural materials and light... where the inner and outer spaces merge seamlessly and people can experience their environment with joy, creativity and peace.

Whether you call it green architecture or sustainable design, in the end it's about the Gaia Principle: keeping the earth in balance. At Bodhgaia we are excited to bring our thirty years of experience in low- and zero-energy building design to bear on each and every project.

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“Sustainability is more than energy efficiency. Architecture is very deep. Its center to me lives with its impact on the spiritual health of human beings. This is why nature and the role of the sun is important. It goes beyond the mind, it goes into the body and soul.  What we surround ourselves with can be a reflection of our interpretation of the spiritual world. Abundant natural light, clean fresh air, gentle warmth from natural sources, the tactile beauty of a surface all are food to the soul.” 
- Satto Rugg

Satto Rugg, MArch

Owner | Architect

From his early teens, Satto grew up working in fabrication and building materials. It was this practical background and his love of art and photography that brought him to the Southern California Institute of Architecture (SCI-Arc) in the late 1980's, galvanizing an outlet for his creative energy. After working for Frank Gehry in LA and several boutique firms in Colorado, Satto started Bodhgaia Architecture in 2002 to "improve the human condition, one building at a time."

In 2017 Satto's collaborations with a fellow architect led to his co-founding a second firm, MerJ Architecture, which has become one of the top firms in the fast-growing field of cannabis architecture. Designing everything from large industrial cultivation and extraction operations to dispensaries and testing laboratories, MerJ delivers high quality design in a complex technical environment. 


While continues to design and manage projects for MerJ, Satto is renewing his focus on the mission of Bodhgaia Architecture. Along with residential and commercial work, he is most interested in designing retreat centers for everything from meditation to plant-based healing.

Our Design Process

We are a full-service architectural firm, offering everything from master planning and site design to construction administration, from small residential projects to multi-million dollar commercial buildings. On larger projects we lead teams of consultants and coordinate multiple disciplines to arrive at accurate bids and a smooth project delivery. With smaller projects we often come to feel like family as we navigate through the intimate details of the design.


Every project is different; each one begins with a conversation. At Bodhgaia Architecture we design with our clients instead of for them.

“I start with listening to my client. Where is your heart? What are your hopes             and feelings about this project? For commercial clients, what are your feelings             about your business? The functionality and sustainability of a building all links             back to its heart.” 
- Satto Rugg
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