Neal J.Z. Schwartz, AIA

Founding Principal

Neal established the collaborative design studio, Schwartz and Architecture (SaA) in 1997 after several years working on large-scale international projects with other firms. In 1992, he completed dual Master’s degrees in Architecture and Public Policy at Harvard University's Graduate School of Design and the Kennedy School of Government respectively. » Continue Reading

Neal J.Z. Schwartz

Founding Principal


Neal established the collaborative design studio, Schwartz and Architecture (SaA) in 1997 after several years working on large-scale international projects with other firms. In 1992, he completed dual Master’s degrees in Architecture and Public Policy at Harvard University's Graduate School of Design and the Kennedy School of Government respectively.

This unique combination of design and policy has become the foundation of his practice; a commitment to design creativity as a tool to surpass clients’ expectations, combined with a devotion to rigorous management of the exigencies of complex design, permitting, and construction processes. From the beginning, Neal has also committed the firm to significant pro-bono work with non-profits, including the Children’s Creativity Museum, Larkin Street Youth Services, La Cocina, Public Architecture, and the Abayudaya Stern Synagogue in Eastern Uganda.

In 2016, Neal became the Chair of the newly revived AIASF Public Policy & Advocacy Committee (PPAC) and in 2015, he independently established a joint working group between AIASF and SF Planning advocating for improvements to residential design procedures, which continues to result in much-needed change. From 2006 - 2009, Neal was on the Board of Directors for the National AIDS Memorial Grove, chairing the Memorial Design Committee working towards the capital campaign and design development of this national memorial. Neal has been actively involved in teaching since 1988, most recently as an associate professor in architecture at the California College of the Arts (CCA), where he currently coordinates the Master's degree housing studios.

At Harvard, Neal graduated with Distinction in Architecture, received the Thayer Award for Meritorious Scholarship, the Sheldon Traveling Fellowship, as well as national awards from the Urban Land Institute and American Planning Association. He graduated magna cum laude from Brandeis University receiving a Bachelor of Arts in European history and has studied and researched abroad in Vienna, Munich, and Berlin.
Neal Schwartz

Laura P. Huylebroeck

Associate

Laura joined SaA in 2014 as an Intermediate Designer and was promoted to Associate in 2017. She received her Bachelor of Architecture from the University of Arizona where she graduated Cum Laude, was awarded the prestigious AIA Alpha Rho Chi Medal, a Capstone project award, as well as an athletic soccer scholarship.
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Laura P. Huylebroeck

Associate


Laura joined SaA in 2014 as an Intermediate Designer and was promoted to Associate in 2017. She received her Bachelor of Architecture from the University of Arizona where she graduated Cum Laude, was awarded the prestigious AIA Alpha Rho Chi Medal, a Capstone project award, as well as an athletic soccer scholarship.

At SaA, Laura has taken on complex construction administration duties on both large and small scale projects with astonishing grace, while becoming a top designer and technical product and materials specialist within the firm. She is currently pursuing licensure. Laura is originally from the small town of Pinetop, Arizona and on weekends you can find her playing soccer or at John McLaren Park with her husband Kevin and Huxley the Vizsla.

Laura Huylebroeck

Wyatt A. Arnold, Architect

Principal

Wyatt has been a mainstay of SaA since 2005, arriving soon after receiving his Bachelor of Architecture from the University of Arizona. While attending the U of A Wyatt received the M L Tophoy Scholarship for excellence in architecture with a focus on the construction trades and was a letter winner on the football team.
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Wyatt A. Arnold

Principal


Wyatt has been a mainstay of SaA since 2005, arriving soon after receiving his Bachelor of Architecture from the University of Arizona. While attending the U of A Wyatt received the M L Tophoy Scholarship for excellence in architecture with a focus on the construction trades and was a letter winner on the football team.

During his time at SaA, Wyatt has been involved in every aspect of the practice, becoming a licensed architect in 2013 and Principal in 2017. He has a broad and deep knowledge of design, construction detailing, and building systems, and is the consummate team player - taking the lead with staffing and office management mentoring members of our team at all levels, and leading our commitment to sustainability,. Wyatt has a dedication to volunteer work and relishes the outdoors. On most weekends, you can find him on top of Bernal Hill with his wife, Barbara and his golden retriever, Bennett.

Wyatt Arnold

Caterina Belardetti

Intermediate Designer

Caterina has been with SaA since 2014, focusing on a range of residential projects in San Francisco and the South Bay. She has a Bachelor of Arts degree from UC Berkeley and Master of Architecture degree from the Rhode Island School of Design, where she was awarded a RISD Graduate Fellowship and two Architecture Alumni Travel Awards for completed studio projects.
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Caterina Belardetti

Intermediate Designer


Caterina has been with SaA since 2014, focusing on a range of residential projects in San Francisco and the South Bay. She has a Bachelor of Arts degree from UC Berkeley and Master of Architecture degree from the Rhode Island School of Design, where she was awarded a RISD Graduate Fellowship and two Architecture Alumni Travel Awards for completed studio projects.

She focused on her interests in materiality and fabrication by completing design-build projects locally in Providence as well as in rural Ecuador (a pavilion made of bamboo) and in Versailles, France (a single-family home made of high-performance textiles).

Caterina is unflappable, independent, and always brings good spirits to her work and the firm. She is currently pursuing licensure. A native of Italy, Caterina lived for various years in New York City, Dallas, Verona, and Vancouver, prior to moving to San Francisco for school. In her spare time she enjoys hiking, traveling to new places and filling her sketchbook with drawings from her travels.
Caterina Belardetti

Joshua D. Yoches

Associate

Josh has been with SaA since receiving his Master’s in Architecture from California College of the Arts in 2011, becoming an Associate in 2015. He was awarded the thesis prize in Architecture for his research on the impact of mosquito vector control in the design of a rural African health clinic.
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Joshua D. Yoches

Associate


Josh has been with SaA since receiving his Master’s in Architecture from California College of the Arts in 2011, becoming an Associate in 2015. He was awarded the thesis prize in Architecture for his research on the impact of mosquito vector control in the design of a rural African health clinic.

With the support of SaA, this interest has sustained Josh’s on-going pro-bono work, culminating in 2016 in the design and construction of the Abayudaya Stern Synagogue in Eastern Uganda. For several years, Josh led our Small Projects Task Force, with his recent work focusing on larger-scale rural projects beyond the city grid. Josh has a laser-focus and impeccable judgement. In addition, Josh is currently pursuing licensure. He received his Bachelor of Arts from UCSC where he was awarded the Irwin Scholarship for painting. Josh is originally from Costa Mesa California and you can find him at Ocean Beach with his wife Mia and their two sons, Levi and Judah.
Joshua Yoches

Christopher W. Baile

Intermediate Designer

Christopher has been with SaA since 2014, when he completed his Master’s degree in Architecture from California College of the Arts, where he continues to serve as a guest instructor and juror for graduate architecture studios. In addition to his prior experience with mixed-use residential projects, digital fabrication and prototyping...
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Christopher W. Baile

Intermediate Designer


Christopher has been with SaA since 2014, when he completed his Master’s degree in Architecture from California College of the Arts, where he continues to serve as a guest instructor and juror for graduate architecture studios. In addition to his prior experience with mixed-use residential projects, digital fabrication and prototyping, Christopher’s interests in architectural theory and the politics of aesthetics and image-making have supported his focus on the representation, media and publication arm of our practice.

In addition to work on a wide range of built projects, Christopher has led the design team on a number of architectural competitions within the firm and is heading up our recent pro-bono restaurant project for an alum of the La Cocina non-profit. Christopher is originally from Indianapolis, Indiana and holds a Bachelor’s degree of Architecture from Ball State University, where he was a fellow at the Institute for Intermedia Arts and the Institute for Digital Fabrication. His work has been exhibited in New York, San Francisco, and Los Angeles.
Christopher Baile

Neil S. O'Shea

Senior Associate

Neil worked on a variety of large-scale commercial, airport, performing arts, and public architecture projects before becoming SaA’s very first employee in 1998. In 2002, Neil left to work for a number of years in medical facility design and planning before returning to the SaA fold in 2011 and becoming a Senior Associate in 2014.
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Neil O'Shea

Senior Associate


Neil worked on a variety of large-scale commercial, airport, performing arts, and public architecture projects before becoming SaA’s very first employee in 1998. In 2002, Neil left to work for a number of years in medical facility design and planning before returning to the SaA fold in 2011 and becoming a Senior Associate in 2014.

Neil brings a great depth of experience managing complex projects, and shares his seasoned technical and construction expertise with all SaA staff. He is meticulous and detailed oriented, leading our in-house peer review and quality control efforts. Neil first earned a Bachelor of Arts from Cornell University before continuing his education there to receive a Bachelor of Architecture including study at the prestigious Cornell in Rome Program. He enjoys fixing up his Miraloma Park home with his husband Marcus and the dogs, Shorty and Ysabel.
Neil O'Shea

Lourdes Garcia

Senior Project Manager / Consultant

Lourdes has been a collaborator and “friend of SaA” since the beginning, offering her expertise on a number of projects over the years, most recently as Project Manager for our Executive Architect role with the Pinterest Headquarters. We continue to pursue collaborative work, either led by SaA or through her own firm, Garcia Studio Architects Inc. (GStudio).
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Lourdes Garcia

Senior Project Manager / Consultant


Lourdes has been a collaborator and “friend of SaA” since the beginning, offering her expertise on a number of projects over the years, most recently as Project Manager for our Executive Architect role with the Pinterest Headquarters. We continue to pursue collaborative work, either led by SaA or through her own firm, Garcia Studio Architects Inc. (GStudio).

Lourdes completed her collegiate studies at the University of Florida in 1985. After working professionally for 2 years in Florida, she moved to San Francisco in 1987 to pursue her professional career. She began her career in this great city as a senior designer at the architecture firm of Holt Hinshaw Pfau Jones (HHPJ) where she worked on numerous projects that won consecutive Progressive Architecture “PA” awards.

After her tenure at HHPJ, she continued to expand her professional experience at various prominent Bay Area firms while simultaneously building her academic experience by teaching at the California College of Arts. Her successes were rewarded in 1999 as one of ’40 under 40’ up and coming professionals by the East Bay Business Times.

After holding senior positions, she began her own practice in 2003. Garcia Studio (formerly GDeS Architecture & Planning) opened its doors in Berkeley, and then moved to San Francisco in 2012 where she continues to practice today.

Architecture is an inherently collaborative act. By engaging all those who contribute to the making of the work: client, community, consultant, builder and public agency, we can create successful projects. All with a strong commitment to understanding the physical, economic, and cultural context, so that design solutions can be proposed that are forward looking and thoughtful of the role architecture plays in the holistic future of our communities.

» garcia-studio.com
Lourdes Garcia

Jeni Davis

Accounting

Jeni Davis began working with SaA soon after co-founding J.R. Davis & Associates in 1998 (formerly DASI), an accounting, bookkeeping, and consulting firm . Jeni’s patience, professionalism, flexibility, and wonderful sense of humor has made her a trusted and integral part of our operations since the beginning. » Contact J.R. Davis & Associates

Jeni Davis

Florence J. Schwartz

Human Resources

Florence, the Spinone Italiano, came to SaA in 2012 and hails from Paso Robles, California. She is majoring in Bossiness and Ignoring Commands at Potrero Hill’s prestigious Dogpile Dogs, with a specialization in Nonchalance. Florence, alternately known as Lady Florence or The Machine, can store a day’s worth of food in her copious beard.
» Dogpile Dogs

Florence

Aldo W. Schwartz

Security

Aldo, the Spinone Italiano, came to SaA in 2013 from Carson City, Nevada. He is working towards a Bachelor of Good Manners at Potrero Hill’s prestigious Dogpile Dogs. Aldo, also known as Aldo-Van-Buren, excels at having his belly rubbed and sleeping. He is afraid of kitty cats, dog treats, and people with caps.
» Dogpile Dogs

Aldo

Exigencies

SaA Monograph 2006-2016

EXIGENCIES offers a retrospective survey of this award-winning and widely-published modern architectural design studio. Based in San Francisco and Sonoma, California, the work spans urban and rural work as well as highlights the firm's speculative and pro bono efforts.
» Flip through the book

» Buy the book

SaA Monograph Exigencies
Neal J.Z. Schwartz Founding Principal Neal established the collaborative design studio, Schwartz and Architecture (SaA) in 1997 after several years working on large-scale international projects with other firms. In 1992, he completed dual Master’s degrees in Architecture and Public Policy at Harvard University's Graduate School of Design and the Kennedy School of Government respectively.

This unique combination of design and policy has become the foundation of his practice; a commitment to design creativity as a tool to surpass clients’ expectations, combined with a devotion to rigorous management of the exigencies of complex design, permitting, and construction processes. From the beginning, Neal has also committed the firm to significant pro-bono work with non-profits, including the Children’s Creativity Museum, Larkin Street Youth Services, La Cocina, Public Architecture, and the Abayudaya Stern Synagogue in Eastern Uganda.

In 2016, Neal became the Chair of the newly revived AIASF Public Policy & Advocacy Committee (PPAC) and in 2015, he independently established a joint working group between AIASF and SF Planning advocating for improvements to residential design procedures, which continues to result in much-needed change. From 2006 - 2009, Neal was on the Board of Directors for the National AIDS Memorial Grove, chairing the Memorial Design Committee working towards the capital campaign and design development of this national memorial. Neal has been actively involved in teaching since 1988, most recently as an associate professor in architecture at the California College of the Arts (CCA), where he currently coordinates the Master's degree housing studios.

At Harvard, Neal graduated with Distinction in Architecture, received the Thayer Award for Meritorious Scholarship, the Sheldon Traveling Fellowship, as well as national awards from the Urban Land Institute and American Planning Association. He graduated magna cum laude from Brandeis University receiving a Bachelor of Arts in European history and has studied and researched abroad in Vienna, Munich, and Berlin..
Collaborators
Wyatt Arnold
Christopher Baile
Pierre Barral
Caterina Belardetti
Erik Bloom
Paul Burgin
Lucy Clarke
Joelle Colliard
Lourdes Garcia
Aaron Goldman
Laura Huylebroeck
Eddie Joaquim
Chip Minnick
Monica Nelson
Neil O'Shea
Chris Pfiffner
Masha Slavnova
Jessie Springer
Mason St. Peter
Thomas Wright
Bolan Wong
Joshua Yoches