Skip To Main Content

2015 News

NAC Architecture Takes Home Two Design AwardsLearning By Design’s Fall 2015 Awards honored two schools designed by NAC Architecture: Bellevue High School and Joel E. Ferris High School. Bellevue High School in Bellevue, Washington, was awarded a Citation of Excellence, with jurors noting that it is a “Well thought out plan with clear vision expressed in the design.” Joel E. Ferris High School in Spokane, Washington, received an Honorable Mention Award and received juror comments such as, “Nice project! The distribution of learning neighborhoods along a student street really lends itself to smaller learning communities.” Learning By Design celebrates quality architecture, design, planning and the execution of creating environments for learning in their biannual program.

Ferris High School Modernization and Replacement, Spokane, Washington

Ferris High School Wins Urban Design AwardFerris High School Modernization and Replacement in Spokane, Washington, has received a Merit Award in the 2015 Spokane Mayor’s Urban Design Awards. Jurors noted that, "Despite a massive scale and security concerns specific to schools, this project was cleverly constructed to feel almost like a village and nestle among the site's many old-growth trees." Begun in 2007, the Spokane Mayor's Urban Design Awards celebrate the importance of creative thought, technical proficiency, and the relationship of good urban design to Spokane’s economic health and overall well-being.Newest Team Members

Brandon McLaughlin, AIA, Junior Designer; Garrett Nelli, Junior Designer; Steve McConnell, AIA, Associate, Project  Architect; Chris Schwalbe, AIA, Junior Designer; Grace Soejanto, Junior Designer; and Laurie Miyatake, Project Accountant; Liz Katz, AIA, NCARB, Project Architect; Trent Best, Electrical Engineer; Jordyn Prince, Marketing Coordinator; Kyle West, Electrical Engineer; Michelle Hook, Junior Designer; Vincent Montesano, Junior Designer; and Aubree Park, Junior Designer

We are excited to announce the addition of thirteen new team members! It is core to our ability that we continue to grow our expertise with maintaining talented staff whose skills exceed the needs of our clients. These professionals will be joining our staff of 150 located in Seattle, Spokane and Los Angeles. We look forward to the great things to follow with our new and talented team!From top left to right: Welcome Brandon McLaughlin, AIA, Junior Designer; Garrett Nelli, Junior Designer; Steve McConnell, AIA, Associate, Project Architect; Chris Schwalbe, AIA, Junior Designer; Grace Soejanto, Junior Designer; and Laurie Miyatake, Project Accountant.From bottom left to right: Welcome Liz Katz, AIA, NCARB, Project Architect; Trent Best, Electrical Engineer; Jordyn Prince, Marketing Coordinator; Kyle West, Electrical Engineer; Michelle Hook, Junior Designer; Vincent Montesano, Junior Designer; and Aubree Park, Junior Designer.

Mat-Su Day School, Palmer, Alaska

Mat Su Day School receives Citation Award from AIA AlaskaThe Mat Su Day School in Palmer, Alaska, was recently awarded a Citation by AIA Alaska as part of their 2015 Design Awards. The Day School was the only recipient of a Citation, and one of five total awards given by the jury. Completed in association with Wolf Architecture, the Mat Su Day School provides focused education and support for students with emotional and behavioral challenges. These students have traditionally been devalued and labeled, and the school focuses on helping them develop skills needed to succeed once they return to their regular school. As a result of these programmatic goals, it was important that the building express the sense that these students are valued. Through a varied hierarchy of scale, form, texture and color, the Day School communicates welcome, openness, and safety to students.

Eisenhower High School, Yakima, Washington

Central Washington AIA Award Presented to Eisenhower High SchoolNAC Architecture and KDF Architecture were awarded a Merit Award for the design of Eisenhower High School in Yakima, Washington, by the Central Washington chapter of the American Institute of Architects. Designed to have a strong presence and visibility to the community, the building features a prominently positioned glass-enclosed second-story library. As the heart of the school, the commons is located directly adjacent to the auditorium foyer and gym entry spaces. Major corridors emanate from the commons on two levels, making it the true activity hub of the school. Large, operable doors allow activities in the commons to spill outdoors into the courtyard.The AIA Central Washington Design Awards program seeks to celebrate achievements in design excellence; to generate greater public interest in architecture; and to honor architects, owners and consultants who work together to create and enhance our built environment.NAC Architecture Adds Staff

David Baumann, Cody Dompier, Laura Hill

“We are thrilled to announce the addition of David Baumann, Electrical Designer; Cody Dompier, AIA; Laura Hill, SPHR, Human Resources Director; Courtney Merrill, Office Coordinator; Andy Phan, Electrical Designer; Chad Schmidt, AIA; and Robert Straub, RCDD, Electrical Designer, to our firm.

Courtney Merrill, Andy Phan, Chad Schmidt, Robert Straub

“These seven staff members join our team of 150 professionals located in Seattle, Spokane and Los Angeles as we continue to recruit and maintain top talent with the skills, expertise, and enthusiasm to meet the needs of our growing client base.

Cherry Crest Elementary School, Bellevue, Washington

Cherry Crest Elementary School Awarded 2015 Crow Island School CitationCherry Crest Elementary School in Bellevue, Washington, was recently awarded the 2015 Crow Island School Citation by American School & University. This is the top K-12 award in this premier educational interiors competition. In our submittal, we focused on the social, educational and communal heart of the school: the Learning Stairs. The jury responded enthusiastically to this space: “Vibrant. Inspiring. Childlike without being childish. Great job of blending inside with outside learning spaces. Exceptional learning environment.” –2015 JuryRead more in the August 2015 issueNAC Expands in Los Angeles

Luis Orozco, Justin Ulmer, Keaton Kane, Michael Villarina, Luis Marquez, John Kim, Gary Christofi, Bernardo Rubio, Thomas Tsang, Teagan Castellon

NAC Architecture is proud to announce the addition of ten new team members in Los Angeles during a transformative time for the firm. With the recent move to the NAC Architecture-designed office space in Chinatown, the firm is poised to redefine its process for the 21st century, reinvent the way it works and become an integral member of its new community.

“We are excited to have new and talented staff join our current team so that we can continue to expand our resources and help our clients fulfill their visions and shape the education, healthcare, senior living, and civic markets,” said Helena Jubany, FAIA, Managing Principal for NAC Los Angeles.

Joining our Los Angeles team are: Luis Orozco, Project Designer; Justin Ulmer, AIA, Project Designer; Keaton Kane, Marketing Coordinator; Michael Villarina, Project Designer; Luis Marquez, Job Captain; John Kim, Project Manager; Gary Christofi, AIA, Project Architect; Bernardo Rubio, Associate AIA, Project Designer; Thomas Tsang, AIA, Project Architect; Teagan Castellon, Project Designer.

Carl Sandburg Elementary School, Kirkland, Washington

Sandburg Elementary School Wins AwardCarl Sandburg Elementary School in Kirkland, Washington, was recently honored with an Award of Merit from the 2015 AIA Committee on Architecture for Education (CAE). Here is what the jury had to say about this school:“This is a lovely project. It not only meets the design goals established by its community, but exceeds them. The learning clusters are right-sized and include student-support spaces, tasteful cabinetry and even built-in couches. Levering the genius loci, everything from its light-filled views and outdoor connections to its landscaping and rain gardens make it a delightful place for students to learn, grow and play. With a contemporary Northwest vernacular, the project’s tasteful palette incorporates beautiful wood, boulders where students can perch, and subtle art features that celebrate the school’s namesake. Connections to the park are also a plus, as are its sustainable features, including the photovoltaic array on the southern wall. This is a strong, holistically designed project with elegant detailing and materiality inside and out. Good organization and sustainable features with industrial fabric and material in combination with meadow and natural site.”

Read more

Guy Overman with Al Beck

Guy Overman Honored with Council of Educational Facility Planners International (CEFPI) AwardNAC Architecture congratulates Guy Overman, Principal, AIA, LEED AP, recipient of CEFPI's 2015 Al Beck award. When appropriate, the Board of Directors of CEFPI's Washington Chapter presents the Al Beck award to a deserving member. Al Beck is considered to be one of the founding fathers of CEFPI in the Pacific Northwest. This award, named in his memory, is given to a Washington State CEFPI member who exemplifies the principles of service that were so diligently represented by Al’s contributions to the organization.Guy characterizes these leadership traits and has contributed significantly to CEFPI’s Washington Chapter, which is necessary for the honor of this prestigious award. As an At-Large Board member, Guy advocated for including educators in Chapter activities and founded the Chapter Golf Tournament. He also led the effort to coordinate with WAMOA (Washington Association of Maintenance and Operations Administrators) and served as Chair of the School of the Future Design Competition.

Aileen Laughlin Wins 2015 IIDA Emerging Professional Award

Aileen Laughlin Wins 2015 IIDA Emerging Professional AwardNAC Architecture is proud to announce the honor presented to Aileen Laughlin, Interior Designer and awardee of the 2015 IIDA Emerging Professional Award. The International Interior Design Association (IIDA) strives to provide networking and educational opportunities to strengthen and inspire the design community while fostering future industry leaders. With over 13,000 members nationally, the Northern Pacific Chapter of IIDA supports 400 members from Alaska, Idaho, Washington, Alberta, and British Columbia.Aileen was one of many talented designers who were invited to attend an exclusive reception alongside the other finalists and the principals of their firms. During this event, Aileen was announced as the winner of the 2015 IIDA Emerging Professional Award. With a passion for design and natural leadership tendencies, Aileen plans to use this award as a catalyst to reinforce and strengthen her commitment to creativity. “My goal is to share my experience with our local design community in hopes to ignite and inspire a passion for design, and demonstrate the power it has over our communities.”NAC is confident in Aileen’s future in the design industry and finds pride in her current talent and accomplishments within the company.

NAC Architecture is in the Top 100Architectural Record ranks NAC Architecture ninety-sixth in its 2015 list of Top 300 Architecture Firms. Companies are ranked by revenue (in millions of dollars) for architectural services performed in 2014.

Read more

Conceptual Design is Chosen for the New Mount Si High School

Conceptual Design is Chosen for the New Mount Si High SchoolAfter two months of meetings between NAC Architecture and the High School Design Team, the conceptual design for the Snoqualmie School District’s new Mount Si High School was recently chosen. With many ideas considered and discussed, NAC Principal Matt Rumbaugh, AIA, LEED AP, stressed the most important factors depended on a design that would 1) be the best long-term solution; 2) reduce construction disruption; 3) create a strong sense of community; 4) engage with the natural environment and views; and 5) offer flexibility.

The $188 million re-build of the 60-year-old high school with be completed in two phases. The selected design has an anticipated construction start date for April 2017 with 90% of the new facility to be completed by 2019—and a complete finish by 2020.

Read more

It is with great pleasure we announce the promotion of our colleaguesWe’ve always believed we’re only as good as our people. Lucky for us, we have over 140 talented, dedicated people! These seven, in particular, have achieved positions of leadership because they are actively engaged in making positive contributions to our firm, our clients, and our communities. Please join us in congratulating them on their achievements.

Read more

Carl Sandburg Elementary School, Kirkland, Washington

Three Awards Granted to NAC SchoolsJurors in the Spring 2015 Learning By Design Awards have presented a Grand Prize to Carl Sandburg Elementary School in Kirkland, Washington, and Citations of Excellence Awards to Columbia Basin Technical Skills Center in Moses Lake, Washington and Playa Vista Elementary School in Playa Vista, California. Jurors called the projects imaginative, inspiring and well-executed. NAC has now won 21 American School Board Journal Learning By Design Awards since 2003.NAC Architecture Announces Two New FAIAsNAC Architecture is proud to announce two of its principals, Steven M. Shiver, FAIA and Boris Srdar, FAIA, have been elevated to the American Institute of Architects College of Fellows, one of the highest honors the AIA can bestow on a member.

Shiver and Srdar join Bruce Blackmer, FAIA, and Helena Jubany, FAIA, LEED AP, for being elected to Fellowship by a jury of their peers for consistently demonstrating excellence in design, the practice of architecture, architectural education, and service to the profession and to society. Out of a total AIA membership of over 85,000, there are just over 3,200 distinguished with the honor of Fellow and Honorary Fellow.


Steven M. Shiver, FAIA, LEED BD+C, NCARB, NCIDQ has profoundly influenced student learning and achievement by creating several unique alternative educational programs that have led educators to think differently about the design process and how building spaces can be used. He has become an international leader in the research and implementation of pedagogical programs that empower students and staff to use their school settings as inspiring tools for teaching and learning.Shiver has spent the last 25 years specializing in the design of award-winning educational facilities specifically designed to enhance each client’s goals, provide the flexibility needed to adapt to changing pedagogies, and incorporate sustainable strategies that significantly reduce lifecycle costs.

Read more

Boris Srdar, FAIA, LEED AP

Boris Srdar, FAIA, LEED AP is a Design Principal in NAC Architecture’s Seattle office. His background in European urban design has led to creating spaces that have a strong sense of engagement with their surrounding environment. Projects where Srdar was the lead designer have received more than 20 national, international and regional awards since 2010 alone.He has served as NAC Architecture’s lead designer and has provided principal leadership in elevating design quality firm-wide. Srdar’s passionate concern for healthier, inspiring environments remains one of the major drivers of his design approach. Comprehensive attention to user needs, energy savings, sustainable design and special experiential quality have been a constant in Srdar’s designs. His designs engage students, stimulate learning, and provide an appropriate civic presence for their communities.Read more

Lauren Scranton

NAC Architecture Adds Education Thought LeaderNAC Architecture is proud to announce the addition of Lauren Scranton as Education Thought Leader."NAC is advancing our expertise in the architecture of learning environments by expanding our knowledge of educational issues beyond the design of physical environments," said Dana Harbaugh, AIA, CEO for NAC. "Through the addition of a Thought Leader position in education we will expand expertise through research and development of best practices, integrate this knowledge into our project work, advance our level of recognition in educational facility design and seek partnerships and relationships with allied entities wanting to advance education."

Read more

Eisenhower High School, Yakima, Washington
Ferris High School, Spokane, Washington

NAC Projects Sweep AGC Awards in $10M and Over CategoriesEisenhower High School and Ferris High School took top honors in the 2015 Build Northwest Awards sponsored by the Inland Northwest Associated General Contractors of America (AGC). The awards were presented at the 2015 AGC Annual Convention on January 30.

Built by Graham Construction and Management, Eisenhower High School in Yakima, Washington, was awarded best New Construction Building over $10M. Ferris High School in Spokane, Washington, constructed by Garco Construction, placed first in the Building Renovation over $10M category. The awards program recognizes the region’s best construction projects based on final appearance and quality of the finished product, unusual construction techniques involved and other criteria.

Carla Thompson, FSMPS, CPSM

Carla Thompson Joins NAC Architecture as Chief Marketing OfficerNAC Architecture is proud to announce the addition of Carla Thompson, FSMPS, CPSM as Chief Marketing Officer.

"We are actively growing our national presence in the education, healthcare, senior living, and recreation markets," said Dana Harbaugh, AIA, CEO for NAC, "and Carla’s background and experience working with other prominent design firms combined with her national network makes her uniquely qualified to help shape our corporate marketing strategy going forward."Read more

Carl Sandburg Elementary School, Kirkland, Washington

Carl Sandburg Elementary School Named Seattle Daily Journal of Commerce’s Project of the MonthThe design of Carl Sandburg Elementary in Kirkland, Washington, reflects a shift in education delivery. Rather than a traditional “cells and bells” design of days past, classrooms at Sandburg are clustered into “neighborhoods” organized around open shared learning areas, promoting project-based, collaborative 21st Century learning models. Preserving and enhancing the park-like feel of the site was a key part of the design, and the building and landscape work together to create a complete learning environment.Read more

Osborn and NAC Architecture Join Forces

Osborn and NAC Architecture Join ForcesOsborn and NAC Architecture have merged our firms to present more robust services, deeper expertise, and a diversity of talent for clients and community partners with whom we engage as integral participants in the design process. Osborn and NAC Architecture together equals a national, full-service firm dedicated to excellence in sustainable master planning, architecture, interiors, landscape, engineering, environmental graphics, construction administration, and graphic design. NAC Architecture in Los Angeles is led by principals Helena Jubany, FAIA, Timothy A. Ballard, AIA, and Michael Pinto, AIA.

McCleary and Class-size Reduction

An Introduction to McCleary and Class-size ReductionIn McCleary v. State of Washington, the Washington State Supreme Court found that the State is not meeting its “paramount duty to make ample provision for the education of all children residing within its borders.” The current outcome of this case is a mandate to reduce grades K-3 class size to 17 students by fall of 2018.

Read more