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On the second and last Monday of every month we will highlight a member of our CGS team. Let's get to know Patrick Masterson.

Years at CGS?
4 Years

What is the best piece of advice you have ever received?

The best piece of advise I have ever received is from my Middle/High School math teacher. As a succinct self fulfilling statement: “Keep it simple, Stupid.”

Tell us a fun fact about yourself.
Before working at CGS, while pursuing a masters degree in education, I did a year of student teaching at the Duke Ellington School of the Arts. The school was still under construction; students and teachers would always talk about how they were excited to move into the new building, designed by CGS!

Tell us about your past experience.

Before working at CGS my degree was in Fine arts and Education. Originally, I was interested in teaching pottery and spent many years trying to make that work. One day I was filling in at CGS as a temporary office manager and found the people, projects, and company created a simply amazing work environment. Now, 4 years later, the projects, people, and company continue to make this a great place to be.

Favorite CGS Project
Martha's Table, Washington, DC

We are CGS.

On the second and last Monday of every month we will highlight a member of our CGS team. Let's get to know Virendra Rawat, affectionately known as VR at the studio.

Years at CGS?
1 Year

What inspires you when it comes to design + architecture?
To appreciate and understand the history of the built form around the world and enjoy a profession that provides the opportunity to create, contribute and shape future human landscapes.

Tell us a fun fact about yourself.
I received my master’s degree from the current monarch of United Kingdom, King Charles III.

Favorite CGS Project
Duke Ellington School of the Arts, Washington, DC

We are CGS.

On the second and last Monday of every month we will highlight a member of our CGS team. Let's get to know Principal Tom Wheeler, AIA!

Years at CGS?
26 Years

What is the best piece of advice you have ever received?
The ultimate judge of one’s work is yourself. Work with integrity and you’ll feel satisfied with your accomplishments.

What made you want to work in the architecture and design field?
Everything we see in the “built” world was designed by someone, for good or ill. Being able to contribute to the world around us and moreover, create places for human use, enjoyment and perhaps inspiration is incredibly fulfilling.

Tell us a little bit about yourself and your past experience.
I’ve got a very eclectic background: I first became a journeyman sheetmetal worker through a shipyard apprentice program, worked as a tugboat deck hand - wanted to become a captain, became a self-taught leaded and figural glass artist - practicing for almost 20 years eventually embarking on a career in architecture.

Current CGS Project
Suitland High School + Center for Visual and Performing Arts, District Heights, MD

We are CGS.

On the second and last Monday of every month we will highlight a member of our CGS team. Let's get to know the lovely Aina Santesmasses!

Years at CGS?
4 Years

What is the best piece of advice you have ever received?
Simplify.

What made you want to work in the architecture/design field?
In high school, I was introduced to the Bauhaus and was captivated by its modern vision, functionality and simplistic elegance. This artistic movement was the subject of my final research project and a major source of inspiration, motivating me to become an architect.

Tell us a little bit about yourself and your past experience.
I grew up in Barcelona, Spain, where I also studied architecture. After finishing my studies, I had the opportunity to work on the renovation of Casa Vicens, one of the first houses designed by Antoni Gaudí, built in 1886. Being my first project after architecture school, this was a once in a lifetime experience that set my career in motion.

Current CGS Project
Feasibility Studies for the Renovation of Fire Station 4 in Arlington, VA

We are CGS.

On the second and last Monday of every month we will highlight a member of our CGS team. For September, get to know the amazing Roland Michelman!

Years at CGS?
23 Years

What is the best piece of advice you have ever received?
Be Kind.

Tell us a fun fact about yourself.
My personal mantra is so ingrained, it’s also my blood type, “B Positive.”

What made you want to work in the architecture/design field?
The philosophy of “improving the world” is so fundamental, that combined with an abiding interest in how we, as humans, each with our own personal “contexts”, interpret and understand the uncountable overlapping worlds around us, made gravitating into a career combining building and design almost inevitable.

Current CGS Project
Temple Sinai in Washington, DC

We are CGS.

On the last Monday of every month we will highlight a member of our CGS team. For August, get to know the lovely Marielle Asenjo!

What do you like most about working with CGS?
Our team! We are passionate, knowledgeable, and fun.

Tell us a fun fact about yourself!
I am an aspiring nail artist.

What made you want to work in the architecture/design field?
As a child living abroad in Europe, I was fortunate enough to travel and visit beautiful cities rich in history and architecture. This really instilled a love and interest for buildings and public spaces at a young age.

Current CGS Project
Landon School in Bethesda, MD.

We are CGS.

Firm principal, Joanna Schmickel, was elevated into AIA’s College of Fellows this year for her mentorship work within the field of architecture. Election to the AIA’s College of Fellows is one of the highest individual honors that can be bestowed on members. Out of a total AIA membership of more than 94,000, only 3% carry this distinction. Elevation to the fellowship is given to architects with at least 10 years of AIA membership and those who have demonstrated influence in at least one of the following nomination categories: elevated the aesthetic, scientific, and practical efficiency of the profession; promoted the science and art of planning and building by advancing the standards of architectural education, training, or practice; coordinated the building industry and the profession of architecture through leadership in the AIA or other related professional organizations; or advanced the living standards of people through an improved environment.

This year, the seven-member Jury of Fellows elevated 88 member-architects and two international architects.

Joanna was elevated for her mentorship work in the field of architecture. She saw a need for women and people of color in the profession and works to increase diversity in the design and construction industries. Her work as a mentor is seen in and out of the office, taking every chance to support those around her.

In partnership with the AIA|DC, Joanna has created and delivered multiple youth workshops for the Washington Architectural Foundation, led an Architecture in the Schools group, and was an inaugural creator of the Archi-Builder Studio, a program teaching students the design processes used by architects.

Her most notable accomplishment to the world of architectural mentorship is the creation of the Design Like A Girl (DLAG) Mentorship program with AIA|DC. DLAG pairs female design professionals with middle school girls, introducing them to the world of architecture and other STEM-related fields.

Joanna is the fourth principal at CGS Architects to receive the prestigious honor after co-founders Chris Graae in 2014 and David Cox in 1994 along with the late Jerrily Kress in 1996.

It is with great pleasure that we announce Ed Foley, AIA has been elevated to the position of Principal at CGS Architects. Ed is a strong leader and valuable contributor on many levels within the office. His vast and varied talents, his strong management capabilities, and his measured demeanor will serve him well in his new position. We congratulate Ed on this much deserved promotion.

We are very excited to announce the promotion of four architect: Derek Banocy, AIA to Principal and Lindsey Hellender, AIA, Lexa Rio, AIA, and Julianna von Zumbusch, AIA to Associate!

Derek Banocy, AIA is a graduate of the University of Kansas and joined CGS in 2001.

Lindsay Hellender, AIA is a graduate of the University of Southern California and joined CGS in 2008.

Lexa Rio, AIA is a graduate of Virginia Tech and joined CGS in 2007.

Julianna von Zumbusch, AIA is a graduate of Yale School of Architecture and joined CGS in 2017.

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2909 M Street NW | Washington DC, 20007 202-965-7070
2909 M Street NW | Washington DC, 20007 | 202-965-7070
©2022 CGS Architects
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