Sacramento, CA—We’re pleased to introduce Chris Dallmeyer, AIA, Project Architect in our Sacramento Studio, as this month’s Studio W Spotlight team member. Chris joined Studio W at the beginning of 2021 and has become an integral member of both our K-12 education and retail/commercial markets. A sampling of his projects include Paradise Junior High School Modernization, Pine Ridge Elementary School Modernization and the Gateway Oaks Office Complex Lobby Tenant Improvements.
Chris enjoys many hobbies, including creating music and art, exploring the outdoors, gaming with his friends and cuddling his cat. Learn more about Chris…
What is a typical weekend for you?
Overall, weekends vary for me, with two thirds of the time hanging in Sacramento and one third of the time visiting my girlfriend and brother in San Francisco. In Sacramento, I make the most of my free time by skateboarding with friends, playing guitar or keyboard, drawing or painting or sculpting, playing video games with old friends back East, going on motorcycle cruises with the guys and cuddling with my cat.
On the weekends spent in San Francisco, my girlfriend, Marina, and I enjoy the outdoors by walking the City from hill to hill or exploring the gorgeous hikes all around the Bay Area, not to mention feasting on all the amazing food that San Francisco has to offer.
How did you find the AEC industry?
I very much stumbled into my career as an architect. I loved drawing from an early age. As I got older and started working on cars, getting into higher math and physics classes and having a mechanical engineer as a father, I felt pushed toward engineering. However, high school drafting classes piqued my interest, and I decided to apply for both the architecture and engineering schools at Virginia Tech. I then opted for architecture on a total whim, and even had doubts throughout my first year at VT. The first year studio was much more of an art class (like 7th grade art), where I was simply drawing rope knots as an exercise. Meanwhile, my engineering friends were learning subjects like thermal dynamics. But all it takes is one great mentor to inspire, and for me that was my second year professor, Paola. She catalyzed my love for architecture that still holds true today.
As I soon discovered, the beauty of architecture is that it bridges the dichotomy between the two hemispheres of our brain. As architects and designers, we deal with quantitative metrics and fine-tuned details as well as qualitative measures and conceptual ideas. Additionally, my passion gained fuel in that there is no end point or stagnation for learning as an architect; we will always be adapting to contemporary technologies and challenges. I love where my career ended up in architecture and the lifestyle of consistent progression that it provides.
What is your favorite aspect of working at Studio W Architects?
Personally, I gained a lot more responsibility and developed far more professionally as an architect since joining Studio W in 2021. But more importantly, I think my favorite aspect of working here is the contentment in knowing how big of a difference we’re making for the Town of Paradise through our school projects with them. The passion behind everyone working so hard on the projects, combined with the emotional gratification from the Town, makes those projects significantly rewarding to our team, way beyond any sort of financial compensation.
What project have you worked on at Studio W that made you grow the most professionally? Why?
Without a shadow of a doubt, the modernization of Paradise Junior High School. This was one of the first projects in my career where I was tasked with full responsibility of the construction documents set and getting DSA approval, and then it was the very first project where I was able to administer the construction of it. That particular combination of compiling the construction documents set and then performing construction administration for the project provided crucial insight into architectural construction. It was immensely helpful to see how the contractors were perceiving my drawings as well as to see and hear how facilities actually get constructed in reality. Even though construction is far from over and the scope remarkably continues to expand to this day, Paradise Junior High School single-handedly provided the most professional growth of my career as I transitioned from a designer to licensed architect.