Team Member Spotlight: Steve Sowa

Please welcome Steve Sowa, AIA, LEEP AP! He brings 40 years of experience to the Derivi Castellanos Architects (DCA) team. As a Sr. Architect, he will be focusing on the front end of the architecture process — working with K-12 and higher education clients to listen to their program needs and budget, and creating the best design for their facilities. Steve served as a past president for AIA’s Silicon Valley Chapter and continues to be an active member in several industry organizations. He looks forward to meeting new clients and supporting DCA’s business development efforts.

Steve has worked in central California and throughout the San Francisco Bay Area, holding successful positions at a handful of architecture firms. Most recently, he had the privilege of serving as the Sr. Architect for an award-winning, two-story, K-6 school in Milpitas involving a completely new concept, a cutting-edge teaching space with no classrooms. Each floor of Mabel Mattos Elementary is a grade level and all furniture is on wheels and moves easily (students can move furniture). The home bases open up completely through sliding glass doors. Teachers, who were carefully selected, design the curriculum to meet how the students learn, accommodating factors such as space for independent work and space for group work.

“It was so much fun and I learned so much about education,” says Steve, who served a critical role of overseeing the committee (teachers, PTA members, principals, the superintendent, the facilities department and the construction manager), while continuing to move the project forward.

Collaborating is something that Steve not only enjoys, but believes to be a critical part of the process. He’s also aware that as an architect you have to have “thick skin” and at times be the squeaky wheel! Steve finds enjoyment in his work and enjoyment in his free time, which may involve hiking or biking but definitely involves playing a different golf course each week with his buddies.

We look forward to designing great buildings with Steve!