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Meet Anders Lasater of Anders Lasater Architects

Today we’d like to introduce you to Anders Lasater.

Anders, can you briefly walk us through your story – how you started and how you got to where you are today.
By the time I was 10 years old, I knew I’d grow up to be either an architect or a drummer in a heavy metal band.

As fate would have it, the rise of grunge and alternative music in the early ‘90s pushed heavy metal out of the spotlight so I naturally shifted my focus to my second love and went to school for architecture. Working a number of jobs to put myself through school, including auto mechanic, warehouse manager, and as an intern at local architecture firms, I earned my bachelor’s degree in architecture from Cal Poly, Pomona and went on to earn my master’s degree in design theory from UCLA.

Now, with over 30 years experience in architecture, the last 20 practicing custom home design in coastal Orange County, Palm Springs, and Hawaii, I have no regrets, though I still plot my rise through the ranks of musical stardom with my band THUNDERHOSE – much to my wife’s chagrin.

In 2005, after nearly 10 years as the managing associate for a respected Laguna Beach architect, I opened the doors to my own firm and have continued my focus on innovative designs for not only residential projects, but also restaurant, retail, and hotel projects.

Prior to launching my practice, I served on the faculty of Cal Poly Pomona where I taught architectural design studio for 2 years. I continue to be a guest lecturer and juror for architecture and design classes at Cal Poly Pomona, USC, Cal State Long Beach, California Baptist University, Orange Coast College, and Saddleback College.

Over the last several years, I’ve been invited to speak as an expert panelist or contributor for various professional and media groups including the American Institute of Architects, Houzz.com, Zillow.com, the Orange County Register, and PBS.

As a past member of the Board of Directors for the American Institute of Architects, Orange County, I served as Design Awards Committee Chair, and Director of Design for 4 years. I currently serve on the Design Review Committee for The Strand at Headlands development in Dana Point, California.

I’m a licensed architect in the states of California, Texas, and Hawaii, and a Certified Green Building Professional.

Has it been a smooth road?
The path to success is rarely a smooth road, and it’s usually a path that you have to carve for yourself. I found that making my own path was the only way I was going to get where I wanted to be – but I also found many mentors and cheerleaders along the way. There may have also been some telling me “no” or, “you can’t do that”, but I didn’t pay attention to them, I was too busy carving my path.

I always knew I’d be my own boss, and I was very fortunate to have had a very good boss who was my mentor. I learned how to be an architect from him, and how to run an architectural practice. But, when he realized that I was no longer happy just working for him he “encouraged” me to leave the nest by explaining that we had outgrown each other. It was kind of like breaking up with a long-time girlfriend, bittersweet, but necessary for growth.

He left me with great advice and encouragement though. I remember him saying “you’re going to be like that moon rocket, taking off from the launch pad – slow at first, but you’ll pick up speed quickly, and there will be no turning back!”

We’d love to hear more about your business.
We are a team of passionate and dedicated architects, and more than just “making buildings”, we strive to give our clients opportunities to live their lives in a better way. Our goal is to elevate their senses, and encourage a new found appreciation for the built environment around them –not just in the designs we create for them, but also in their every-day lives.

Helping our clients see the built world through a new, and more enlightened lens helps them be better at their own work, and in turn, educate others how to appreciate the world of architecture around them. We, in turn, benefit as more potential clients understand good design and demand great architecture.

What makes us unique and our work distinctive is our focus on the fundamental assets of Great Architecture – Space, Proportion, Light, and Material. Whether designing a custom home, a hotel, or an art gallery – these are the ingredients of our work and the recipe we trust to deliver consistently outstanding design and service to our clients.

I’m proud that we’ve remained an intimate, studio focused group of individuals who share the common goal of making great buildings and happy clients. That’s not always easy to do, but it is always worth the effort!

Is our city a good place to do what you do?
The greater Southern California region is a dynamic and vibrant place to be an architect. From San Diego, all the way up to Ventura, it would be difficult not to find an opportunity to practice great architecture. We live in an amazingly rich part of the world, not only in terms of financial riches, but also cultural, geological, political, and environmental riches. I can’t think of anyplace I’d rather be practicing architecture than in southern California!

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Image Credit:
Anders Lasater Architects

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