AD Interviews: Stanley Saitowitz

Since my first trip to San Francisco I was intrigued by the local architecture scene. The empowered citizens and city regulations have been able to keep the traditional architectural style of the city, and apart from a few buildings by international practices (de Young Museum by Herzog & de Meuron, California Acadmy of Science by Renzo Piano and the Federal Building by Morphosis) I couldn´t find any local works that stand out from the rest of homogeneous fabric.

But when I started to meet local architects, they all pointed me to Stanley Saitowitz, design principal at Natoma Architects. Teacher at UC Berkeley for 30 years, he influenced over many of the local architects that went to that school and that´s why I got all the recommendations. He has also taught at Harvard GSD, UCLA, Rice, Cornell, SCIARC, U Texas at Austin, and more.

When we visited his office for the interview, we could see an incredible amount of works over the years, more than a hundred on the greater Bay Area and in other locations of the US (such as the Tampa Museum of Art, currently under construction).

There is something on the simplicity of the details and the material use that give a continuity to his works, as you can see on his previous projects that we have featured on ArchDaily.

Back to his office, it took my attention that the models used for the projects were always in a small scale (1:200 or similar), almost as crafted objects, related to the detail importance I mentioned previously.

His expertise on the residential area is not only recognized by the vast amount of publications that have featured his work, but also by inhabitants of his buildings and by his peers, who I heard this from.

But enough of my talk, just watch the interview and stay tuned for more projects to be featured in AD in the next days.

Some photos from our visit after the break.

Cite: Basulto, David. "AD Interviews: Stanley Saitowitz" 06 Aug 2009. ArchDaily. Accessed 26 May 2015. <>
  • Archlad

    Brilliant interview and great way to introduce it!

  • rodrigobocater

    here we have one of the most brilhant offices on housing projects in US, like LOHA architects and another few ones!

  • David

    I’ve seen this interview or one identical a few weeks ago. So I’m not convinced this is an AD interview.

    • Nico Saieh


      Can you tell us where did you see that interview?
      We uploaded this one a few weeks ago to Vimeo.. maybe there?

    • David Basulto [tricky]


      Trust me…. I did the interview, and I´m on the photos with Stanley as you can see.


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  • Ill

    A very good interview. Stanely Saitowitz seems to be a very down to earth architect and serious when he speaks. For instance about architecture schools.

  • amagin

    a lot of stuff must be falling off of those cluttered desks into that opening. looks like an office in the hallway. he went to school in south africa in 1he seventies. A great question would have been to ask him to delve into his experience of attending architecture school in a country with so much social unrest under aparthied.