• LaBella Associates

National Architecture Week: Get to know Steve Sandberg

Thanks for joining us for #ArchitectureWeek! AIA National Architecture Week is April 10 – 16. National Architecture Week is celebrated the week of Thomas Jefferson’s birthday, which is April 13th. While not educated as an architect, Jefferson is the only U.S. president to be recognized for his architectural affinity. National Architecture Week is a public awareness campaign dedicated to increasing attention to the role architects play as a force for positive change in our communities and to elevate the public’s appreciation of design.

All week LaBella has been highlighting our diverse group of architects. Today we're featuring Steve Sandberg from our Jamestown office.


Name: Steve Sandberg, RA

Alma Mater: Clemson University

Office Location: Jamestown, NY

What type (market) of architecture do you specialize in? Educational, Municipal & Healthcare

When did you know you wanted to become an architect? Junior High Art Class

If you hadn’t become an architect, what would you be doing today? Cartoonist

Tell us about a project you’re proud of. Western New York Girl Scout Center, Jamestown. The Girls Scouts project was a unique opportunity to work with a committee with a clear vision of creating a building that made a unique visual statement on a highly visible site, formed a continuation of the pathway from the parking area to the outdoor views and spaces, and employed natural materials, passive solar energy and natural ventilation. We used wood shingles and trim on the exterior and hardwoods from the Girl Scout’s nearby camp for interior flooring and trim. An indoor/outdoor fireplace of Pennsylvania Ledgerock is at the heart of the building. The committee and the Scouting community was delighted with the result.

What has been the highlight of your career? Celebrating the 25th anniversary of the firm I helped to organize & develop.

What is your favorite local building and why? Darwin Martin House – due to the way that Wright used materials to honestly express the structure.

What style architecture do you love most? Anything where the structure is clearly expressed and the interior is filled with natural light.

What advice would you give someone thinking of becoming an architect? Be an artist and a good communicator first and a drafter last.

What are your secrets to success? Good listener.

What do you enjoy about working at LaBella? All of the talented people I’ve come to know and work with here.

What do you like doing outside of work? Kayaking, gardening, creating fused glass art, walking with my wife Pat and dog Milo.

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