Sandy Mendler leaves HOK for Mithun

Will launch Mithun's new San Francisco office

March 10, 2008 |

Mithun, a national leader in sustainable design, has announced plans to open an office in San Francisco later this year. Adding to this momentum, Sandy Mendler, AIA, a nationally recognized design leader and advocate for sustainability, joins the firm as a principal with San Francisco as her primary location.


Mithun has experienced tremendous opportunity for several years, working to contribute to the world in positive ways. Based in the Seattle area since 1949, the firm has gone from designing resource-efficient buildings to sustainable neighborhoods to integrating habitat strategies and aiding larger natural systems. Although growth in quality rather than size has always been the objective, the result is an increase in demand, including California.


“As our work in
expands, we're using this occasion to help foster more exciting opportunities for the firm,” says Bert Gregory, FAIA, Mithun’s president and
. “The new office in
San Francisco
reinforces our mission to ‘Inspire a sustainable world through leadership, innovation, and integrated design.’


Hiring Mendler coincides with these plans, underscoring Mithun’s commitment to sustainable and integrated design excellence. Previously a senior vice president and design principal for HOK inSan Francisco, Mendler brings more than 20 years of professional experience during which she led a variety of high profile projects, including office buildings, university buildings and research laboratories. Her strength as a designer emphasizes collaboration to integrate complex requirements into elegant design solutions. 


Sandy Mendler, AIA.

Over the next several months, Mendler will spend a good deal of time in Mithun’s Seattle office to help plan the new office and engage in projects as a full team member. “I have admired Mithun for years as a firm that really walks the talk,” says Mendler. “I am delighted to join such a strong team – and to become part of a values-based firm that is focused on design, quality and innovation.”


For nearly sixty years, Mithun has advanced
 design that brings the human and natural worlds into balance. Seeking the best ideas from diverse disciplines, the firm promotes research in practice, along with stronger links between industry, academia and professional organizations. In-house teams of architects, landscape architects, planners, interior designers and ecologists together deliver projects that creatively enrich the human experience and endure.


The firm has designed some of the world’s top-performing places, including the REI Flagship Stores in Seattle and Denver (both recipients of theAIACOTE Top Ten Green award), Lloyd Crossing Sustainable Urban Design Plan in Portland, Oregon (the first urban design project to win theAIACOTE Top Ten Green award), IslandWood Environmental Learning Center on Bainbridge Island (the first LEED Gold project in Washington State), and Mosler Lofts (Seattle’s first LEED condominium). Current work inCaliforniaand the Bay Area includes the UC Irvine Medical Education Building, the Sunrise Van Ness residential high rise in downtownSan Francisco, two mixed-use buildings in the Bay Meadows project, and a long-term master plan for theSan FranciscoZenCenter’s Green Gulch Farm.


Mithun’s success reflects a proactive approach to complex issues such as urban density and global climate change. The firm helped to pioneer the US Green Building Council’s Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED™) rating system – the nationally accepted benchmark for the design, construction and operation of high-performance green buildings, receiving the USGBC Local/Regional Leadership award in 2004. Currently, the firm is involved with membership on the Core Committee and with two Pilot projects for the new LEED rating system specifically for neighborhood development.   


Mendler also has been instrumental in promoting high-performance design. She recently served on the national board of directors of the US Green Building Council, and served as chair of the national AIA Committee on the Environment in 2000 and 2001. She is co-author of two books and numerous articles, and her work is widely published in print and on the Internet. She has taught, lectured and served on peer review and expert panels, and has been invited to speak at dozens of conferences and industry events. An accomplished design leader, her projects include headquarter facilities for the Environmental Protection Agency, World Resources Institute and National Wildlife Federation.


Gregory readily credits exceptional staff with Mithun’s reputation for quality. “People do make the difference,” he says. “Sandy is a great person who embodies our firm’s values and spirit, and we're excited to have her on board in a leadership role at Mithun, located in San Francisco.”

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