Mark Jensen, FAIA
The founder of JENSEN Architects, Mark Jensen approaches architecture as a positive cultural force, shaping experiences from the everyday to the extraordinary. Mark’s concern for the human dimensions of place invests his work with social as well as cultural resonance. His innate curiosity, committed teamwork, holistic solutions, and thoughtful tenacity has defined a body of work recognized nationally for its technical ingenuity, craftsmanship, and broader understanding of context. The mix—risk-taking arts, places for learning, retail innovators, creative studios, and contemporary residences—is consistent in giving coherence and poetry to often complex programs and constraints. In 2018, Mark was elevated to the American Institute of Architects College of Fellows, an honor recognizing the contributions of his practice.
Frank Merritt, AIA
Frank Merritt thrives on the people part of architectural practice, and the relationships—with clients, consultants, builders and craftspeople—that are the foundation of JENSEN Architects’ achievements. Whether managing design and construction for arts institutions or cultivating new partnerships, his passion for quality and integrity brings everyone to the table. Frank practiced graphic design before earning his Bachelor of Architecture from California College of the Arts. His early experience informs his multidisciplinary approach as an architect and his penchant for collaborations with artists, furniture makers, and graphic designers. As JENSEN’s Communications Director, Frank guides the firm’s marketing, business development and brand—and serves as a mentor to other staff.
Dean Orr, AIA
An architect and Operations Director of JENSEN Architects, Dean Orr found his calling in designing better ways of working. His technical expertise and belief that effective management is essential to realizing good design inform best practices for navigating the design, entitlements and construction processes. While over his career Dean has managed nearly every type of project—from SFMOMA’s rooftop sculpture garden to mixed-use commercial infill developments—workplace renovations for leaders in technology, advertising and design has become one of his specialties at JENSEN. A true citizen architect, Dean served seven years on the City of Orinda’s planning commission before fulfilling two terms as a city council member, both volunteer roles. He holds a Bachelor of Architecture from California College of the Arts.
Steven Huegli, AIA
An architect with a predilection for the art of making, Steven Huegli pursues a diverse architectural practice, one informed by a background in site-specific installations, innovative materials applications, and building technologies. As Studio Director at JENSEN Architects, Steven leverages this experience to cultivate a design-focused culture founded on technical agility and collaborative practices. A dedicated mentor, he teaches at University of California, Berkeley, where he earned his graduate degree, and California College of the Arts. While Steven’s work has received numerous awards, he was especially honored to have his representations of the SFMOMA Rooftop Sculpture Garden included in the museum’s permanent collection.
Emily Gosack, AIA, LEED® AP
An architect with wide-ranging experience, Emily Gosack believes the making of great buildings depends on a well-crafted design process. To this end, she leads the studio in the integration of technology and sustainability measures, maintaining the highest standards for team collaboration and building performance on projects large and small. Since joining JENSEN in 2012, Emily has guided the firm’s multifamily projects, including 3333 California and 2055 Chestnut Street, and has contributed to the studio’s portfolio of award-winning custom residences. She graduated from the University of Michigan with a Bachelor of Arts in Urban Studies before earning a Master of Architecture at UC Berkeley.
With a passion for collaboration, Chris Kalos drives quality design and project delivery across all teams at JENSEN. Influenced by the multidisciplinary environment of the California College of the Arts, where he earned his Bachelor of Architecture, he works closely with clients, contractors, consultants, and artisans to realize the custom features and precision craft that set apart JENSEN’s work. Chris’s expertise in lighting design and technical detailing are reflected in his current and recent projects, including a Palo Alto location for Float Station, Children’s Day School, and Turner Residence.
A designer and project manager with JENSEN, Scott Davis leads the development of best practices and knowledge sharing underpinning the firm’s exacting design standards. With a keen curiosity and pragmatic instincts, he shepherds designs through all phases, pursuing better ways of fulfilling each project’s functional, programmatic, and aspirational goals. A graduate of the California College of the Arts, Scott is especially at home tackling complex design problems, from hacking a pre-engineered building system for SHED to expanding the community center for the Willie “Woo Woo” Wong Playground in Chinatown.
An architect with a love for process-driven exploration, problem solving, and shaping experiences, Lauren Takeda embraces complexity. Applying thorough analysis, she balances each project’s contextual constraints and human factors within cogent designs, generating innovative solutions including strategies for their efficient delivery. Through projects such as Minnesota Street Project and offices for a digital media pioneer, Lauren also guides the integration of new technologies with JENSEN’s rigorous design and documentation standards. She holds a Bachelor of Arts in Architecture from UC Berkeley and a Master of Architecture from University of Southern California.
Yusheen Yang joined JENSEN in 2014, bringing a background in architecture, landscape architecture and urban design. With experience ranging from urban residences, to public spaces, and to large-scale overseas developments, Yusheen approaches each project with an eye towards architecture’s role in shaping our environment–and society—as well as an appreciation of the thoughtful details that distinguish good design. She graduated from University of Southern California with a Bachelor of Architecture, then worked in New York City before earning her Master of Architecture in urban design at Washington University.
Margarita Urquiza approaches architecture with international perspective and gift for collaboration. Since graduating from Cornell University, where she earned a Bachelor of Architecture, Margarita has explored a wide range of project typologies, from commercial and residential towers in Asia to academic buildings, luxury retail, and a private residence in Cole Valley. Her work reflects an interest in materiality and light—informed by her experiences living in Mexico—and a passion for working with construction teams to realize thoughtfully detailed architectural designs. An advocate for integrated responses to climate change, she also co-leads JENSEN’s AIA 2030 initiative.
Melissa DeLacy, LEED® AP BD+C
Melissa DeLacy brings a diverse background and an interest in the interdisciplinary nature of design to her role at JENSEN. From large-scale residential towers to private residences and restaurant interiors, the pursuit of architecture’s wide-ranging possibilities has defined her career. Sustainable design also is a growing focus for Melissa, who co-leads the firm’s AIA 2030 initiative. After graduating from Duke University with a Bachelor of Arts in economics and art history, Melissa worked abroad before earning a Master of Architecture at University of Texas at Austin.
Nicole Germano, NCIDQ, IIDA
Senior Interior Designer
As JENSEN’s interior design lead, Nicole Germano pairs her extensive background in workplace design with her love of art, materiality and culture. She believes architecture can be at once meaningful, refined, and fun, and aspires to create multi-layered spaces tailored to each client’s unique style and personality. After graduating from University of Cincinnati, College of Design, Architecture, Art and Planning, Nicole settled in the Bay Area to focus on environments for global companies such as Facebook, Prezi, and Dolby Laboratories. At JENSEN, Nicole consults on the firm’s major commercial and residential projects while expanding her creative workplace experience.
Jennifer Redel, LEED® AP BD+C
An architect with a passion for building systems and clever details, Jennifer Redel has tackled an eclectic mix of projects for clients in education, multifamily housing, culture, hospitality, and technology. Jen traces her interest in the technical aspects of architecture to her studies at the University of Kansas, where she earned a Master of Architecture. At JENSEN, her current projects—India Basin Shoreline Park and 2055 Chestnut Street, a mixed-use residential development—reflect the firm’s expanding practice, and also her expertise in the integration of digital tools with the firm’s design standards and project delivery practices.