"A Look Inside: Garcia Tamjidi Architecture Design"
By Dan LeBaron on Lyfstyl
In the mid-1980s, long before Silicon Valley would become the world’s epicentre for tech and innovation, Michael Garcia and Farid Tamjidi were just two architecture students with big plans. They gravitated towards one another during their time studying at UC Berkeley and often discussed going into business together. After graduation, the two had a serendipitous meeting at Kaplan McLaughlin Diaz Architects, where both had found work. Eventually, Tamjidi moved on to work in Los Angeles and Garcia found work elsewhere in San Francisco, but the two never lost touch.
“We would talk by phone a lot during those years,” said Garcia. “Farid would tell me what was happening in LA and I would do the same for San Francisco.”
As time went on and the two architects’ careers evolved, the two decided to follow through on their earlier plans and launched Garcia Tamjidi Architects in 1997.
“We started in a small garage space,” said Tamjidi of the firm’s modest beginning. “We started with our own resources and relied on the relationships we’d built with clients who followed us. The biggest leap for the company was hiring employee number one.”
Through a combination of fostering strong client relationships and leveraging those into new ones, Garcia Tamjidi have produced some of the most substantive modern works in the San Francisco Bay Area. The firm’s work maintains a simple aesthetic while simultaneously offering consistently bold and hyper-focused results.
“Problem-solving, that’s the exciting part of any design,” said Garcia of the firm’s thoughtful and purposeful approach to its projects. “We design with a sense of permanence in mind.”
The duo’s dedication to their craft shines through in their recent works, which range from residential San Francisco homes to large-scale projects such as the firm’s work on Apple’s Cupertino, California headquarters, Apple Park. Regardless of the project or scope, satisfied clients have remained a constant through the company’s tenure.
“Michael and Farid took the time to help us understand and articulate our functional priorities, then masterfully designed a home to meet them,” said Erin Hunter, the owner of “Private Residence 1,” a San Francisco home the firm completed in January 2012. “Never could we have expected ‘storage and an open floor plan’ to be transformed into what is now our incredible jewel box in the sky. Their vision delivered beyond our wildest imaginations.”
The firm’s glowing reviews extend to the highest echelons of the corporate world, too.
“Working with Garcia Tamjidi, we received an attention to detail not normally found with other architecture firms,” said Dan Whisenhunt, the former Senior Director of Real Estate and Facilities with Apple, on the company’s work on tech company’s campus theatre which, until recently, wasn’t public knowledge. “I’ve worked with Garcia Tamjidi for many years,” he continued, “and find that their approach to projects results in high-quality results.”
The firm employs six full-time employees, but has “10 chairs,” as additional workers are often required and are seamlessly integrated into projects that require them. “Everyone that works at our firm becomes a solid generalist,” said Tamjidi.
In 2018, the duo released the “Garcia Tamjidi Monograph”, a visual reflection on their work to date.
When asked what advice they now have for those rosy-eyed young architects, the duo don’t have a difficult time coming up with an answer, “We would’ve started sooner.”
Read the full profile here.