Q: Federico, you have 25 years of experience as a designer and architect in Argentina and Washington D.C., both working for firms, and as business owner. Could you please share with our readers some insights into your career?
I came to Washington D.C. in December 2000 from Argentina, where I had my own firm with my wife who is also an architect. In Argentina we worked on a whole variety of projects, ranging from single family houses, apartment buildings, hotels, and master planning. When we both came to the U.S., I started working at the architecture firm SK&I. I stayed there for almost 19 years, focusing on multifamily and mixed-use projects that included grocery stores and retail.
My passion has always been planning. A year into my job with SK&I, I inherited and led the planning division and also had the opportunity to lead many architectural projects up and down the East Coast.
Q-You helped kickstart MOYA three years ago. What made you take the leap?
My decision to come to MOYA was a natural step in my career. Don’t get me wrong, I was a principal at SK&I, and I had a big responsibility there, but the next step is to become partner of an architectural firm. MOYA offered me that option – I could come in and make decisions, both design-wise and in the direction of the company. This was vital to me because I put my soul into what I do, and I want to feel part of something larger. I don’t want to be an outsider. Isn’t it everyone’s ultimate goal to be your own boss?
Everybody works for someone else and in their mind, they are always asking: What would be the ideal job? How would you like your boss to be? How would you like your environment to be? And after all those years working for another company, I knew exactly what I wanted my firm to be.
“The second DCHA project is in NoMa, North of Massachusetts, a thriving area of the city. The building will be opposite the existing DCHA office building. The first phase includes four hundred and thirty residential rental units, of which 20 percent will be affordable housing units. When the DCHA moves their headquarters to the site where we did the master planning, their current office building will be demolished and used for the other two phases of the NoMa project. There will be about 600 to 700 more units in that same block. It is a massive, massive project, with over a thousand housing units”