SG Big Sur-Crop.jpg

Hello

I am a Belgian-born, Midwest-raised, designer and creator living and working in New York City. I can’t think of a better place to call home. I am passionate and fastidious — I give a damn by default. I enjoy film photography and ocean sailing.

I’ve been hooked on architecture since I was old enough to pick up a pencil and trace floor plans from a home catalogue.

2008-10-26_DSC_8379 copy.jpg

I hold two Master’s degrees from the University of Minnesota, one in Architecture and one in Sustainable Design. In 2011 I was nominated by Dean Tom Fisher to give a TEDxUMN Talk about my thesis projects. You can watch it here. I worked professionally in Minneapolis, MN for several years gaining experience with residential and commercial projects.

20131001-IMG_4915 crop.jpg

Shortly after arriving in New York City I began working for an award-winning architectural firm designing the USA pavilion for the 2015 Milan EXPO - A fast track project collaborating with nearly every discipline imaginable from structural engineering and exhibition design to crowd control and vertical farming.

ME-BW.jpg

While the USA Pavilion was under construction, I was also the project manager on a Lower East Side restaurant expansion. This deceptively simple expansion gave me a deep understanding of the inner workings of the NY Department of Buildings and managing a project with many moving parts - keeping the client informed, coordinating consultants, and producing various permit sets for approval. It's given me the confidence that I can meet any challenge.

I put architecture on hold to help my partner scale her business from 5 to 25 employees and to focus on passing the architecture licensing exams. Now that her business is stable I am transitioning back to architecture.

I find the intersection of natural habitat and industrial infrastructure fascinating. I am driven to design honest places that maximize human experience while minimizing environmental impact. I do everything I can to put the client first and let the architecture express their needs and desires.

Get in touch with me at steven.grootaert@gmail.com