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Wednesday, Jul 24, 2024

Safdie Rabines Gains Accolades, New Partner

ARCHITECTURE: Co-Founder Elevated With AIA Honor

SAN DIEGO – Safdie Rabines Architects, based in Mission Hills, has a new partner and a new award.

The new partner is Alfonso Barragan, who joined the firm as an architectural designer in 2014 after earning his bachelor’s degree that year and working briefly as an intern at Davy Architecture and BCA Architects.

Alfonso Barragan
Safdie Rabines

“Becoming a partner to me is a big responsibility. In a way, it is not about doing well yourself, but about uplifting your team and setting the bar high,” Barragan said, adding that he particularly likes mentoring up-and-coming architects.

“That’s the setting I enjoy a lot, transferring the knowledge,” Barragan said. “Every project, you learn something. You learn from the mistakes of others.”

The award comes with Co-founder Taal Safdie’s elevation to the American Institute of Architects College of Fellows, the organization’s highest honor and one of 20 selected this year from California.

A native of Sonora, Mexico, Barragan said that his interest in architecture came from his parents, who were architects in Mexico.

“Ever since I was a little kid, I went out and helped my parents. They had 3D models and all these tools they were using. I just blended it,” Barragan said.

At Safdie Rabines, Barragan has specialized in designing private homes, which Barragan said was “super fun.”

Taal Safdie
Safdie Rabines Architects

“You get the opportunity to detail and customize a lot,” Barragan said. “It’s almost like a laboratory in a way.”

Looking ahead, Barragan said that he’d like to work on designing a museum or an airport.

“That’s definitely on our radar, our wish list for upcoming projects,” Barragan said.

Connecting with Nature

Safdie, who co-founded Safidie Rabines in 1993 with her husband, Ricardo Rabines.

The fellowship is the highest award given by the American Institute of Architecture and honors recipients “for their exceptional work and contributions to architecture and society,” according to the organization’s website.

“I don’t know that it changes your life that much. I just think it’s a nice recognition from your peers,” Safdie said. “This is based on our office’s work. Even though I got the (award), it is an honor for Ricardo and me because all of our projects are done together.”

The firm that they founded has designed everything from restrooms and bridges to colleges and private residences.

Safdie said that her firm emphasizes connecting with nature in its designs.

Safdie Rabines Architects
PARTNERS: Taal Safdie, Ricardo Rabines, Eric Lindebak, Brett Milkovich and Alfonso Barragan
FOUNDING PARTNERS: Taal Safdie and Ricardo Rabines
HEADQUARTERS: San Diego, Mission Hills
BUSINESS: Architecture, planning and interior design
CONTACT: 619-297-6153
WEBSITE: www.safdierabines.com
NOTABLE: Safdie Rabines Architects has designed nine bridges in San Diego County including downtown’s Harbor Drive Pedestrian Bridge. Additionally, the firm designed one of UC San Diego’s largest and most ambitious projects, North Torrey Pines Living & Learning Neighborhood, in collaboration with HKS and Clark Construction


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