remodel architecture

Meet The Architecture Team

remodel architecture

Get to know our Summit County Architecture Team

Over the past year, our Summit County Architecture team has grown bringing new perspectives, expertise and experience to Collective. Specializing in every detail whether a small remodel or an entire new build, our team of licensed architects and supporting architectural designers have continued to exceed expectations and create striking, progressive spaces for their clients.

Here, we get to know each of our architects and supporting team members, provide insight into the importance of strong designer-client relationships and give an inside look at the streamlined architecture process our team uses to design the home of your dreams.

Zane Levin

Zane Levin

What made you want to be an architect? My parents are artists, and my grandparents were engineers, involved in construction. I definitely inherited their traits and took interest in both career paths. Architecture really stood out to me as it lands somewhere in the middle of the two. My love of creativity and design, paired with logical and strategic thinking, led me to think architecture would be a great fit.

What do you show along the way to explain the project to clients?
We’re in contact with our clients every step of the way; from initial floor plans, to a 3D model, to site plans, to final construction documents. After we create the basic, conceptual layout, we begin to hone in on room sizes, windows and specific spaces. Once the client loves the plan and wants to move forward, we create a 3D model to look at building forms, roof lines and how the windows and doors look on the exterior. Then together, we look at and choose exterior materials, including siding, colors, exact window sizes and patterns. We apply materials onto the model so the client can see an exact replica of their new home. We layout interior beams, the fireplace, stairs and railings, but when it comes down to interior details and finishes, we will work with the interior design team to make more specific decisions.

Since remodels are relatively new to Collective, how do you compare them to your new construction projects?
Our remodel projects are all different in size and scope, from a fireplace addition to a four thousand square foot home renovation and addition. They definitely present their own challenge; working on a building that already exists and turning it into a home that feels fresh and new. It’s exciting to take on different types of projects, and work on different home styles. We typically work on additions, like an extra garage with a bedroom above, for example. Sometimes we will make major modifications, such as removing a few walls to open up a room or adding walls to create new spaces.

What sets Collective apart from other architects?
The fact that we are design-build for starters. We have architecture, interior design, construction, estimating and lodging all under one roof. We have a really good understanding of where the market is, what things will cost overall, and what’s trending. Because we employ experts in so many areas, we make a great team, and can tackle any type of project. Additionally, we like to progress design and look to the future. No project is ever the same, so we are always pushing the envelope and making our team stronger from a design perspective.

Collective Architecture

Pipsa Happo

What made you want to be an architect? I really don’t remember where I originally got the idea, but I’d guess my dad had something to do with it. I drew my first plans for my dream house when I was maybe 5 years old. My dad is a builder and a structural engineer and so he would critique my drawings and I would make revisions accordingly.

Eventually we would build things together or he would take me on job sites with him where I spent a lot of my younger years. I could also say that the combination of creativity, science, history and study of human behavior that architecture encompasses has always intrigued me and been one of the biggest drivers for me in my career.

How do you begin the design process with your clients?
The most important thing from a design standpoint is to set goals for the project early on. This begins with understanding what the client desires but also getting to know who they are and how invested they are in the project. Recognizing the client’s priorities plays a big role in the process. It’s important to set objectives and targets that you can always refer back to and make sure design is on track.

What do you like best about your line of work?
The versatility of the field. Opportunities are endless but they also come with big responsibilities. On a personal level, I feel strongly about sustainable practices. I try to do my best to design buildings built from sustainable materials, use minimal energy and that will last a long time. It’s a big challenge but one that motivates me.

I also love to connect with clients throughout the project, from design to completion, and help make the process as exciting as possible. I’m not designing for myself but for the client, so it is very important for me to get to know them on a personal level and see how they want to approach each step.

Tyler architectural manager

Tyler Mikolajczak
Architectural Manager

What’s your favorite aspect of architecture? To have the ability to create something beautiful that shelters and impacts people’s lives in a meaningful way.

Can you remember the first space that had an impact on your architecture career?
Growing up, my parents took me on a trip to Pittsburgh. While we were there, we visited Falling Water, a stunning and unique home designed by architect Frank Lloyd Wright in 1935. Being in a home that was so intertwined with the natural environment surrounding it really opened my eyes to the true impact architecture can have on our lives.

What role do you have during construction?
During construction, I work with the contractor and the client to help facilitate making the client's dreams into a reality, every step of the way.

House exterior
house interior

Josh Mazar

Josh Mazar
Architectural Designer

What are you currently working on? I’m working on a handful of new construction projects. We’re designing homes from four thousand square feet all the way up to seven thousand square feet. Each home is unique to its environment and setting, presenting different challenges and opportunities.

What made you want to be a part of the Collective Architecture team?
When I was presented with the opportunity to be a part of the team, I couldn’t turn it down because of their personal approach, unique offerings, and focus on design in the mountains. I could tell right off the bat that the team has a strong sense of camaraderie while offering individual, focused talents throughout. We definitely all have fun together.

What are your favorite types of projects or aspects of a project to design?
I really don’t have a favorite type of project. I think each opportunity is exciting because of the location and lot. I enjoy working with clients that give me the chance to present unique architectural elements to enhance the overall design. The initial schematic design of the home is what I find most enjoyable. During this phase, we work with the client to create and mold the project into a beautiful home.

Elle Schwab

Elle Schwab
Architectural Designer

As a designer, what made you want to focus your career in architecture? In college, we had to take a very basic architecture class and it sparked my interest from the start. In previous work, I’ve had the opportunity to take an unfinished basement and create a whole new level of living space for my clients.

It was amazing to be able to create my design from a “blank canvas” with a few restrictive obstacles in the way. Moving back towards this level of design, but being able to dive deeper into architecture, has been a great move in my career and is helping Collective Design Group bridge the gap between architecture and interior design. I love space planning and that, to me, means creating a home interior that not only functions well but has a cohesive esthetic throughout that coordinates back to the exterior.

Did building and designing your home inspire more of a career focus in architectural design?
Designing my own home and working with Zane on finessing the details before submittal showed me the interior design areas where I thrive, and that there is so much more I want to learn about architecture. Being on site constantly to physically build my house with my father-in-law and husband has taught and inspired me so much more than I would have ever anticipated.

Working on my own project reiterated that building a great designer-client relationship and maintaining consistent communication throughout the project is so important from thinking big picture to the little details and everything in between.

How do you influence sustainability in your design?
There are many parts of sustainability. In design the finished material, whether it be low flow plumbing fixtures, Energy Star appliances, LEED light fixtures, or low emissions paint, all have an effect on sustainability. Starting in 2021, we are working to make any newly built house Zero Energy Ready Home (ZERH) compliant.

David Rynes

David Rynes - VP of Project Development

How important is relationship when designing a client’s home?
SO important. Like any successful relationship, the key is listening. When we start by listening to our client’s goals and getting personal, the rest unfolds.

What do you show along the way to explain the project to clients?
From a design standpoint, we show conceptual diagrams, floorplans, 3D modeling, and photorealistic images along the way. From a process standpoint, we provide a detailed timeline, milestones, and deadlines.

What sets Collective apart from other architects?
Our ability to listen and communicate is really a defining characteristic of our team and business model. Critically, we listen to our client’s budget goals and we know how to design to meet their goals. We’re not designing for us, we’re designing for them, and that starts by understanding how to execute what they’re looking for, on their budget.

Want to learn more about our architecture offerings? Check out our remodel blog featuring before and after images and an interview between the architect and client or view our full portfolio. We’d love to help you bring your vision of home to life. Get in touch with our team of architects and designers today.


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