Eugene Sakai, AIA, LEED AP
Co-Founder and President
Eugene H. Sakai is the co-founder and president of Studio S Squared Architecture, Inc. A Bay Area native and lifelong resident, he has a deep love of the cultural and architectural diversity unique to this area. As the son of a Japanese gardener and grandson of a walnut farmer, Eugene’s appreciation for the relationship between man and nature was formed at an early age, and greatly influenced his architectural philosophy. Eugene now delights in nurturing the careers of aspiring young architects in his firm nearly as much as he enjoys designing buildings for clients. Eugene has committed Studio S Squared to an architectural ethos that reinforces the connection between building users and their environment, uses natural resources wisely, and helps build a sense of community. He is a longstanding member of the American Institute of Architects (AIA), LEED Accredited Professional, former member of the San Jose Arts Commission, and past Chair of its Public Art Committee.
Eugene has lived in San Francisco since 2007 with his wife and their three children, in various contemporary houses of the firm’s design. In his spare time, Eugene enjoys playing pickup basketball, cheering on the Warriors, Giants, and Niners, and escorting his kids on various outdoor activities.
Sean Rinde is a California native, born and raised in Orange County. Sean first discovered a passion for residential architecture during his high school drafting classes. His early success in these classes set him on a path to become an architect, and he subsequently earned his Bachelor of Architecture with a Minor in Sustainability from Cal Poly San Luis Obispo in 2008. Sean joined Studio S Squared in 2011 and has loved [nearly] every minute of it!
When Sean is not overseeing all phases of design and construction at Studio S Squared, he’s spending time cooking for his wife and son in their San Jose home, and working as a Weekend Warrior on their home improvement projects.
Sean Rinde, LEED AP
Jose Ares Abajo
Senior Architectural Designer
Jose Ares Abajo was born and raised in Spain, where he later graduated from a prestigious architectural academy located in both Spain and Italy. Jose has always felt passion for design and a strong interest in America and its architecture. His upbringing in Europe brings a native understanding of the different styles of traditional architecture to Studio S Squared. Jose constantly seeks the moment of inspiration when long hours of iterative design study create a result that in hindsight, seems effortless and wholly appropriate. He especially loves helping clients to transform their personal visions into great works of architecture.
Jose loves spending time with his wife exploring California and cities across the United States, yet they always find time to visit their family and friends in Spain to spend high quality time in their company.
Diana Jarrar was born in Kuwait and was raised in Amman, Jordan and Jenin, Palestinian Territories. Diana knew that she was going to be an architect since she was 8 years old. She used to draw a house for each single person she met, according to his or her personality. Living under conflict and seeing the destruction of her country and displacement of her people, Diana’s dream of being an architect became her career goal. Diana subsequently earned her Bachelor of Architecture from Birzeit University, Ramallah, Palestinian Territories. Since joining Studio S Squared in 2014, Diana has had the opportunity to contribute in all phases of design and documentation, but has a particular talent for interior 3d modeling and design. Diana recently became a U.S. citizen, and is currently working on getting her Architectural License.
Diana has a passion for traveling. She has visited Syria, Turkey, Dubai, Italy, France, Austria, Greece, and Germany, and plans to continue her travels in the future. Traveling to these countries gave her the chance to observe different cultures and see many different styles of Architecture. Diana lives in San Jose with her husband and young daughter.
Designer and Intern Architect
Hari Ceemalapati, LEED AP
Designer and Intern Architect
Hari Ceemalapati is a designer and intern architect at Studio S Squared Architecture Inc.
Hari was born and raised in the southernmost part of India, where she pursued her education. She had an early interest in arts, particularly in the role that geometry plays in the field of visual arts. As she delved more into the subject, Hari realized that the field of spatial design is the highest form of artistic expression and decided to pursue a career in the field. After moving to the United States in 2006, she obtained a Master’s Degree in Design and realized her dream of practicing architecture.
Hari is a ‘flora’ enthusiast and spends her free time taking landscape classes where she learns about the native vegetation of the Bay Area. She enjoys learning and understanding the habitat, soil and water requirements of these plants in the classroom, and goes on hikes where she sees these lifeforms growing in their natural environment.
Since joining Studio S Squared Inc. in 2014, Hari has developed a special focus in construction documents, bringing the team of consultants together, and seeing the project through the permitting phase. She is an LEED Accredited professional, and she believes in and implements sustainable building practices in her projects.
Junior Designer Jenny Yao has an undergraduate degree from Iowa State University in Interior Design. She also has a Master’s degree in Sustainable Interior Design Environments from NYSID (New York School of Interior Design) and is working towards her LEED AP.
After working at a Manhattan firm as an interior designer on projects including corporate offices, product showrooms, and adult schools, Jenny brought her many talents to Studio S Squared, where she provides design and 3d modeling on a range of interior and architectural projects.
Jenny is originally from China, and she is fluent in Mandarin. In her free time, she enjoys travelling around the country and cooking for her friends.
Jiani (Jenny) Yao
Studio S Squared Architecture, Inc. was founded on the belief that client involvement is the key to a successful project, and we are committed to a team-oriented approach in all phases of the design process. We believe in the value of collaboration within our office and with our consultant team, the building contractor, and most importantly, the owner.
Our practical experience covers the entire spectrum of projects, from small commercial remodels to large corporate campuses, from single family homes to multi-family buildings. The common thread in our buildings is the belief that architecture can lift the spirit, and that great relationships make great architecture possible.
Great architecture involves more than using our expertise to navigate governmental approvals. Clients look to us to take their ideas and elevate them into a design uniquely tailored to their site, personal, and business needs. We work to keep the lines of communication with clients open at all times to ensure that we can craft a building that is uniquely their own. With this approach, it is possible to create a “signature” building with every project we design.
Our firm is committed to conservation and wise use of our natural resources, and minimizing our projects’ impact on both the built and un-built environment.
We also commit a percentage of our billable hours every year to local non-profits in need of pro bono architectural services.
I was amazed by the transformation of the house that was designed by these professionals. They maximized the available usage of the exterior and interior space of the house with exquisite details that complimented the remodel of the project. I have used other architects, but Studio S Squared truly offer a unique talent that needs to be taken advantage of.Sunil Jivan
From the very beginning Eugene and everyone at Studio S Squared made us an integral part of the team. They took the time to understand our vision for the project and we worked collaboratively to make that vision a reality. The entire team’s attention to detail and the quality of design is impeccable. In addition, through the entire process the team was easy to communicate with, patient, and very approachable.Ravi Handyal
From our first meeting through the entire architectural design process, Eugene Sakai and the Studio S Squared team made us feel heard and part of a team that was collaborating to make our ‘dream home’ vision into a reality. Elements which proved invaluable were the excellent communication style, the ability to view a 3D model on our computer, the ability to see how sun patterns would impact the interior light, and the attention to detail Eugene’s team paid to our multiple emails.L. McMurtry