- Abraham Arellano, Architecture
- Ali Fahmy, Architecture
- Arany Ortega, Interiors
- Payal Thakkar, Interiors
Our Core Values
- We find joy in our work and in our lives outside of work.
- We strive for excellence in all we do.
- We are always open to learning, improving, and growing.
- We listen to our clients and to each other throughout the creative process.
- We work together as a team to achieve success for our clients.
- We seek to create lasting value and impact in the world around us.
Eugene Sakai, AIA, LEED AP
Eugene H. Sakai is the co-founder and CEO 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. Since 2018, Eugene has served as consulting architect to the City of San Carlos’ Residential Design Review 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.
Jose Ares Abajo
Jose Ares Abajo has been a valued member of the Studio S Squared team since 2012 and was named a partner in 2020. Jose 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 and daughter exploring California and cities across the United States, and they also find time to visit their family and friends in Spain to spend high quality time in their company.
Three months after finishing her studies in Serbia, Irena Veljovic moved to California to explore and expand her horizons – both personally and professionally. She has infused creativity and enthusiasm into the office of Studio S Squared. Irena is a talented designer who is confident in herself, and is not afraid to test boundaries and express her opinions.
In her spare time, Irena loves hiking, biking, and exploring new food and beer places with her husband and their friends. These adventures allow her to hone her skill as an amateur photographer.
Sierra Schmitt graduated from Washington State’s Bellevue College with her BAA. Many of her professors were practicing Architects and Interior Designers, who imparted on her the value of concept-driven design. Sierra believes in blurring the lines between Architecture and Interior Design, integrating exterior elements inside, and collaborating closely with Architects.
Sierra is a Carmel Valley native and began working for Interior Designers directly out of high school. Through her various positions in the field, she has come to especially enjoy developing client relationships. She believes design is an intimate process and sets out to learn how each client will interact with the built environment, providing an atmosphere where clients feel comfortable and heard. The results are a beautifully tailored interior that feels like home.
In her down time, Sierra loves to experiment in the kitchen, spend time at her local Crossfit Gym, and stay active with her two dogs and husband.
Originally from the Chicago area, Isabeau Guglielmo moved to the Bay Area upon graduation from Cal Poly San Luis Obispo with a Bachelor of Architecture and a minor in Sustainable Environments. Isabeau has always had a passion for traveling and immersing herself in different cultures. While studying at Cal Poly, she had the opportunity to study abroad in Italy and Australia, providing her with a deeper insight into the interconnectivity of architecture and society. In addition to traveling, Isabeau has had the pleasure of working on several humanitarian and non-profit projects while at Cal Poly.
Isabeau decided to pursue architecture because of her love of design and her desire to bring beauty into the world. As a strong proponent of sustainable design, she is drawn to architecture that blurs the line between the natural and the built environment. Through this harmony, architecture becomes an extension of nature, augmenting the beauty of its surroundings.
Isabeau enjoys a variety of forms of creative expression, including photography, art, graphic design, and furniture design. In addition to these creative outlets, Isabeau enjoys activities that immerse her in nature, such as hiking, running, scuba diving, and the occasional sky diving trip.
Spenser Vieira has been working in the Architecture & Engineering industry since 1989. He has a degree in Architecture from the University of California at Berkeley.
At Studio S Squared, Spenser is responsible for all as-built documentation for renovation projects, developing high-quality plan sets for construction and permit approval, coordinating with engineers and other design consultants, and working with builders during construction.
In his free time, Spenser enjoys riding his Harley Davidson on secluded roads along the coast, and spending time with his family.
Originally from Denver, Colorado, Alessandra’s admiration for architecture and design began at a young age through her involvement in creative arts. Through drawing, pottery, graphic design, and photography, she directed her education towards becoming an architect. After earning her B.A. and M.Arch from the University of Kansas, Alessandra relocated to the Bay Area where she has family connections and childhood memories.
At KU, Alessandra participated in a unique design/build program called ‘Studio 804’ which challenged her abilities both physically and technically. She and the other students spent a full year building a single family home in Lawrence, Kansas where they completed the work through all project phases, from schematic design to the construction and installation of finished materials. This unique experience influenced Alessandra to pursue her dream of creating unique spaces that balance form and function.
In her spare time, Alessandra enjoys tending to her large collection of house plants, as well as staying active and fit with kickboxing and various outdoor activities. These include skiing, sailing, and exploring what California has to offer. While she believes these hobbies help promote a positive and healthy mindset, they also fuel her creativity and design in support of providing sustainable lifestyles.
Noor is a Bay Area local and a graduate from San Jose State University with her BFA in Interior Design. Being Palestinian, she draws her inspiration for design from her travels and time lived overseas. Growing up in two distinct cultures, Noor was inspired to learn how people’s backgrounds and cultures can translate and breathe life into the built environment. She believes design is collaborative, and its success is manifested through strong client-designer relationships.
In her free time, Noor enjoys going on long walks, crocheting, and volunteering within her local community.
Growing up a Bay Area native, Gloria Nazloo had a passion for architecture starting at a young age. Although she graduated from San Jose State University with a BS in Nutritional Science, her excitement for architecture simply would not fade. She decided to change career paths and redirect her focus back to architecture by joining the Studio S Squared Architecture team.
Learning predominantly through work experience, she ultimately hopes to someday transform her knowledge and passion into an architectural license. Gloria gravitates towards architecture that blends elements of nature and the surrounding environment into modern design. Her constant curiosity for knowledge allows for continuous creativity and change when it comes to her work.
Outside of architecture, Gloria takes delight in traveling, gardening, rock climbing, trying new restaurants and food, and spending time with family and friends.
Born and raised in China, Wanchen Cai joined Studio S Squared Architecture after receiving a Masters of Architecture from the University of California, Berkeley. Wanchen believes that architecture has an intimate relationship with daily life, and strives to create memorable spatial experiences in each project. She views residential architecture as a source of stability and peace for homeowners in a constantly changing world. Wanchen embraces the architect’s challenge of finding the perfect balance between function and beauty, while meeting user needs and minimizing environmental impact.
In her spare time, Wanchen enjoys traveling to different places and immersing herself in the local culture. Additionally, she likes to research new recipes and experiment with food.
Laura Sheth grew up surrounded by high rises and mountains in the valley of Medellin, Colombia. Her love for design and nature developed as her family took her on local trips to explore different regions of her country. After years of this family tradition, Laura’s eagerness for more exposure grew, resulting in her moving to the U.S in 2014. She ultimately embraced Interior Design as a way to apply her altruism in helping others meet their goals and dreams. She enjoyed the privilege of studying Interior Design at San Jose State University.
Always eager to continually learn in the industry, Laura strives to sharpen her skills and learn more about her craft. She is motivated by the belief that design should be empathetic towards humanity and the environment. Her love for travel remains a primary influence, as she finds inspiration from patterns, textures, and colors from the different places she has visited.
In her spare time, Laura enjoys doing puzzles, taking trips to wine country, discovering new restaurants in the Bay Area with her husband, and making long FaceTime calls with her family in Colombia.