Lauren Martino’s Designs on Architecture
When Lauren Martino’s passion for math and science teamed up with her commitment to a solid agenda of academic study, she found a career she could love for life.
Lauren’s dedication earned her a place among the inaugural group of winners of the Construction Advancement Institute (CAI) Scholarship program in 2009 in her quest to become an architect. Similar financial aid she won from the Construction Industry Council’s Louis G. Nappi Scholarship Awards program helped fund her career pursuit in architecture, which put her at the cutting edge in the field of design-build.
Moving cross country from Croton-on-Hudson, Lauren is now a project associate in the Oakland (CA) office of KTGY Group, Inc., an architecture & planning firm with seven locations worldwide.
“Beginning at the design stage, I work developing floor plans and elevations,” explained the 29-year- old Tulane University graduate working on large-scale housing developments in four western states. “I see the projects through from design, construction documents, all the way to the finished built product. I work on different projects all at different points in the timeline.Working on multiple projects allows me a broad spectrum of hands-on experience, from material boards to public hearing reviews to throwing on a hard hat and going on a frame walk with contractors.”
Lauren was awarded a total of $5,000 in scholarship funds from the program that rewards Science, Math, Architecture and Engineering students of the seven-county region of the lower Hudson Valley who excel on the road to careers in those fields. Eligible young people are sponsored by relatives who are members of contractor contributors to the Industry Advancement Program of the Building Contractors Association of Westchester & the Mid-Hudson Region (BCA), and unions participating in that Industry Advancement Program. Lauren’s uncle Jay Martino, a board member of the CAI as well as the BCA and CIC, sponsored his niece for the scholarships.
Raised in a construction family—her father Mike owns a building company in Westchester— Lauren’s early interest in the industry was sparked by her father’s drive in the business, she explained. He instilled in her the importance of loving the work you choose and finding joy and satisfaction in your choice, she said.
“It’s strengthened our relationship, talking about clients and projects. I value his opinion so much. We recently teamed up to design a new home for my sister and her husband. I produced the drawings with his help and his company will soon build it,” she said.
Lauren expects to take all six of her architectural licensing exams this year through the AIA.
“I finally feel ready to spend the study time necessary for these exams, she told CONSTRUCTION NEWS speaking this month from her office in Oakland. “So check back with me in a year. Hopefully I will be licensed in 2018. That would open a lot of doors for me and allow me to start my own firm.”
Reflecting on her five-year Master’s program in Architecture at Tulane in New Orleans, she said that her crush on architecture blossomed into total commitment to the field in 2009 when she made a life-changing decision and joined an extracurricular design-build program called UrbanBuild. (It’s a program in which student teams design and construct prototypical homes for New Orleans’ lower income neighborhoods.) The mission of the program became even more poignant in the wake of 2005’s Hurricane Katrina.
While at college, Lauren also volunteered with Operation Helping Hands in Louisiana. Traveling to Rome, Italy in 2008, she helped design a public bathing complex for her fourth year study-abroad project.
“Architecture helped me to give back to the community in a unique way and UrbanBuild will always mark the beginning of my career,” she said. “Math and Science were the stepping stones that led me to Architecture by equipping me with the tools to help change a community for the better. My hope is that, through my work, I can help to better communities through sustainable, thoughtful design.”
By SHEILA SMITH DRAPEAU