Rachel Lanzafame
Associate Principal, Design Practice Leader

Rachel Lanzafame
  • Syracuse University
  • American Institute of Architects
Licenses & Registrations

What motivated you to become a designer (or current role?)?

Most weekend mornings as a kid I woke up to the sound of my dad (also an architect) mixing mortar to lay brick on the house I grew up in. I learned first-hand what it takes to get something designed and built. We also built some pretty epic sandcastles. There was really never a question in my mind that this was the field I would end up in.

If you had to pick one word that best represents Bergmeyer's culture, what would it be, and why?

Caring. We care for each other like family. We don’t just say things like “work/life balance” – we actually give people the tools, the freedom, and the trust to make it possible.

What would you be doing if you were not working in this industry?

I would own and operate a bed & breakfast on a farm in Vermont - with goats and alpacas!

Where do you feel most at home?

Oddly, the Swiss Alps. I've only been there once, and I have never considered myself much of a mountain person, but when I was there I had this overwhelming sense of calm that made me feel like that was where I came from. Maybe in a past life?

What is your proudest moment?

The births of my two sons. Doesn't get much better than making humans.

What legacy do you want to leave behind?

I've always loved this quote from Ralph Waldo Emerson, because it reminds me that even the simple things make a difference:

"To laugh often and much;
To win the respect of intelligent people and the affection of children;
To earn the appreciation of honest critics and endure the betrayal of false friends;
To appreciate beauty, to find the best in others;
To leave the world a bit better, whether by a healthy child, a garden patch, or a redeemed social condition;
To know even one life has breathed easier because you have lived.
This is to have succeeded."

What’s inside your favorite cocktail?

I love a margarita, but please don't make it sweet. I like to taste my tequila.

Introvert or extrovert?

Introvert. Big time.

In a parallel universe, what is your profession?

A proofreader. I (regretfully) enjoy correcting people.

What’s the best live music show you've seen?

My husband was the keyboardist in an '80s cover band in high school called The Handsome Lads. There was maybe one legitimate musician in the group and it wasn't him... but his rendition of "Sheena Is a Punk Rocker" was good enough for me. We still have their CD but he never lets me listen to it.

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The architecture and building industry’s biggest event of the year, ArchitectureBoston Expo, was held just a few short weeks ago. The three-day conference had presentation and workshops in a variety of formats and multiple educational tracks like “building performance,” “codes and regulations,” and “the future of practice.” Architect Rachel Lanzafame, AIA, LEED AP BD+C offers recaps two sessions she attended last month on the links between BIM and facilities management and the lean construction process.