Published on January 1st, 2013 | by UC&D Magazine


Sparano + Mooney Architecture Named ‘Firm of the Year’

Sparano + Mooney Architecture of Salt Lake City was honored as ‘Firm of the Year’ by the Utah chapter of the American Institute of Architects (AIA) at its 2012 Design Awards gala October 26, 2012.

“It’s very gratifying,” said John Sparano, principal and co- owner of the firm with his wife, Anne Mooney. “It’s nice to be recognized even though we’re a smaller firm.”

AIA Utah honored six projects with Merit Awards, in addition to recognizing six individuals for their contributions to the industry. The six projects were selected from a field of 35 projects submitted by AIA members throughout Utah.

The 2012 award-winning projects offer credence to the depth and scope of AIA members’ design experience in a celebration of physical form and represent some the finest work produced by AIA Utah architects in 2012.
Though considerably different in form and function, each project was deemed by a jury of esteemed professionals to have met or exceeded benchmarks of outstanding architectural design, structural composition and application of design theory.

“Every year brings impressive design projects to consider for awards,” said Dennis Cecchini, 2012 AIA Utah President and principal at MHTN Architects of Salt Lake City. “We’re pleased as an association to be able to honor these outstanding projects.”

Sparano + Mooney Architecture was originally founded in 1997 in Los Angeles, and still has an office in the downtown part of the city. Mooney, who was raised in Utah and has family here, said the couple decided to move to Salt Lake in 2004 and open up an office in the downtown area. The two architects met in 1990 through a mutual friend, and had a lot in common, particularly a love of design and architecture. Living in Utah allows them a more relaxed lifestyle compared to Southern California, and the ability to design projects based on a love of Utah’s environment.

“Our inspiration is local,” says Mooney. “We’re interested in the western context, in the landscape of the American West, the culture, the people, the stories, the natural environment. That is deeply inspiring to us. But our references are not local, they’re international.”

Both studied at renowned architecture schools; Sparano did his graduate studies at the Architectural Association School of Architecture in London, while Mooney went to graduate school at the Southern California Institute of Architecture (SCI-Arc).

“We have a similar education background and were taught by the same sorts of people,” said Mooney. “We carry that design process into our work today. It’s a very conceptual process.” “You learn how not to compromise, and how to keep up with what is really good design,” added Sparano. “You have to have an understanding that design is going to carry you through the process, that it’s the foundation on which all of this is built on.”

The firm also received a 2012 Merit Award for its design of Saint Joseph the Worker, a Catholic worship facility in West Jordan.

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