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LAURA THUL PENZA

Penza Bailey Architects, a studio of Prime AE  Group

SAY IT LOUD - MARYLAND Exhibitor
Maryland Based Designer

Who or what inspires you professionally?

When projects exceed Client expectations and improve lives, I am grateful for the reminder of why I became an architect. Doing my very best, however great or small a task, brings a rewarding sense of accomplishment. Gratitude keeps me inspired.

LAURA THUL PENZA

Bio:

The great designer, Laura Thul Penza, with partners Dan Bailey and Jeff Penza, successfully negotiated the acquisition of Penza Bailey Architects by PRIME AE Group, Inc., becoming a Studio of PRIME AE Group. Supporting PRIME AE’s strategic efforts to grow the architectural division nationally, Laura continues to focus on client-centered design excellence. As the first female VP of Architecture, she also expands the firm’s focus on diversity and continues her advocacy for minorities and emerging professionals.

How did you first learn about architecture and when did you decide that built environment profession was an area of interest for you?

I wanted to be an architect at a young age. My Dad designed and built the Mid-Century Modern home I grew up in, and my Mom was a fine artist. I developed a great appreciation for architecture and design of all types, so the choice seemed obvious.

What do you do?

I provide responsible design with passion and creativity for diverse private and public project types, including custom residential, commercial and institutional work. Lighting, interior architecture and accessible design are of particular interest..

What excites you in the work you do?

Architecture is a profession that offers continuous education. I am excited by the diversity of each day and the learning opportunities that new projects bring. Each project is unique, with interesting program functions and evolving technology.

Who or what inspires you professionally?

When projects exceed Client expectations and improve lives, I am grateful for the reminder of why I became an architect. Doing my very best, however great or small a task, brings a rewarding sense of accomplishment. Gratitude keeps me inspired.

 

What is your proudest professional accomplishment or achievement?

Honored with Baltimore AIA President's Award - Community Architect of the Year, I am proud of my contributions of architectural expertise, helping communities fulfill important missions, and mentoring future leaders, especially minorities and women.

Featured Project Name: 

Roberta’s House Family Grief Support Center

Featured Project Location: 

928 E. North Avenue, Baltimore, Maryland 21202

 

Featured Project Completion Date: 

April 2021

Role in Featured Project: 

Principal-in-Charge, Design Architect

 

Featured Project Description:

The Roberta’s House Grief Support Center provides a community resource to address grief as a public health preventative service. Erich March and Annette March-Grier lead the first African American non-profit organization to envision a new urban bereavement center providing mental health services. Carefully considering the surrounding community, and in response to the overwhelming needs of so many communities, the building design expresses this important mission as a beacon of hope for Baltimore City.

Photography Credit:

1 Roberta’s House - Night Beacon, rendering by Leah Penza, Assoc. AIA; 2 Roberta’s House – Turret, photo by Laura Thul Penza, AIA; 3 Roberta’s House – Therapy Family Room, photo by Janet Kahoe; 4 Roberta’s House – Landing, photo by Janet Kahoe; 5 Roberta’s House - Break Room, photo by Janet Kahoe