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Moody Nolan 

SAY IT LOUD - Ohio Exhibitor

Ohio Based Designer

Who or what inspires you professionally?

Creativity, positivity, getting things done, and a highly developed sense of humor inspire me.


The great architect, Sara is as an Associate Principal of Moody Nolan’s dedicated Sports and Recreation Studio with 20 years of experience. Sara graduated from the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign (BS Arch Studies) and Arizona State University (MArch). Sara has presented at various conferences including NIRSA, AIA OVR 2017, AIA Ohio 2018, & AIA FL 2019. Sara currently serves on the AIA Columbus Board of Directors, AIA Ohio Foundation Board of Directors, and the AIA Practice Management Advisory Group.

How did you first learn about architecture and when did you decide that built environment profession was an area of interest for you?
Visiting Fallingwater in grade school and looking at floor plans with the possibility of moving from Pittsburgh to a new house in Knoxville; these two occurrences led to the interest. A natural talent for art and math confirmed the career path.

What do you do?
I am a senior project architect / associate project manager on primarily collegiate, recreation, and sports facilities. I am the constant thread throughout a project and lead the entire team, including clients, consultants, and coworkers.

What excites you in the work you do?
Creatively solving complex design problems, leading extensive teams on complicated projects, focusing on my passion of health, wellness, and sports projects, and mentoring emerging staff excites me daily.

Who or what inspires you professionally?
Creativity, positivity, getting things done, and a highly developed sense of humor inspire me.

What is your proudest professional accomplishment or achievement?
Following getting my architectural license in 2005, achieving the 2018 AIA Ohio Mentor Award was my personal proudest professional accomplishment. I continue to advocate for mentorship and cultural change both inside my firm and in the profession.

Featured Project Name: 
University of Cincinnati Fifth Third Arena
Featured Project Location: 
Cincinnati, Ohio
Featured Project Completion Date: 
November 2018

Role in Featured Project: 
Senior Project Architect / Associate Project Manager
Featured Project Description:
All students will visit UC’s Fifth Third Arena for convocation, graduation, or events. The renovation transformed a utilitarian box into a state-of-the-art NCAA Div. I multi-purpose performance venue. A 360-degree seating bowl with concourses and amenities were added. Historical and graphic designs support the experience and university achievements. Renovation of the team locker rooms, film room, dining, training suite, bars, and graphics were particular focus areas. LEED Silver anticipated.

Photography Credit:
Brad Feinknopf and Sam Brown

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