Getting to know Lauren Printz

April 19, 2023

With more than 11 years of experience, Lauren Printz serves as an Associate Director at HLZAE. She is a member of Joe Nevin’s Architectural studio and manages a team of six for architectural projects from design through construction. Meeting with her team members both collectively and individually allows her to workshop through project issues and provide professional development and mentorship. Lauren also manages several large-scale projects, and some of her responsibilities include compiling and reviewing project deliverables, working with clients to set expectations regarding our services and helping lead clients through Construction projects and procedures. Let’s just say no two days are ever the same for Lauren. Her duties vary daily, including her leading role in the Fenestration Department where she manages replacement/consulting projects and extends consulting services and help to other studios’ projects. Lauren doesn’t always know what is about to land on her desk, but you can always count on her to get it done.

“It feels as though I touch many ‘zones’ of the firm, which diversifies my duties day to day. I like learning about every aspect of the firm and understanding how it ties to its greater function, and every day is a learning experience.”

While Lauren’s role is unique and dynamic, it also proves to be balanced and never redundant. She keeps a pair of construction-grade boots alongside a pair of heels at her desk to always be prepared for two very different days.  

When it comes to Lauren’s passion for architecture, she credits her mother. At an early age, she introduced Lauren to ancient Egyptian history and culture, which is undeniably rich in art and architecture. Lauren immediately became fascinated, and the rest was history. While in school, she excelled in her art and math classes, and her teachers took note. Her high school counselors frequently recommended architecture as a potential fit, so she took an architectural drafting class and it clicked instantly. As she approached high school graduation, she began researching Architecture as a viable professional option and from that point on, there was never a doubt in her mind that it would be her future.

It wasn’t long before Lauren’s vision came to life. For her Design-Build thesis, she and her design partner built a personal sleeping pod as a prototype for a local homeless shelter in Philadelphia. The design was accepted by the shelter, and they produced and assembled 25 total by hand and assembled them on site. Following the successful installation, their project was chosen to be displayed at the University’s Annual Design Gala. Additionally, their design was featured in exhibitions hosted by Philadelphia’s Museum of Natural Sciences and AIA Philadelphia.

After earning her Bachelor of Architecture at Jefferson University (formerly known as Philadelphia University), Lauren made her way into the professional world, which eventually led her to HLZAE. She finds fulfillment in having the ability to lead and mentor a group of young professionals in a way to inspire them to produce great design and hone leadership.

“I am in the business of creating great architects, not architecture. I really strive to unravel the behavioral and cultural negatives of the industry and help pave a new path in professional development that focuses on motivation, not punishment. The reward is seeing their confidence and professionalism shine through while taking the lead on projects or tasks they may not have envisioned previously.”

With a wide array of portfolio projects, Fordham University Church is Lauren’s favorite. The church was built in 1845 from local stone, which was quarried from the current campus location, which she says, gives literal meaning to the phrase ‘built from the ground, up.’ The chapel and church were built using the historical empirical style of construction. She found it interesting to learn and explore old building technologies and blend modern construction materials and assemblies to restore the church to its former glory.

As a fun fact, Lauren is most impressed by the Brion Cemetery in San Vito d’Altivole near Treviso, Italy. It was designed by Carlo Scarpa and she passionately describes it as the perfect example of what she considers to be the principal canons of appealing design: organized geometry and balanced symmetry. She also mentions how it was designed and built into the existing landscape and utilized to bring focus to the landscape and natural elements present, not the other way around.

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When Lauren isn’t on the job, you can find her writing, especially poetry. She started writing a collection about three years ago and she plans to publish a poetry book in the near future. Believe it or not, she actually enjoys writing FISP reports and in an alternate universe, she pursued a career in journalism. Lauren also enjoys art, reading, photography and traveling to more countries than US states! She loves to cook/host for her family and friends; however, nothing beats a quiet and peaceful night with her partner and daughter.

At HLZAE, we integrate our inspection, design, and construction services to prolong the lifespan of buildings. HLZAE has extensive experience in the investigation and renovation of building envelopes and structural systems dating from the 1800’s to the present. These building assemblies, which consist of numerous integrated components, vary greatly in terms of materials and degree of technical complexity. With the help of Lauren Printz and our knowledgeable and professional staff, we can manage the comprehensive requirements necessary to restore function and performance of the building envelope.

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