PRP Now! John Randall Gideon // Solomon Cordwell Buenz

January 19, 2019
PRP Now! is a series of interviews that highlight a current UTSOA Professional Residency Program student every few weeks.

PRP Now! aims to showcase the great experiences students encounter within the Professional Residency Program. PRP offers upper-level architecture students a unique opportunity to expand their education through work experience in the architectural profession. Over the past twenty years, our students have been linked with 260 firms in 29 countries. We will feature a handful of students within each session, graduate and undergraduate, domestic and international firms. PRP staff most recently had the pleasure to speak with John Randall Gideon [B.Arch. '19] about his experience.

PRP: Tell us about your PRP firm. Where are you working?
I'm working in San Francisco in the heart of the financial district at Solomon Cordwell Buenz (SCB). SCB works on all sorts of projects but is most well-known for high end residential towers. The office here has around 90 people, and the other office in Chicago has around 200.  

PRP: Do you enjoy the city you’re working in? Favorite aspects?
Working in San Francisco has been great. There is great food and music in the city (similar to Austin) and also extremely creative and expressive culture. When I want to get out of the city on the weekends, it is easy to be at a ski mountain in 2.5 hours or exploring one of the many national parks nearby.

PRP: What is currently on your desk? What are you working on?
Currently there is peanut M&Ms and trace paper on my desk. I am on a team of four completing 100% concept design for a luxury high rise condo in Honolulu, HI as a part of a series of residential towers for the Ward Village master plan. We are currently revising unit layouts and updating the revit model before they begin schematic design after I leave. It has been a great project to work on and cool to see it develop over the past 5 months. 

PRP: Describe the firm culture? The office atmosphere?
The firm has many international employees who have been fun to work with and learn from. Everyone in the office is approachable and been great to work with. The office is broken into two Studios. I am in studio one on the 3rd floor and studio two is on the 4th floor above. The studios share projects and all gather for events. After work drinks are commonly shared on Thursdays and Fridays at cool spots in the Financial District.

PRP: What is the first thing you'll tell your classmates upon your return to UT? 
How much I miss the constant 60 degree weather in San Francisco. It has been 65 and blue skies about 80% of my time here.  

PRP: As you’re finishing up the week, what are your plans for this weekend?
Unfortunately, I head home tomorrow, but last weekend I drove to Lake Tahoe with friends to go snowboarding. It is absolutely beautiful.