PRP Now! Michael Anowey // Skylab Architecture

November 18, 2021
PRP Now! is a series of interviews that highlight a current UTSOA Professional Residency Program student every few weeks.

PRP: Tell us about your PRP firm. Where are you working?
I’m currently with the best mid-size boutique firm in Portland, Oregon - Skylab Architecture. We’re a firm of about 30, working on a variety of projects from small-scale residential to Serena Williams’ one million square foot building at the Nike HQ (rated LEED Platinum). Our office is currently in the heart of downtown Portland and soon moving to the more industrial NW district, which might just be the coolest office by the time it’s done.

PRP: Do you enjoy the city you’re working in? Favorite aspects?
Portland is nature. Portland is extremely friendly. There’s multiple aspects of the city that make it all the more enjoyable, including its great weather, nearby mountains and coast, environmental awareness, historic buildings and bridges, industrial identity, active people, expensive but sumptuous food, and beyond all getting to share this experience with one of my best friends from Austin - who’s PRPing with Hacker. 

PRP: What is currently on your desk? What are you working on?
There’s multiple trace sketches and redlined drawings, my sketchbook, Materials Structure Standards guidebook, Revit manual, one of my mentor’s graduate school thesis, 2018 Architizer’s World’s Best Architecture- where Skylab is mentioned for its Boedecker Foundation project, and a glass of water! I’m currently between two projects now. The first is a renovation for a residential project in Big Sur, California where I’m having to put together as-built drawings and 3d models of several design options in Revit. The second is a massive mixed-use project in Marble Canyon, Arizona where I’m having to put together a base site plan for master planning.

PRP: Describe the firm culture? 
My time at Skylab has been beyond rewarding, and this is thanks to all the amazing people at the office who go above and beyond in making sure I properly grasp the concept and process of getting work done. I’ve been thrown into different tasks that almost always require learning and utilizing new skills, and there’s always a very clear introduction to the project and appropriate amount of help along the way. While Skylab prides itself with great attention to detail in design, its very iterative process, and overall work hard culture - we play hard - very hard. 

PRP: What is the first thing you'll tell your classmates upon your return to UT? 
There’s a place better than Texas lol. Seriously, I can confidently say I’ve had a very well rounded experience.

PRP: As you’re finishing up the week, what are your plans for this weekend?
I don’t usually plan out how to have fun haha.

PRP: Is there anything else that you would like to add?
Seriously - don’t pass up on this opportunity. There is another side to architecture that’s not just design but equally as important. PRP exposes you to that - take advantage of UTSOA’s incredible connections.