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Employee News

Category: Architecture

DWL Architects Celebrates 75 Years

DWL Architects + Planners celebrated its 75th year by hosting a special event on March 1, 2024, paying tribute to the clients, consultants and contractors who played a significant role in the company’s achievements. This memorable occasion took place at Scottsdale Stadium’s new 1st Base VIP Deck, designed by DWL, during a Giants vs. Rangers Spring Training game.

Sandra Kukla (DWL president) said, “I am so proud to lead a design firm of DWL’s caliber and reputation. Every single team member carries such a strong commitment to our clients and communities. DWL’s 75-year legacy inspires us every day and I’m so eager to see what the next 75 years will hold.”

In recognition of its impressive past and promising future, DWL has introduced a new brand identity that honors its mid-century origins. In 2020, to enhance client service nationwide, DWL opened a second office in Columbus, OH, highlighting its commitment to existing regional clients and forging new partnerships.

As DWL has evolved, it has maintained their commitment to collaboration, stewardship and sustainability. The firm’s 75th anniversary was an opportune moment to reaffirm these values as it moves towards its 80th year. Over the decades, DWL has built a portfolio of enduring legacy projects like the ASU Hayden Library, Chase Bank @ 44th St. and Camelback, Mesa Arts Center, Light Rail extensions throughout the Valley, and the terminals at PHX Sky Harbor International Airport, multiple Valleywise Health Community Clinics and years of design work at Midwestern University.

The firm is currently working on significant projects such as the Queen Creek Recreation Center, Tempe Municipal Operations Campus, Sacramento Airport, The Ohio State University’s Marysville Veterinary Expansion and the Phoenix-Mesa Gateway Airport’s Terminal Modernization, which was just completed last month.

The celebration also served as a ‘thank you’ to Steve Rao, who retired after 34 years with DWL.

“The weather was beautiful for game day and the new deck was perfect for sharing DWL’s milestone with old friends. I’m extremely grateful for the decades of projects I had the pleasure of working on that helped shape our community. I relish the lifelong relationships I have made with co-workers, our trusted partners and valuable clients. Thanks to everyone who shared the special day with me,” said Steve Rao in response to the retirement celebration.

Rao, whose career was marked by significant contributions to aviation projects, served as the firm’s president from 2009 to 2020, passing the leadership to Sandra. His most notable projects included PSHIA Terminal 4 Concourses and Terminal 3 Modernization, as well as Cubs and Giants Spring Training Facilities.

About DWL Architects + Planners, Inc.

DWL Architects + Planners has become one of Arizona’s most respected locally-owned and operated architecture firms. DWL has a long history of creating ‘people places.’ Their buildings and urban spaces respond to function, human scale and emphasize user-friendly design solutions. They have been fortunate to participate in some of the most complex and architecturally significant projects recognized locally, nationally and internationally. Their market sectors include aviation, higher education, municipal/civic and healthcare. DWL launched an office in Ohio to better reach and serve their clients across the country.

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