FACE TIME: Mezio Zangirolami
In 1997, Mezio Zangirolami began a student internship at FKP Architects—and never left.
Now a senior vice president, he’s the firm’s go-to guy for the design of Seacrest Studios, having served as design and technical lead on seven of the 10 radio/TV studios built to date at pediatric hospitals across the country.
The fully equipped studios, supported by The Ryan Seacrest Foundation, host educational segments, game shows, celebrity visits, concerts, interactive music segments, and radio shows to help entertain patients and families during their stays.
Additionally, Zangirolami recently worked on projects for Children’s Hospital Colorado and Arkansas Children’s Hospital as well as FKP’s new corporate offices in Houston.
He says his love of drawing—and the diversity of projects in healthcare design—led him to the right career: “And being first-generation Italian, art and architecture were always part of my family education.”
On designing Seacrest Studios:
“They provide an outlet for the kids and families. Some of these patients with chronic diseases are truly living at the hospital. The Seacrest Studios give them a reason to get out of bed each day and can be truly inspiring to them. I’ve heard firsthand how happy the kids are when they get to participate. For at least a little while, their minds are on something else. Priceless!” [Seacrest Studios at Cincinnati Children's Hospital Medical Center; Photo: Feinknopf Photography/Brad Feinknopf]
On industry trends:
Thumbs up: “Hospitals have finally started to think more flexibly. Institutions are asking that their new buildings do more than one thing so they can be adaptable to changing care models and designed for maximum use of space. Space sharing between departments is crucial in this line of thinking.”
Thumbs down: “Dedicated private offices. Many times, these spaces just end up sitting empty. At today’s construction dollars, that can add up to quite an investment for a vacant space.”
What challenges keep me up at night:
“Speed to market. It seems lately that every project is trying to go from master planning to opening day in less and less time. However, architects and engineers are creating increasingly complex BIM models with incredible amounts of data and coordination. The two things seem counter to each other, so how to keep improving in this complex environment is truly a challenge.”
Dream healthcare makeover project:
"Staff spaces. It’s not the functionality that lacks in these spaces, but rather the attention to details that can enhance the well-being of employees that sometimes takes backseat.”
Three words my coworkers would use to describe me"
“Outgoing, foodie, type A.”
Three items on my desk"
“Pictures of my family, a mini magnetic cow head, and a pile of hand sketches. I still love hand sketching.”
Biggest pet peeve on a project:
“Wasted time due to overdesigning! When the right questions aren’t answered in the beginning, things can quickly spiral down the rabbit hole. I would rather put a high degree of time and effort on one or two schemes than spread myself out over four or five schemes, three of which weren’t really feasible to begin with.”
Sketching tools: “On the low-tech side, I use pencil and/or a Pilot Razor Point pen with a companion Pentel Sign pen. For high-tech, I love the Paper app by FiftyThree.”
Vacation spot: “Cabo San Lucas. There’s a beach there with a natural rock cove that’s perfect for snorkeling on low tide. Also, there’s nothing quite as naturally beautiful than when the golden desert meets the vast blue ocean.”
Piece of furniture in my house: “Manhattan Chair that I won in a silent auction at an IIDA event.”
TV character: “Klaus Mikaelson from ‘The Originals.’ His sarcastic humor coupled with his inner struggle of evil versus good make for a very interesting and entertaining character. Plus, vampires are cool.”
Favorite quote: “I love it when a plan comes together.”
—Hannibal from “The A-Team”
Favorite architect: “Frank Lloyd Wright—especially his later work.”