Anne Mooney, FAIA, LEED AP and founding principal at Salt Lake City- and Los Angeles-based Sparano + Mooney Architecture, knew from her very first design studio course that the industry was meant for her. “The work excited and engaged me in a way nothing else had,” she said. “The late nights and intensely rigorous work somehow energized me and tapped into a level of creativity that I hadn’t recognized in me before. It is an incredible gift to find the thing in life that you were meant to do as it sets us on a clear path for who we can become both professionally and personally.”
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With more than 25 years of experience in architectural design, project management, and construction management, Anne oversees the planning, programming, design, and process management of the firm’s key projects. As an accredited professional since 2004, Anne steers the firm’s LEED and Net-Zero Energy coordination efforts to deliver sustainable design solutions for each client. She also currently serves as the Co-Chair of the AIA Utah Committee on the Environment (COTE) and the Building Envelope Council (BEC).
“My work has always been both a career and a hobby – I enjoy travel, film, reading, and daily life infused with great architecture and design. My favorite city is Barcelona. I had a memorable day there that included visits to Gaudi’s La Sagrada Familia, the Joan Miro museum, and the Barcelona Pavilion. That was architectural heaven for someone like me,” she shared. “I have also had the experience of living in Italy on several occasions and this is a country that has design infused in all aspects of life from architecture and interiors, to fashion and food.”
“When I was in graduate school, I lived in Switzerland and visited the work of Le Corbusier in France and Switzerland. Experiencing these buildings in person (the housing, commercial, worship, and cultural spaces) made me understand the power of design in a visceral way that images are unable to convey,” Anne shared. “On a larger scale, the Marseille Unite d’Habitation was inspiring as it brought public amenities – childcare, shops, public art, etc. – into a residential building with small, but well-designed, units. And on the micro scale, the Le Corbusier cabin and house designed with Eileen Grey, E1027, are examples of simple domestic spaces along the beautiful French Riviera. Nearby you can also find the grave site he designed for himself and his wife as their final “home.” Proof that design is in everything if you only know how to look for it.
Anne has served as an architectural professor and design critic, training, educating, and mentoring emerging architects and design professionals. Her award-winning designs have been featured in over 35 national and international publications and exhibitions. She was named one of the Top Women in Architecture in 2020 by Mountain Living Magazine, and was awarded the Silver Medal by the AIA Western Mountain Region in 2021. Anne is also a committed educator of the next generation of architects holding an appointment as Professor of Architecture at the University of Utah School of Architecture.
Anne was elected to the American Institute of Architects College of Fellows in 2023. A monograph of the firm’s work and design process, titled Sparano + Mooney Architecture: A Way of Working, was published by Hatje Cantz (Berlin: 2022), and the firm’s premier exhibition exploring its methodology will open at the Utah Museum of Contemporary Art from March 10 to July 15, 2023. Make sure to visit if you’re in town!
This week, Anne Mooney is joining us for Friday Five!
1. A love of materials
This spectacular piece of marble was found in the European Marble & Stone slab yard this year – one of the delights of working as an architect is discovering raw materials like this and designing spaces to celebrate them. In each design commission, we develop a material language and set of ideas around materials. This involves considering how materials are deployed in a design and detailed in the architecture. I am always looking at how we employ materials and finishes to convey ideas and curate experiences in the spaces we design.
2. Labyrinth in the Utah Desert
Spending time in nature is grounding and opens my mind creatively. This labyrinth in Kayenta, Utah is both a landscape and a meditative, moving
experience in the desert. I feel privileged to spend my time in the American West where we are surrounded by natural beauty, from the mountains to the deserts. The generations of artists working in this context are also inspiring – from those working with monumental land art installations to modest land form interventions like this assemblage of stones creating a pattern to form a purposeful path.
3. Phideaux strikes a relaxed pose
My trusty companion, Phideaux, is a joy to come home to each day and sometimes can be found next to me in the office! As work pressures inevitably rise up, it has been nice to have the reliable companionship of a beloved pet. At the end of the day, this pup is always happy to see me come through the door hoping for a few treats and with luck a walk or a hike along a favorite trail. Our home has concrete floors which are easy to maintain and forgiving with pets. Phideaux is seen here on a durable, indoor-outdoor Chilewich rug which is easy to clean when he tracks in mud from the garden.
4. Pottery made by my daughter, Claire
I love everyday objects we interact with often that are well-designed and constructed. This bowl was thrown by my daughter, Claire, who has a love of clay. The stoneware piece was made to be used as a small snack bowl or for ice cream, but I use it for everything. It has a lovely color and the bottom of the piece has the foot indented instead of the more commonly seen raised foot so it sits seamlessly on a surface.
5. Magical dawn lighting on a fall 2022 morning
No filters! This photograph was taken early one morning when the dawn light illuminated the fall foliage in the most magical way. Rare moments like these are fleeting and spectacularly rewarding for the early riser. In the span of ten minutes the view transformed into the typical morning view – which is still wonderful – but missing the extraordinary coloring offered just a bit earlier. I am not typically a morning person, but days like this are making me seriously reconsider!
Photography courtesy of Anne Mooney.
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Work by Anne Mooney:
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