Lowney Architecture

About us

Lowney Architecture are a progressive, enterprising and civic-minded architecture firm. We work with clients to build urban communities where people can experience unique moments within the universality of everyday life, enhancing livability through unorthodox thinking, progressive ideas, a scaled approach and inspired designs. 

Vertical retail, retail developments and modular housing projects put us on the map and earned Lowney Architecture design acclaim. Our design excellence and technical expertise – in buildings and beyond to streetscapes and city blocks – now extends to four market sectors – housing, commercial and civic/education. 

Beyond our AIA, Golden Nugget and other industry awards, we are proud of journey from bootstrapped beginnings in 2003 to booming present and sustainable future: San Francisco Business Times ranks Lowney Architecture among the 2015 Top 30 fastest growing companies in the East Bay and among the Top 100 in Northern California. We are proudly located in the City of Oakland and committed to helping our community realize a sustainable and healthy collective future.

Leadership

Ken Lowney, AIA, LEED AP

Founder and Principal

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Ken Lowney founded Lowney Architecture in 2003 and is the President of the firm. Mr. Lowney has worked with small and large companies, non-profits, city governments, communities and private developers in Northern California and throughout the United States. Project expertise includes grocery stores, retail, multi-family housing, restaurants, offices, parking structures and master planning.

Lowney Architecture has won particular acclaim for its vertical grocery store and prefabricated multifamily housing designs. The firm has won numerous design awards from professional organizations, including the Golden Nugget Award and the American Institute of Architects. The San Francisco Business Times consistently ranks Lowney Architecture amongst the top firms in the greater Bay Area.

Ken’s approach to architecture is rooted in his belief that architecture is more than simply buildings; and, if thoughtfully and responsibly done it can positively contribute to society and advance a community.  In his hometown of Oakland, Ken leads discussions about community and economic development while serving leadership roles in SPUR, the Oakland Metropolitan Chamber of Commerce and the Oakland Land Use Committee.  On regional and national levels, Ken participates as a full member of the Urban Land Institute (ULI) Small Scale Development Council and the International Council of Shopping Centers (ICSC) Northern California Program Committee. He frequently speaks about design innovation and the future of cities. Ken graduated from Occidental College with a bachelor’s degree in philosophy, studied architecture at the Architectural Association in London, and earned a Master’s degree from the Southern California Institute of Architecture (SCI-Arc). 

Please contact Ken at ken@nulllowneyarch.com.

Mark Donahue, AIA

Design Director

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Mark Donahue sets the bar for design at Lowney Architecture.  His journey in architecture ranges across the spectrum of project types, reflecting his expansive interests and inquisitive nature.

His design career includes laboratories at Stanford and Rice, airport terminals in Manila and Singapore, a digital arts center housing cutting-edge special effects at the Presidio of San Francisco, libraries, performing arts theaters, and high-rise multifamily residential towers. 

For Mark, successful design embodies beauty, economy, and utility.  He led the renovation of the historic federal building at UN Plaza in the heart of the San Francisco Civic Center, the first to receive the LEED Platinum rating; guided the integration of a modernist apartment building into the shell of an 1888 brick power station; and leads the office technical standards effort.  

He shares his experience with the next generation of architects, as a professor at the Academy of Art University, teaching a 4th year studio.

Mark received his Bachelor of Arts in Industrial Design from the University of Notre Dame, and earned his Master of Architecture with honors from the University of New Mexico.  In his leisure time, he enjoys a passion for photography, science fiction, and the intricacies of domestic logistics.

Nick Gomez

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Nick Gomez has over 15 years of experience in affordable/multi-family housing. He has worked on a range of urban infill projects for both non-profit and for-profit developers. He has managed projects from design development through construction administration, and they have received awards at the local, state and national levels. Nick’s expertise also includes institutional projects requiring DSA approvals in West Contra Costa and Berkeley Unified School Districts.

Nick’s background in housing and experience with state regulatory agencies has been a great fit for Lowney’s modular housing practice. Working closely with two of the leading factory-built housing manufacturers, he has helped grow the firm’s proficiency in this field. Nick has also spoken as an expert panelist at several conferences on modular housing.

Nick holds an architecture degree from CCA. Early in his career he formed a network of artist and designers to work on public art and gallery installations. His personal and group work has been exhibited in local galleries.  His art collective completed the Broadway I-880 underpass project for Oakland and was shortlisted for the GSA African Burial Ground memorial project. Nick remains committed to the arts, sitting on the Public Art Advisory Committee for Alameda County since 2012, and recently appointed to the board of SOMArts Cultural Center in San Francisco.

Eric Price

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Eric has over 15 years of experience working on a wide variety of retail and commercial projects throughout the Bay Area. He believes improving our cities’ density and livability is critical to creating sustainable land use patterns. Eric has worked within the City of Oakland for the past 12 years and feels a strong sense of connection within this urban environment. His projects near the rapidly changing Broadway Corridor range from the reuse of the old Firestone Building to the Jack London Square mixed-use retail project. He served as project architect for the award-winning Whole Foods Market near Lake Merritt and project manager for the rezoning and redevelopment of several parcels – now called The Orchards – in Walnut Creek. The Orchards is 24 acres and consists of over 200,000 sf of retail space, approximately 4 acres of open space and a senior housing community project with over 175 residences.

Through extensive practice in the retail/commercial arena, Eric has honed his expertise in all facets and phases of the design and construction process. His projects have required extensive EIR evaluation and certification, rezoning, mapping, and new utility and easement planning. Vertical projects have required coordination of ground improvements, complex loading and vehicular access requirements and complex building construction methods. Eric understands that the hallmark of exceptional retail and commercial design is that user experience is paramount.

Tony Valadez

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Tony has over 15 years of experience managing small and mid-scale projects in a variety of market sectors including retail, mixed-use and residential developments. He is the office authority on complex adaptive re-use projects across building typologies. He effectively leads multi-disciplinary teams of designers and engineers from conceptual design through project closeout. Tony regularly leads projects with complicated approval processes, challenging site conditions, and atypical construction parameters, while expertly preparing and presenting designs at public hearings.

In 2014, Tony led a team of Oakland architects to revise the Oakland Building Code Amendments regarding seismic upgrade thresholds for existing buildings. While maintaining safety standards, the new amendments encourage small businesses to occupy spaces that would otherwise be left vacant. Tony also serves on Bike East Bay. Tony’s passion about architecture and cities ranges from large to small scale issues; from policy decisions to architectural details, he knows every decision influences urban design and can make our buildings and cities accessible to more users.

Our Team

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Antariksh Tandon

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Aradhana Jajodia

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Corissa Bryson

Renata Araujo

Renata Araujo

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Liona Avery

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Theresa Bort

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Edgardo Pena Colorado

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Cecilia Cruz

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Domingo Cuevas

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Annette Diniz

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Cristen Doyle

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Jesse Duclos

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Jessica Enriquez

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Mike Garcia

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Elisabeth Mackay

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Cristina Martin

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Sam McGeehan

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Brian Nee

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Paige Smith

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Winston Win