Carl Meyer, the new principal and managing director of the Rossetti design firm's California office, started his career as a high school teacher.
"Teaching was wonderful work, but I was looking for a way to express the more artistic side of my nature," he said. A few visits to UCLA's architecture school convinced him that the "chaotic, energetic and collaborative" life of an architect was for him.
"I was a project person," he said. "Architecture was teams pulling together with high energy to accomplish something in a limited amount of time." He enrolled at UCLA and in 1983 earned an M.A. in architecture and urban planning.
Before joining Rossetti, Meyer spent 18 years as a partner at Altoon + Porter Architects, where he oversaw mixed-use projects in the United States and Europe and mentored a generation of young architects.
At Rossetti, Meyer will focus on building the firm's California presence beyond its core business of stadiums and arenas. "Sports will not always be at the same pitch and level as it has been recently," he said. Rossetti said he will try to bring in the kind of urban mixed-use projects he worked on while at Altoon + Porter.
Meyer oversees a group of six Rossetti architects working on the $57 million expansion and renovation of the Student Center at UC Irvine.
He also is an adjunct professor at USC's School of Policy Planning and Development. "Buildings have to interact with their environments," he said. "Most of them are not cultural. They're civic and used by people."
Meyer is married and has three children. In his spare time, he plays golf and tennis, and volunteers his time assisting with the rebuilding of a 13th century monastery brought to Northern California from Europe by William Randolph Hearst in 1931.
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