Celebrating International Women’s Day!

By Jeff Heermann,

Happy International Women’s Day! In support of the 2021 International Women’s Day theme #choosetochallenge we are announcing the addition of these awesome women to the HKIT team.

(clockwise from top)

Alma Davila, Designer
A recent graduate of CCA, Alma brings an expansive set of skills in 3D modeling, graphic presentation, editing and drawing. She currently serves as Treasurer of the National Organization for Minority Architect Students (NOMAS) chapter at CCA and provides design services for the RYSE Youth Community Center in Richmond, working closely with the group’s members and leadership to further the success of their mission.

Dannielle Sergent, Interior Designer
Dannielle joins HKIT with 30 years of experience in interior design and project management. Her experience encompasses programming, space planning, material expertise, and the implementation of sustainable strategies. With a multi-faceted background, Dannielle has an M.Arch as well as a experience in environmental design and branding. In addition, Dannielle has her own award-winning artisanal fragrance company.

Joey Favaloro, AIA, Project Manager
Joey comes to HKIT from Gensler where she spent six years as an integral part of the Education practice creating learning environments that are engaging, flexible, and resilient. She is committed to understanding the needs of the client and community by personalizing her work through community engagement and building client relationships. She serves on the Advisory Board of the San Francisco USD Career Pathways program.

A Preview of Monarch Homes

By Jeff Heermann,

We’re excited to show you a glimpse of our latest affordable housing community! Monarch Homes on 33rd and San Pablo in West Oakland will provide 51 homes for seniors, veterans and those who have experienced homelessness. The lobby provides a light-filled, cheerful space to welcome new residents as they move in over the next few weeks, and we couldn’t be happier!

Viamonte Opens Its Doors

By Jeff Heermann,

Construction is complete and residents are moving into this beautiful new senior community in Walnut Creek. Viamonte includes 191 apartments, each RCFE licensed, allowing for a “Home-for-Life” model of care where services can be brought to residents in the comfort of their own home. And as a bonus for these residents, they are among the first in the East Bay to receive the COVID-19 vaccine.

Holiday Giving

By Jeff Heermann,

Even though this year we can’t be there in person, our team has worked hard to bring warmth and comfort to the seniors at the North Richmond Senior Community Center. Thank you to Alten Construction, Richmond Wholesale Meat Co. and Safeway who participated in donating food and poultry to this organization.

Mindful Aging

By Jeff Heermann,

We have reason to be thankful early this year! On Tuesday the Healdsburg Planning Commission unanimously approved the design of Enso Village, a 221-unit senior living facility. We’ve been working with Mithun, lead design architect, Kendal, Greenbrier, and the San Francisco Zen Center to design “a Community that has a focus on mindful aging, the joys of nature, environmental stewardship and contemplative care,” said Susan O’Connell of the SF Zen Center.

Glenview Elementary School Campus Unveiling (Video)

By Jeff Heermann,


On October 9, 2020, Oakland Unified School District held a “campus unveiling” ceremony to introduce the newly-completed Glenview Elementary School. Click on the image above to watch a video from the event!

NOMA Conference, 2020

By Jeff Heermann,

HKIT’s Director of Design, Rod Henmi, is co-chairing the National Organization of Minority Architects (NOMA) conference happening this week! Rod said “This year’s online conference is an opportunity to widen the understanding of public spaces and available avenues of engagement in our professions. We will provide an evocative and educational agenda that tackles the immense challenges in the built environment.” For more information, visit https://www.noma.net/conference-2020/

Leading Age California

By Jeff Heermann,

Are you attending the virtual Leading Age conference on October 7-9, 2020? HKIT Principal, Christophe Laverne, will be leading a discussion with Susan O’Connell, Spiritual Director of the San Francisco Zen Center, and Jennifer Block, Chaplain & Educator, about the Zen-inspired senior community, Enso Village, and the influence of a spiritual practice on design. Zoom on over and join us!


Welcome to Our New Staff

By Jeff Heermann,

We are excited to announce six new staff members that have joined HKIT. Our work in affordable housing, K-12 learning environments, and senior living continues to expand and were a delighted to welcome these smiling faces to the team.

(From L to R)

Gabriela Blackburn, AIA, joins HKIT with more than 10 years of experience as a Project Architect / Manager on a variety of project types including residential, commercial and retail. Gabi is “looking forward to working with clients who take a more holistic approach to their projects and think of their projects on a longer time scale.”

Giselle Alcazar, Project Manager, joins the HKIT housing team with a depth of experience in residential communities. Her recent work at Christiani Johnson included senior living, market-rate and affordable communities. Giselle is excited about contributing to finding a solution to the immediate affordable housing need in Bay Area communities.

Halle Lozano, LEED AP, comes to HKIT after six years at a small firm in Berkeley focused on a wide-range of workplace solutions and residential projects. At HKIT, she is currently managing an exciting new affordable senior community that will be delivered using modular construction.

Mrunalini Kulkarni, LEED GA, received her Master of Architecture from CEPT University in Ahmedabad, India in 2012. As part of her Masters program at CEPT she studied one year in India and one year in Polytechnic University of Milan, Italy. She comes to HKIT from Glefand Partners where she was an architectural designer on a variety of affordable senior communities including Clementina Towers, an MOHCD project in San Francisco.

Jennifer Lew, AIA, LEED AP, has more than 10 years of experience in the design and planning of residential communities in the Bay Area. She came to HKIT from Lowney Architecture where she served as a Project Architect and Senior Project Design on hotels, multi-family housing, student housing, and modular construction.

Taylor Fahmi, AIA, LEED AP, has returned to HKIT after seven years at Christiani Johnson where she was an Associate, managing multi-family housing projects, including market rate and affordable townhomes and flats, as well as mixed-use urban infill developments. We are thrilled that she will be joining the other Associates in the firm.

Fight for Meaningful Systemic Change

By Jeff Heermann,

HKIT Architects unequivocally condemns racism and social inequality and stands in support of Black Lives Matter. We recognize that the status quo has failed the Black community and resolve to do more to fight for meaningful systemic change.

Since our founding in 1948, we have worked with partners in public education, affordable housing, and senior living to nurture bright minds, build strong and safe communities, and care holistically for senior residents providing homes, not just units. This has always been an important part of our core mission, to enrich the community and environment. We are proud of the diversity in our office. We work closely with community organizations, high schools, and local universities to hire interns from diverse backgrounds who are exploring architecture as a  profession and provide them with mentorship and guidance. Members of our staff are integrally involved with NOMA, the National Organization of Minority Architects, and our Director of Design will be co-chairing the national conference this Fall.

Despite these efforts we realize that we have not done enough.

As architects and designers, we pledge to listen more, understand better, and work harder  – both as professionals and members of the community, to address the structural inequalities around us. Specifically, we will do more to expand diversity in the profession and in our staff at HKIT. Over the coming weeks, we will engage our staff in a deeper internal dialogue in open forums to develop ideas and strategies to continue and promote diversity and equity.