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Jamie Cali, JLA Architects

JLA Denver Welcomes Senior Design Architect Jamie Cali

DENVER — JLA Architects is proud to announce that Jamie Cali (AIA, LEEP-AP) has joined our Denver office. As a senior design architect at JLA, he will lead project design through all phases of the architectural process. Jamie brings 39 years of architectural experience in roles ranging from a design principal to a studio director and a project manager.  His work has spanned the globe, working in offices as far as Florence, Italy and on projects in places like Shanghai, China. Although his experience spans almost all sectors, he’s most experienced in multifamily, higher education, K-12, and commercial/corporate markets. 

“Jamie brings a wealth of experience to JLA.  His design expertise in multiple building types adds tremendous value to our project teams. We are lucky and delighted to have a talented, thoughtful architect that enjoys leading and mentoring our architectural staff,” explains Vice President & Denver Office Director Erik Jansson.

When asked why he chose JLA, Jamie explained, “I did not know much about JLA at first, I had seen the website and found the work appealing and thoughtful. I was drawn to JLA by their commitment to architecture and design without the usual architect’s pretense.”

Cali holds a Bachelor of Architecture from California State Polytechnic University.

Learn more about Jamie

From designing tribal offices for the Choctaw Nation to volunteering weekly at Denver’s Dumb Friends League, Jamie sat down with us to share his passion for architecture and what he does outside of the office.

What drew you to architecture as a career?

My path to becoming an architect was a meandering one and not anticipated. I grew up in a large family of six siblings. My father was in construction mostly installing kitchen and bathroom finishes. He and two of his brothers designed and built the house I grew up in. I remember “helping” them as a five-year-old and being fascinated with the construction process.

Over the years I became quite handy and learned the craft of building things. I thought of it as a hobby, not a profession. As an adolescent, I dreamed of being a professional football player. High school injuries squashed that possibility. Initially, I went to college and majored in psychology. I found that uninspiring and decided to take a break to rethink my career goals. While reassessing my future I worked various jobs in construction. I found the work interesting, but not compelling. It was then I started hearing and reading about architects, both real and fictional. I thought I could be one and decided to go to architectural school. It has been a passion ever since then.

What’s your favorite (or most unique) project you’ve worked on?

It is hard to pick just one, but one of my most favorite projects was the Tribal Office and Community Complex for the Choctaw Nation of Oklahoma. I had the opportunity to work closely with the Chief and members of the tribe to learn about their culture and history and to design a complex that symbolized their vision of the future and respected their past. It was a very ambitious project that, unfortunately, was not built.

Any hobbies/interests you’d like to share?

I enjoy building and fixing things. We bought a true mid-century modern house seven years ago and did a nearly full renovation. My wife and I did a great deal of the work that didn’t require a licensed professional. We are getting close to the end, but we still have projects to go.

Are you involved in the Denver community?

I volunteer weekly at the Denver Dumb Friends League Animal Shelter as a Cat Pavilion Attendant. This position involves greeting people interested in adopting, answering their questions, and most rewarding, spending time comforting the cats.

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