Employee Spotlight: Michael Zajkowski, AIA, NCARB, LEED BD+C


Michael Zajkowski, AIA, NCARB, LEED BD C is a Senior Project Designer at KCCT. As an accomplished designer with 33 years of experience, Michael has a diverse portfolio which includes federal, embassy, education, commercial office, and medical buildings. He is most proud of his work at the Durban Consulate because it has been challenging but fulfilling.

When he is not managing multiple projects, Michael is an avid gardener; he likes to find expensive and unique plants that no one else has. Michael and his wife enjoy trying new wines and attending concerts at Wolf Trap.

What made you want to be a Senior Project Designer? 

I am trained as a designer from previous roles at SOM and HOK, but I function as a project manager, designer, and planner due to my broad experience. I like the satisfaction of seeing a project completed and serving its users well. 

How has KCCT helped you in your career development?

It has exposed me to the detailed process of US embassy work. While I have done Embassy work in previous jobs, it was not as focused as it is at KCCT. 

What project are you most proud of at KCCT? Why?

I have only been here two years, but the Durban Consulate – It has been very challenging with a difficult existing building, but we have come to a good solution. I have learned a tremendous amount about the process of producing a bridging design, learning OBO’s ever-changing standards, and getting to work with an AIA gold medal-winning design partner. 

What motivates you at work?

Achieving a goal, like a design solution or a deadline. 

What is your most-used productivity hack?

I’m too old for hacks. Finding someone who is better than me at Revit. 

What is the most important bit of information about you that you would want a client to know?

I can help them achieve their goals if they can be direct with what they want. Our role is to make projects succeed, and they cannot succeed if the end result is not clear. 

What do you like to do in your free time? Or hobbies?

I really should be a landscape architect. I like to find expensive and strange plants online or at the nursery that no one else has. I grow my own plants from seed in the early spring. I have run out of room for new plants, so I dug up part of my lawn to make a mini meadow. My next move is to put in a permanent greenhouse. My wife and I also enjoy trying new wines- we spent the money we saved on commuting during the pandemic on wine. We are also big music fans, having been members at Wolf Trap for over 10 years. Much more civilized than stadiums or Jiffy Lube Live. 


Click here to read more about Michael.

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