In November 1994, the husband and wife team of D. Michael Kastrop and Lorianna Kastrop founded The Kastrop Group, Inc. Architects at the Sequoia Building in downtown Redwood City.
Mike had been a partner at a San Mateo based firm for several years before deciding he would like to go out on his own. When Lorianna offered to add her business and financial expertise to his architecture experience and creative skills, they knew they had a recipe for success. They founded the firm in Redwood City, not just because it is where they live, but also because they have many contacts in governmental and non-profit organizations in the community, which helped to build the business and establish a good reputation in the days when word-of-mouth referrals were crucial. While times have changed and The Kastrop Group has embraced new technologies, these strong local connections remain an important part of the business.
We look forward to seeing what the future will bring and we are prepared for new challenges. No matter what changes in our industry, we will continue to serve our clients with the same personal touch and consistent quality that we have become known for in the last twenty years.
The Kastrop Group, Inc. Architects
is proud to be celebrating its
In 1994, the company’s first employee was Nicolas Mallas, who had worked with Mike for many years at other firms. The Kastrop Group team focused mainly on retail stores in the early years and did a great deal of work for The Gap and The Limited all over the United States as the retail business boomed. The Kastrop Group then broadened its portfolio to include other commercial, residential, and public projects.
In 1997, The Kastrop Group restored the 2nd floor of the historic Foresters Hall in Redwood City and moved into offices there. The firm grew to six employees, and in 2001 moved to a neglected historic building on Main Street which The Kastrop Group restored to its former glory. Business was steady, though the advent of online shopping meant a decline in brick-and-mortar retail projects. The Kastrop Group responded by diversifying its portfolio, working in historical renovations, churches, offices, and restaurants.
Brian Villavicencio joined the team in 2004, after graduating from University of California, Berkeley. Brian is highly skilled in AutoCAD and takes the lead on most residential projects. Nick retired in 2009, around the time that the recession hit the construction industry. The firm stayed small in order to weather the difficult economic conditions.
In 2005 The Kastrop Group received the Redwood City/San Mateo County Chamber of Commerce’s Golden Apple Award for our commitment to local education.
In 2013, The Kastrop Group was one of the first companies to be recognized with the Green Business Award from Redwood City, as a certified Green Business by San Mateo County. (We were re-certified in 2019.)
To celebrate our 20th Anniversary in 2015, we had a team retreat at Vision Quest Safari in Salinas, with a side trip to Monterey. 2015 was also the year when we committed to moving all of our file storage and documents to “the cloud”, reducing our use of paper and providing protection from fire or other disasters.
As the economy improved, the demand for architectural services increased, and The Kastrop Group is keeping up with demand. Our current staff includes Marie Barron, Assoc. AIA, who joined the team in 2014 after graduating with a degree in Architecture from UC Berkeley. Negar Soltani joined the firm full time in 2017 with a Master of Architecture degree from Azad University of Arak.
In 2017 The Kastrop Group was awarded the first annual Torch Award for Ethics by the Golden Gate chapter of the Better Business Bureau in the Small Business Category. In 2019, The Kastrop Group was named Outstanding Business of the Year by the Sequoia Awards Foundation for our volunteer services to the community.
To celebrate our 25th Anniversary in 2019, we had a team retreat to Cambria, CA including a visit to Hearst Castle.
Through the years our work has received several beautification awards, but our most gratifying recognition is when our clients are satisfied and give us referrals to their friends and colleagues. Currently, there is a trend towards transit-oriented development and commercial/residential multi-story buildings in downtown or urban core areas. The Kastrop Group currently has projects in the pipeline to meet this need. We are experienced and poised to help communities expand housing opportunities through Accessory Dwelling Units, and we are prepared for new opportunities and challenges that come our way.