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de Reus Architects Welcomes Three Architects to its Hawaii Studio

By Press Release | November 22, 2019

While de Reus Architects continues to expand its project portfolio, its team is growing as well. The firm is pleased to announce the hire of three new architects who work out of the firm’s Hawaii studio — Almodina Lopez, Aki Yoshida and AJ Taaca.

The team behind de Reus Architects integrates nature, an elevated sense of artistry, and strong sense of purpose into each project, whether it be a world-class resort or luxury, private residence. The firm prides itself on creating best-in-class properties that marry comfort and livability with craftsmanship and layered architecture that offers endless elements of surprise. True to place, the firm designs properties that enhance their location, fulfills the client’s dreams, and has a timeless spirit.

  • Almodina Lopez

Title: Project Architect

Category: Commercial Real Estate

Start: July 2019

Previous Firm: Gensler (LA)

Education: California Polytechnic State University, Pomona

Almodina Lopez is a registered architect who recently joined award-winning firm de Reus Architects as a Project Architect in the Hawaii studio. She brings a variegated architectural design and technical background for retail centers, mixed-use developments and airports, in addition to single- and multi-family residential projects. She has also worked as an interior designer in Southern California, where she designed restaurants and bars in Los Angeles and San Diego.

At de Reus Architects, Almodina is designing several high-end single-family residential vacation homes in the Hawaiian Islands. She has experience as an architect, designer and project manager for projects in every phase, and works closely with each client to ensure the project is completed to the highest standard. Almodina is excited to collaborate with the team at de Reus Architects, and explore the inspiring natural surroundings of the islands.

  • Aki Yoshida

Title: Project Architect; AIA, LEED BD+C

Category: Commercial Real Estate

Start: June 2019

Previous Firm: InForm Design (Hawaii)

Education: Wentworth Institute of Technology, Boston, MA

Aki Yoshida joins award-winning architecture firm de Reus Architects as a Project Architect in Waimea, Hawaii. She is an energetic and intuitive licensed architect who is passionate about elevating the design of each project regardless of size, scale, or budget. She enjoys design challenges - such as an unconventional public atrium space in a 4 million square-foot hospital complex for the city of Kuwait commissioned by the Royal Family, and a strategic design of a Hilton Grand Vacations kiosk to effectively market time-share packages to pedestrians walking down International Market Place in Waikiki, Hawaii.

Aki believes in solving problems through collaboration and this quality shines through in her leadership experience, not only within her design team, but also in her community. She is actively engaged in the design industry events such as CANstruction, IIDA fashion show, NAIOP Developing Leaders committee, and is a member of the AIA Board of Directors and the chair of the AIA Honolulu Film Committee.

Born in Japan, Aki has lived in London, Maine, Los Angeles and Boston, fueling her interest in global expressions of architecture. She earned a Bachelor of Science in Architecture, along with a Master of Architecture from Wentworth Institute of Technology in Boston. Before joining de Reus Architects, Aki was a project manager at In+Form Design in Honolulu, Hawaii, and a designer with Fennick McCredie Architecture and TRO Jung Brannen in Boston. She is licensed in the state of Hawaii, and is an AIA and LEED AP BD+C professional. She is also fluent in both English and Japanese.

  • AJ Taaca

Title: Project Architect; AIA

Category: Commercial Real Estate

Start: April 2019

Previous Firm: HOK (Seattle)

Education: Master of Architecture, University of Washington, Seattle, WA

Licensed to practice in Hawaii and Washington State, AJ Taaca’s portfolio of work includes several national and regional award-winning designs, including the Seattle-Tacoma International Airport’s Concourse D Annex and University of Washington’s Life Sciences Building.

His diverse body of work and innovative style is rooted in collaboration, research, and sustainability. He has an infectious passion for design, building consensus, and getting things done. He enjoys working with clients and teams to find solutions and deliver beautifully-sculpted spaces that people love. 

AJ was born and raised in the Hawaiian Islands. He earned a Bachelor of Science in Architecture from the University of Nevada, Las Vegas, and a Master of Architecture from the University of Washington. Prior to joining de Reus Architects in Hawaii, he practiced in both Seattle and Las Vegas with award-winning firms HOK, Perkins+Will and Gustafson Guthrie Nichol (GGN). He also served as the Design Professional Representative on the City of Seattle's East Design Review Board.

AJ believes in the power of place-making and the idea that landscape, architecture, and interiors should work together to amplify the innate qualities of a site, a core value of de Reus Architects. He is currently the Project Architect and Designer of a master-planned luxury residential/resort community in Cabo San Lucas, Mexico.

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