SmithGroup Hires Georgia Sarkin as Principal, Campus Planning, Urban Design Specialist at San Francisco Office

Georgia Sarking SmithGroup San Francisco

SmithGroup, one of the nation’s largest integrated design firms, has hired Georgia Sarkin, AICP, RIBA, as a principal, campus planning, and urban design specialist at its San Francisco office.

An award-winning architect and planner, Sarkin brings to the firm more than 30 years of experience in transformative large-scale urban development, transit-oriented, mixed-use, campus planning, and neighborhood development projects across the U.S. and internationally.

Sarkin comes to SmithGroup from the San Francisco office of Skidmore, Owings & Merrill, where she served as associate director & west coast higher education practice leader. In that role, she managed all stages of planning and design for numerous high-profile projects across the Bay Area, including the 58,000-square-foot academic building replacement project for the University of California, Hastings College of Law; the 152-acre Parkmerced neighborhood revitalization and redevelopment vision plan; and the 27-acre, 1.7-million-square-foot India Basin mixed-use development. In her new position at SmithGroup, Sarkin will serve as a strategist, project leader, and mentor to an interdisciplinary team of Higher Education, Campus Planning, Mixed-Use, and Urban Design specialists across the country.

“Georgia possesses a unique combination of planning, design, and leadership expertise that we don’t often see in this market,” said Joyce Polhamus, FAIA, LEED AP BD+C, director of SmithGroup’s San Francisco office. “Her deep knowledge of integrated planning processes—from long-range development plans through construction—will make her a highly valued partner to our clients.”

A certified planner and registered architect, Sarkin is a member of the American Institute of Certified Planners, the Royal Institute of British Architects, the American Planning Association, and the Society for College and University Planning. She has held teaching positions with notable institutions such as Columbia University Graduate School of Architecture, Planning and Preservation, the University of Witwatersrand, the University of KwaZulu-Natal, and Harvard Graduate School of Design.

Sarkin earned a Master of Architecture in urban design with distinction from Harvard Graduate School of Design. She also holds a Bachelor of Architecture from University of KwaZulu Natal and a Bachelor of Architectural Studies from University of Cape Town. In addition, her career has included notable roles and project experience while working with Pei Cobb Freed and Partners, New York; Meyer Pienaar Smith Architects, Johannesburg, South Africa; and as founding partner of Sarkin & Jain Architects, Urban Designers + Planners, Durban, South Africa.

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