Joseph Saniuk

“We control so many things that people don’t really see – but can still appreciate.”

Joseph “Joe” Saniuk, a principal with AO since 1988, thrives on being “the man behind the curtain” when it comes to place making.

“We bring our intellect and our thought process for problem solving. It’s very difficult to be able to meld building technology, physics, construction techniques, humanities and the arts. We coordinate a lot of elements, and it all works.”

Before earning both a bachelor and a master degree in architecture from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln, the Omaha native was inspired to architecture, in part, by a local landmark.

“My father used to run the Livestock Exchange Building at the Omaha stockyards. Right in the middle of this industrial, gritty place, you had this well-detailed, 20th century building with gorgeous marble and terrazzo flooring and huge open spaces. I was around that when I was a kid, and I thought it was fascinating.”

Joe continues to find inspiration in the built environment – but he is also continually inspired by his family (his wife of 20 years and their twin son and daughter) and his community, including his St. Cecilia parish. He loves the fact that even though he has been an architect for decades, he is still growing professionally.

“Our industry is changing all the time; codes are constantly evolving. As principals, we have to be constantly evolving and learning too. It’s still a very dynamic environment. We have to keep forging a path and moving forward.”

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