Polytech Associates Inc. is a woman-owned architecture, planning and interior design firm based in San Francisco. Our firm was established in 1986 and is based on a collaborative approach to develop strategic partnerships with our clients and achieve the visions and goals of their projects.
We provide comprehensive, sustainable and efficient design services for Healthcare, Government, Institutional, Commercial and Sports facilities. Our diverse experience provides us with a constantly growing knowledge base and best practices in the design process.
Ms. Arsanjani knew that architecture was her passion at a very young age, at which time she already had immersed herself in drawing and painting. She studied at the National University of Iran, where she earned a Master of Science in Architecture. After arriving in the United States, she continued her studies in Planning, Architecture, and Interior Design at the University of California, Berkeley.
Mehrnoush then joined Skidmore, Owings & Merrill as a designer, where she spent ten years focused on learning best practices in project management and honing her design and technical skills. Working on projects such as Bank of America’s Data Center in Concord, California and Southeast Financial Center in Miami, Florida, gave her experience managing large-scale, technically-complex projects requiring close client collaboration and coordination with multiple disciplines.
Mehrnoush co-founded Polytech Associates in 1986 with Carl Scholz and Kurt Scholz. She has helped to grow Polytech into a multidisciplinary firm practicing architecture, planning, and interior design. She has directed projects in the United States and overseas. As Managing Principal, Mehrnoush now leads our design and planning efforts and is responsible for nurturing our client relationships, including Kaiser Permanente, Stanford University Medical Center, California Pacific Medical Center, and University of California, San Francisco Medical Center.
Carl is a native of Chile and has worked internationally throughout his forty years practicing architecture. After his studies at the University of California, he worked at architectural and engineering firms in Washington, DC, Arlington, Virginia, and San Francisco, California. Fluency in three languages contributed to international projects. He joined Skidmore, Owings & Merrill’s San Francisco office, where he learned the delicate balance of successfully coordinating the technical aspects of a building while remaining true to the design intent.
After four years at SOM, Carl began a private practice, which allowed him to cultivate the leadership and budgetary skills necessary to successfully run an architectural firm. Several years later, he returned to SOM as an Associate Partner. He helped to lead technical coordination for several prominent, large-scale buildings in San Francisco, including Davies Symphony Hall, One Front Street, 345 California Street, 333 Bush Street, and the Asian Development Bank in Manila.
In 1986, Carl founded Polytech Associates with architect and former SOM colleague Mehrnoush Arsanjani and civil engineer Kurt Scholz. As Principal-in-Charge of Technical Coordination and Quality Assurance, Carl leads these efforts for many of our large projects and maintains our firm’s commitment to providing complete, coordinated, and timely construction documentation.
Bob Schafgans enjoys all aspects of technical problem-solving, which he discovered while taking mechanical drafting classes at Balboa High School in San Francico. After graduating, Bob was drafted into the Army and served during the Vietnam War. When he returned, he enrolled in engineering classes at the University of California, Berkeley, where he found that he enjoyed the work, and developed a love for technical drawing.
Bob joined Skidmore, Owings & Merrill as a CML engineer, where he worked alongside colleagues Mehrnoush Arsanjani, Carl Scholz, Charles Jennings, and Rich Graziano. He became adept at understanding the way that all parts of a building system work together, identifying the areas that are structural, and creating a process for resolving the issues. After twlelve years at SOM, he began an engineering practice with two fellow SOM engineers, allowing him to learn all aspects of running a successful business.
Bob joined Polytech Associates to set-up the firm’s IT system, and his role expanded when he began working on the seismic upgrade of 2425 Geary Boulevard. He now plays a dual role, leading our Information Technology Department, and overseeing complex clinical technology projects for many of our clients, including Kaiser Permanente, California Pacific Medical Center, and Stanford University Medical Center. Our clients and colleagues know Bob as a good-natured, gregarious problem-solver, while our team counts on him not just for his knowledge, but for the well-timed sarcastic remark or gentle word of support.
Lloyd Bush’s father was a contractor, and his summers working as "cheap labor" for his father’s company were his introduction to the world of architecture and design.
During his freshman year of high school, his English teacher assigned her students a research paper in which they investigated a profession they might consider pursuing. Lloyd’s paper discussed one of the homes in his neighborhood that continually fascinated him - a 7-sided, spring-fed home whose swimming pool was a stop along a stream. Lloyd earned a Bachelor of Interior Architecture from the University of Oregon, and took a junior design position in Anshen + Allen’s San Francisco office.
Over his ten years with the firm, Lloyd worked on interiors programs for Lucile Salter Packard Children’s Hospital. University of California’s Koret House, and Moffitt/Long Hospital at UCSF. He joined Kaiser Permanente as a Project Manager, where he hired Polytech Associates to work on many of his projects. After leaving Kaiser and spending several years with MG West, Lloyd received a phone call from Mehrnoush, who asked if he might be interested in joining Polytech to lead their new interior design department.
Lloyd leads the development of all our interior design projects, and constantly mentors and encourages each designer to infuse their own creativity throughout the process. Lloyd brings a keen eye for the ways that color, form, and material come together in all environments, and shares with our team a seemingly neverending passion for design.
As the Studio Director, Mr. Graziano is responsible for the day-to-day administration and operation of Polytech’s architectural studio. Rich oversees and mentors staff and Project Managers, creates project assignments, leads the technical review process, and manages the financial performance of the department.
Mr. Graziano brings over thirty years of experience in both architecture and construction management for healthcare, commercial, and educational projects. He serves as a valuable adviser to our team on the ways to view a project from the owner’s perspective, as well as the unique isues surrounding the design/build process.
Why Polytech Associates?
I worked with Carl, Mehrnoush, and Bob at SOM for over ten years. This was an opportunity to rejoin my colleagues and help them develop Polytech for the next generation.
Words of wisdom for young designers
Never lose your inspiration and seek out design firms that will meet your career goals.
505 Montgomery Street and Crocker Galleria while I was with SOM, Hills Plaza when I was with Whisler-Patri and The Gap Headquarters when I worked at Gensler.
Favorite building or space
The de Young Museum and the California Academy of Sciences.
Rob Razzo originally set his sights on becoming a photographer, and began formal training after graduating from San Francisco’s Lowell High School. While recovering from a motorcycle accident, a friend suggested that he explore architecture, leading Rob to study the work of Julius Shulman. He was inspired by the way architecture and photography reinforce each other, and enrolled in architecture school at the University of California, Berkeley. His time there helped to teach him to be more visionary, and he was particularly fascinated with the way that architecture responds to human needs.
He spent several years working for architecture practices specializing in corporate interiors, giving him the opportunity to work on headquarters for eGM and Hambrecht and Quist. As a project architect, Rob enjoyed the challenge of managing multiple disciplines and the energy that working as a creative team inspires.
Rob brought this experience to Polytech Associates when he joined our team as an Associate in 2003. He has successfully managed many of our technically-complex healthcare projects, including our work for South of Market Health Center, Kaiser Permanente, and UCSF Medical Center. Rob mentors and educates our design team, and continually infuses energy and new ideas to help us grow our practice. He is an active member of AIA San Francisco, and recently joined Curry Senior Center's Board of Directors.