Staff Spotlight – Chris Hirai— NEWS


Introducing Chris Hirai, our accomplished Project Architect returning to Nacht and Lewis after a brief hiatus exploring alternative markets. With nearly a decade of experience under his belt, Chris brings a dynamic perspective and a passion for innovative design solutions to our team. Join us as we delve into Chris’ journey, from his architectural endeavors to his diverse interests outside the office.

How long have you been with N&L?

In total, this will be my 8th year with Nacht and Lewis. I originally worked with the firm from 2007 to 2015. I chose to take a break and explore other markets from 2017 until I returned in February of this year.

What’s your favorite type of cuisine?

That’s tough! Right now, I’d have to go with Hawaiian food because it has been influenced by ingredients from many different Asian and European cultures. Plus, it’s pretty hard to beat a plate lunch.

Do you have any pets?

I do not have any pets.

Do you speak any other languages?

I’m not fluent in Spanish, but I can communicate. I took three years of Spanish in high school and then studied Architecture in Mexico for 10 weeks as part of a study abroad program.

What do you do in your downtime? (Cook? Ski? Play sports?)

I like to camp, hike, and be outside. Even if it’s yard work, I’m always looking for a reason to get out of the house.

What is your favorite movie?

I don’t think I have a single all-time favorite movie, but there are a few that I could sit down and watch anytime. The Big Lebowski, Remember the Titans, and Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade are a few that come to mind.

What is your dream vacation?

Visiting Patagonia and Antarctica would be at the top of the list. The landscapes are incredible, and having the chance to see such a remote part of the world sounds amazing.

What’s your favorite part of working in the AEC (Architecture, Engineering, Construction) industry?

My favorite part is the ability to use design to either solve a problem or create something that makes life easier for someone else.

If you weren’t an architect, what would you be doing?

I would probably be some sort of journalist or writer. I’ve always enjoyed writing, and if I could use that ability to tell a story or help inform others, I’d probably be doing something like that.

If you could choose your superpower, what would you choose?

Teleportation. If I could just “jump” from place to place without having to deal with traffic or travel time, that would be amazing.

Do you have a favorite quote?

A quote that I’ve had in my head for the last few months has been from Ted Lasso: “Be curious, not judgmental”. Although it’s simple, I think it’s important to remember there is always another view and another perspective to be seen.

What’s your favorite season?

My favorite season is Autumn. The weather is still great but the craziness (and heat) of the summer is behind us.

What is your favorite N&L past project?

The Alhambra Theater is one of my favorites because it’s a building that even as a kid I remember my grandparents talking about. It’s cool to have that personal connection through family members having experienced the firm’s projects.

What do you like on your pizza?

I’m a combo pizza kind of guy. A little bit of everything, but no anchovies or pineapple, please.

Where would you choose to live: by the ocean, in the mountains or in the woods?

The beach is nice to visit, but I’m more of a mountain/forest person. I love camping and hiking and being in the forest.

What is your favorite thing to do in Sacramento?

Spending time with family or friends enjoying the local food scene is probably my favorite thing to do in town. Whether it’s having breakfast with my folks at a neighborhood spot like Aviator’s or celebrating a special event at The Kitchen, there is so much variety here to experience.

April 1, 2024

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