Local architects continue award-winning ways

Friday, Jan. 18, 2013
Local architects continue award-winning ways + Enlarge
Saint Joseph the Worker Catholic Church in West Jordan, which was completed in 2011, is among the award-winning projects designed by Sparano + Mooney Architecture. 

SALT LAKE CITY — The architectural firm founded by two Saint Catherine of Siena/Newman Center parishioners has been named the ‘Architectural Firm of the Year’ by the Utah Chapter of the American Institute of Architects for their work designing Saint Joseph the Worker Catholic Church in West Jordan.

John Sparano and Ann Mooney, who also are active at the Madeleine Choir School, where their two daughters are enrolled, are the principals at Sparano + Mooney Architecture, which has offices in Salt Lake City and Los Angeles. They have won a number of awards; this most recent one is "In recognition of consistent and outstanding design with a verifiable level of client satisfaction for at least ten years …" according to the award.

"This means a lot for us… I mean being recognized for our work from our peers," said Sparano. "This is a real honor."

Father Patrick Carley, St. Joseph the Worker Parish administrator, said he was really pleased with the job performed by the firm.

"We were very happy that we choose the Mooney and Sparano firm.They were wonderful. They were very helpful, easy to work with, and helpful in guiding us," he said. "They exceeded expectations in explaining and re-explaining things to us. They became not only great architects but great friends to our parish. We love the church that they designed for us."

Sparano + Mooney Architecture also worked on the Saint George Catholic Church renovation, which was completed in 2010, as well as at the new Saint Francis of Assisi Catholic Church in Orem, which was finished last year. In addition, they worked on some of the missions, including San Isidro in Elberta and Saint Paul Catholic Center in Hurricane.

However, the award-winning St. Joseph the Worker Catholic Church was one of their favorite projects.

"Fr. Carley is a great leader; he has a great team," Sparano said. "They saw the project with a very open mind. They were really, really great."

Their work has been widely recognized and featured in numerous publications. Recent publications include A+U (Tokyo), Bauvelt (Berlin), World Architecture (London), Hinge (Hong Kong) and L’Arca (Milan).

"The firm is not just a way of make a living; it is much more than that. We have good years and not such good years, but we just love what we do," said Sparano.

The couple first met socially in Los Angeles, where both were working as architects.

They continued to live in Los Angeles after they were married, and began their professional practice together in a downtown office in that city; in 2003 they won the Los Angeles Business Council Award for Outstanding Civic Architecture.

Mooney is a graduate of Judge Memorial Catholic High School. She studied architecture at Columbia University in New York and at the Southern California Institute of Architecture (SCI-Arc) in Switzerland and in Los Angeles.

Sparano was educated in Washington D.C., and in London at the Architectural Association.

Sparano sits on the Diocese of Salt Lake City’s liturgical arts committee and is the current president of the Utah chapter of American Institute of Architects; Mooney is a member of the diocesan building board as well as the Utah Arts Council board. She also is a professor at the University of Utah, where she teaches a design studio.

Sparano + Mooney has continued to win awards for projects ranging from the Arcadia Museum to the Lakeview Performing Arts Center to St. Joseph the Worker Catholic Church. The firm celebrated a decade of work in 2007.

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