Matthew D. Epstein

Matthew D. Epstein

Tarzana, CA, US



I began my career in the building industry after finishing college.  I started with a commercial real estate developer and became proficient at creating pro forma and financial plans for building developments.  I became familiar with the building delivery process from the Owner’s point of view.

I wanted to learn, hands-on, how buildings were built, and to be familiar with the tasks, techniques and materials involved, so I got a job as a construction worker with a residential contractor in Los Angeles.  Within a couple of years, I was foreman of a crew, responsible for the successful completion of projects.  I was also on the roster of half of the scenery shops in Hollywood, building sets for commercials, music videos and a few Roger Corman Sci-fi features.  I worked along side, and learned from, all kinds of people.  The work was hard, fast and physical.  I always got the work done well and on time, even if it took all night.  I learned not to assume anything and to be prepared for problems and obstacles before they occurred.

In Architecture School I excelled in design and structural engineering, and graduated first in my class.  I ran the lecture series, was a studio teaching assistant and worked part-time for the University Architect.  After receiving my Degree I was a full-time Project Architect. My responsibilities included design, construction drawings, bidding and contract administration.  I completed more than twenty campus projects while at CMU.  My construction experience helped me arrive at practical solutions and to communicate with contractors.

When I obtained a significant private project in my neighborhood, I got a job with a full-service architecture firm in order to do it.  The project was successful, and while with that firm I gained experience with several different building types.  My design sense, production ability and knowledge of construction and development gave my employers confidence to put me in leadership positions rather quickly.  I didn’t let them down. I worked collaboratively with colleagues, clients, users, consultants and local planning and building departments.
Over the next several years my skills and judgment grew steadily with exposure to larger and more complex projects, which included schools, hospitals, theaters, office buildings, recording studios and a marina.

When I joined Gensler in Santa Monica, my personal skills and technical expertise won me a position as Project Architect and later as Project Manager.  I managed large scale projects, including two office buildings in the Los Angeles area, each larger that 250,000 square feet.  I was also responsible for the fee management, staffing and invoicing of those projects.

I left Gensler after my projects were put on hold due to the economic downturn.  I have stayed connected by completing private projects, learning Google Sketchup, serving as an officer at the AIA San Fernando Valley Chapter, earning the LEED-AP BD+C credential and the CSI Construction Document Technologist certification. I am currently preparing to earn the title of Certified Construction Specifier. 

I take responsibility for my work and the work of my team.  I write clearly and succinctly.  I am competitive, but play fair.  I stay up-to-date and push for innovation.  I get along with my colleagues and I don’t take myself too seriously.  I listen and follow directions. I stay in great physical condition.


Matthew D. Epstein, Architecture & Lighting Design, Tarzana, CA, US, Principal

Freelance Architectural Design, Production and Lighting firm. I'll design anything I can get my hands on and provide first-rate, professional services. No project is too small. MDE features creative, intelligent and practical design solutions along with professional project delivery.

Selected Projects:
• Young Israel of Northridge, Northridge, CA 2010-11
• Lukas Residence, Encino, CA 2010
• Mendler Residence, Tarzana, CA 2010-11
• LaFrenais Residence, Northridge CA 2009-10
• Epstein Residence, Woodland Hills, CA 2009
• Laurel Canyon Synagogue, Los Angeles, CA 2007
• Dua Residence, Malibu, CA 2006
• Independent Grocery Store, West Los Angeles, 2006-7.
• Perl Residence, Malibu, CA, 2005-6.
• Faber Residence, Studio City, CA, 2004-5,
• Laughlin Bay Marina, Phase I (with Samuel Wacht Associates): A full-service “clean” marina, clubhouse, administration building and boat storage facility on the Colorado River, Laughlin, NV, 2003.

Apr 2003 - current

Gensler, Los Angeles, CA, US, Project Architect / Project Manager

• Leading Technical Member of Building Design Team or commercial and mixed-use projects.
• Managed client relationships, contracts and fees.
• Prepared fee proposals for perspective projects and additional services.
• Led teams with technical design process, including code compliance, building systems and details.
• Coordinated the work of consultants and managed consultant contracts.
• Mentored and trained graduate architects and interns.

Major Projects:
• Tourney Pointe, Phase 2, (BIM, IDP), a 250,000 s.f. 6-story office building, LEED Silver, Valencia, CA, 2007-8. Project Manager and client contact.
• 700 Corporate Pointe, (BIM, D-N-B), a 290,000 s.f. 12-story office building, LEED Silver, Culver City, CA, 2007-8. Project Architect and Project Manager.

Apr 2007 - Sep 2008

Jeff Cooper Architects, Inc., Calabasas, CA, US, Project Architect

Coordinated the architectural, engineering and construction teams for Post-production sound facilities.
• Universal Studios: Department of Sound Administration, 2002
• Universal Studios: Bldg 2313, Edit Building, 2002
• Ironworks: Recording Studio & Residence, Los Angeles 2002.

Jul 2002 - Mar 2003

JSFA, Tarzana, CA, US, Project Architect

International live performance design specialists.

Project Architect. Directed teams in the Production of Design and Construction Documents, ushered projects through entitlements with City Planning and Building Departments. Administered contracts for construction.
• GAMproducts Inc.: Winner of the AIA-SFV Merit Award. A unique 22,000 s.f. Office Building and Rehearsal Center in Los Angeles, CA, 2001. (D-N-B)
• Boston Court Theatre: Winner of the AIA-SFV Citation Award. A 99-seat Main Stage Theatre and Recital Hall in Pasadena, CA, 2001. (D-N-B)
• Newman Residence: A 2,400 s.f. ADA Home Renovation & Addition for a symphony musician with multiple sclerosis, Mar Vista, CA, 2001. (D-B-B)

May 2001 - Jul 2002

Gardner + Pope Architects, Pittsburgh, PA, US, Project Architect

Project Architect, responsible for project designs, directing production of construction documents, bidding, value engineering, and contract administration. Used personal skills to successfully market the company and secure commissions.
• Oncology Nursing Society: a 100,000 s.f. User Office Building, Pittsburgh, PA, 2000-1. (CMa)
• Penn Center West, Building Five: a 150,000 s.f. Office Building, Pittsburgh, PA, 2000. (D-N-B)
• Parkwest Corporate Center: a 100,000 s.f. Office Building, Pittsburgh, PA, 2000. (O-B)
• Westpointe Corporate Center Two: a 150,000 s.f. Office Building, Pittsburgh, PA 1999, built for the relocation of the NOVA Corporation. (O-B)
• Radiation Oncology Center: a 6,900 s.f. LINAC Clinic, Cape May, NJ, 1999. (D-B-B)
• Pointe Plaza: a 42,000 s.f. Office Building, Southpointe Office Park, Pittsburgh, PA, 1999. (D-B-B)
• Pittsburgh Boys and Girls Club: a 28,000 s.f. Recreation Center, Pittsburgh, PA 1998. (D-B-B)
• Westpointe Corporate Center One: Winner of the 1999 NAIOP Building of the Year Award, a 125,000 s.f. Office Building, Moon Township, PA 1998. (O-B)

Jun 1997 - May 2001

Williams Trebilcock Whitehead, Pittsburgh, PA, US, Project Architect

Design and Production of Construction Documents for Renovations and Additions to various building types, Commercial and Educational.
Selected Projects:
• Dollar Bank Branch, Brecksville OH; (D-B-B)
• Chartiers Country Club Pool House Renovation, Robinson Township, PA; (D-B-B)
• Westinghouse High School, Phase 1-Automotive Technology Shop and Fieldhouse;
Phase 2-Renovations and Additions, Natorium. (D-B-B)

Jan 1996 - Jun 1997

MacLachlan, Cornelius & Filoni, Inc., Pittsburgh, PA, US, Graduate Architect

Graduate Architect. Participated in all phases of various large-scale health care, educational and commercial projects, from Client Contact through Contract Administration.
Selected Projects:
• The Jewish Education Institute, Pittsburgh, PA. Relocation of a K-8 private day school into a former 19th Century Catholic Church and school facility. Complete Renovation. 1991-94
• Yeshiva Schools of Pittsburgh, renovations and additions to K-12 school & synagogue 1994
• Lawrence Village Plaza: Canopy Renovation, 1993,
• Mercy Hospital: Cardiac Intensive Care Unit, 1992.
• Mercy Hospital: Department of Medicine, 1991.
• Mercy Hospital: Cardiovascular Intensive Care Unit, Pathology Lab, Blood Lab, Pittsburgh, PA, 1990-91
• Mercy Hospital: Outpatient Medical Wing, Pittsburgh, PA, 1989-93
• Mercy Hospital: Bridge & Arcade Project, Pittsburgh, PA, 1988-89

Dec 1988 - Apr 1994


Carnegie Mellon University, Pittsburgh, PA, US, MArch, Architecture

Three-year Master of Architecture, First Professional Degree Program.

Aug 1984 - Dec 1987

Pomona College, Claremont, CA, US, Bachelors, Mathematics

Liberal Arts Bachelors Program. Concentration in Mathematics.

Aug 1977 - May 1981


AIA Henry Adams Medal and Certificate, 1st Place

This was awarded by the American Institute of Architects to the highest ranking graduating Architecture student at Carnegie Mellon University.


Pomona College: The Eda May Haskell Library Prize, 1st Place

Awarded for the best library submitted by a senior student, not necessarily for the largest or most expensive collection but for the most intelligently selected books in one or more fields of the student's interest. Endowed by John H. Kemble, Professor of History from 1936 to 1977.


Areas of Specialization