“Architecture is the challenge of pulling together a complicated web of systems and materials that have to comply with rigorous regulatory requirements into a beautiful structure.”
Born in Peoria, Illinois, Sandra Gramley’s love for architecture was inspired by her father, a successful architect. She attended the University of Illinois to further develop her passion, ultimately graduating with a bachelor’s in architecture in 1978. She then went on to earn a Master’s in Architecture at Texas A&M in 1980. While at Texas A&M she took Historic Preservation Courses in graduate school at Texas A&M where her work on the HABS drawings of the Cavitt House in Wheelock, Texas, ended up posted in the Library of Congress. She is a registered and licensed California Architect, NCARB certified, and has LEEDap BD+C accreditation.
She landed in San Diego through her rugby career which spanned 20 years. The teamwork, endurance, and quick-thinking learned in the sport has translated well to her architectural career.
She joined Platt/Whitelaw in 2000 and was made Principal ten years later. She now owns and leads the firm along with her business partner, Naveen Waney. Sandra was a member of the organizing committee for San Diego Green, which was spearheaded by the San Diego GBC. For 13 years she taught sustainable design at the Design Institute inspiring and encouraging a multitude of young students just as she was inspired. Ms. Gramley has been actively involved in the AIA San Diego, chairing the COTE (Committee on the Environment) then serving as Advocacy Commissioner, and now is the 2020 President. One of the goals of her tenure is to create a Center for Design in downtown San Diego to bring public awareness to the architecture and design communities. Also, in 2020, she was one of seven women chosen as San Diego Business Journal’s Top Women in Construction and Design and is a finalist for the “Women Breaking Barriers” award for the Connected Women of Influence. Her wildly successful architectural career has spanned 40 years.
She has outstanding skills in project management, and in navigating difficult regulatory and code applications. Because of her accumulated architectural knowledge, she excels at finding creative solutions in order to surpass owner expectations. Her ingenuity has built client trust and established long-lasting client relationships. Her professional experience includes detailed investigations of historic structures, preparation of historic structures research reports, and preparation of plans and specifications for preservation projects.
She has dedicated her career to improving communities, collaborating with peers, and training the next generation of leaders.