UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. — Adam Longenbach graduated from Penn State in 2011 with both bachelor of architecture and master of architecture degrees. He works alongside fellow alumnus Matt McMahon as a researcher at Snøhetta, an internationally renowned practice of architecture, landscape architecture, interior architecture, product and graphic design.
Longenbach, who is originally from Montoursville, Pennsylvania, grew up interested in architecture. He sheepishly admitted that he loved to draw and trace floor plans as a kid.
“In high school I began to look at architecture more seriously as a potential profession. Like many young students in the United States, I first became interested in the work of the “Franks” — Frank Lloyd Wright and Frank Gehry — and my interests broadened from there,” he said.
Penn State was the only place he applied to because he knew Happy Valley was where he wanted to be. He liked that it was close to home but still far enough to maintain his independence. A family friend who had gone through the architecture program at Penn State was instrumental in encouraging Longenbach to pursue the same academic path.
While pursuing two degrees at Penn State, Longenbach was also part of the American Institute of Architecture Students and the Penn State Racquetball Club in his fifth and sixth year.
“I will always look back fondly on my time in studio,” he said. “One special thing about my freshman class is that we were the first to be educated in the Stuckeman Family Building.”
During his freshman year, Longenbach considered leaving the program to pursue other interests, but decided to push through for his sophomore year after his second-year fall studio professor, Loukas Kalisperis, encouraged him to persist.
Kalisperis is a professor of architecture and co-director of the Immersive Environments Lab at Penn State, and a professor at the Cyprus Institute.
“He was so passionate about architecture and its possibilities. It reignited my enthusiasm for drawing and building,” said Longenbach.
Longenbach would go on to receive the Department of Architecture’s Design Excellence Award in both his fourth and fifth year, as well as the Paul M. Kossman Senior Design Award in Architecture, a prize given to the top design thesis in each graduating class.
Another professor he credits his passion and success to is Professor Darla Lindberg. Lindberg was his third-year studio and topics of community design professor, as well as his adviser for both his undergraduate and graduate thesis. Longenbach also served as a research assistant to Lindberg’s research that is funded by the National Institutes of Health.
“Anywhere Darla goes, she becomes the smartest person in the room; I figured I better stick with this person,” said Longenbach. “She’s extremely generous with her time and knowledge, and she remains a role model for me.”
Lisa Iulo, Marcus Shaffer, Ute Poerschke, the late Jawaid Haider, and David Celento were faculty in the Department of Architecture who helped him to grow his interests in architecture while at Penn State.