Rachel Villalta




Master of Architecture,
Columbia University Graduate School of Architecture, Planning, and Preservation
Bachelor of Architecture,
University of Michigan

With over a decade of experience at KPF, Rachel has developed a specialization in transformative urban projects. She excels at synthesizing ideas from clients, designers, and consultants to create optimal design solutions.

Through her experience with large-scale, full-service projects, Rachel has honed her focus on placemaking’s ability to infuse urban centers with new vitality. For example, One Vanderbilt, a landmark tower in New York City, integrates cutting-edge office space with new, accessible pathways to one of the city’s largest transportation hubs, Grand Central Station. The base of the building joins the spatial sequence of Grand Central and forms a doorstep to the city, greeting thousands of commuters daily. This project greatly revitalized the district and contributed a new landmark to Midtown Manhattan’s skyline.

Rachel has also developed expertise in designing program-driven buildings at the human scale, always keeping the user experience at the forefront of her approach. In Detroit, Rachel led the design of the University of Michigan Center for Innovation, a centerpiece of a development that offers programs that focus on artificial intelligence, data science, entrepreneurship, cybersecurity, financial technology, and more. The project also includes incubator and start-up services for entrepreneurs, collaboration space for established companies, residential units, a hotel and conference center, and event space.

Rachel serves as a mentor to young KPF architects through the KPF Young Designers Forum and mentorship programs. She has also served on the Alumni Board of her alma mater, the Graduate School of Architecture, Planning and Preservation at Columbia University.