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Meet Jaya Kader of KZ Architecture

Today we’d like to introduce you to Jaya Kader.

Jaya, can you briefly walk us through your story – how you started and how you got to where you are today.
My story started with a passion for nature, design and beauty. My curiosity leads me to architecture–a field that encompasses many aspects of the human experience and offers a great vessel through which to express and enhance it. My journey continued with the accrual of relevant, significant and specialized knowledge, which is in constant evolution. It started with art and architectural history in college, followed by travel in Italy to study the Italian Renaissance masters. Early on, I embraced the gift of travel and experiencing significant world architecture in person as a tool for inspiration and discovery. I followed my passions to graduate school, where skills and stamina were honed. My work affords the possibility of continual renewal, as clients and projects are always unique and best building practices are constantly developing. Mentorship is also very important in architecture.

During my years of training in Boston, I was blessed with opportunities to grow and learn in environments that held the highest standards of excellence in both the professional work and the human interaction. Finally, since starting my practice in Miami in 2003, I have had the privilege to work with some wonderful clients who have brought forth inspiring sites and projects. The journey has certainly involved hard work, perseverance, resilience, clarity of vision and inspiration.

We’re always bombarded by how great it is to pursue your passion, etc – but we’ve spoken with enough people to know that it’s not always easy. Overall, would you say things have been easy for you?
I wonder if there is ever a smooth road. And if there is, I wonder if it would afford a worthy journey. The challenges that present themselves along the way are always opportunities to learn and to grow. This understanding eliminates fear and thrusts us forward. Architecture is a highly complex field that involves collaboration with numerous skilled consultants. The process involves fusing the realms of art, technology, place and human psychology. It is clad with a calling of service to our clients, as well as our environment. Moreover, it is highly regulated by building codes, zoning ordinances, as well as neighborhood politics. Not to mention challenging site conditions, or finding the right craftsmen to execute the vision. The road may not be smooth, but as we explore possibilities, engage in a collaborative process and resolve hurdles that present themselves along the way, we somehow clear a path moving forward.

So, as you know, we’re impressed with KZ Architecture – tell our readers more, for example what you’re most proud of as a company and what sets you apart from others.
We are a full-service architecture firm. We specialize in projects that enhance life through aesthetics and set high design and sustainable standards for all our projects. We approach our work with the calling of service and a humanistic perspective that good design has the potential to enhance the quality of life in any setting. While our professional knowledge is complemented by constant research and openness to new ideas, our work is consistently rooted in basic practices. These include a commitment to sustainability, a focus on craft, materials and constructability, and an emphasis on process and collaboration.

Identifying strategies to build sustainably is one of our main priorities, as buildings are best when they are in harmony and supportive of our environment. One of our projects, the West Broadview Residence in Bay Harbor Islands, was the first home to get LEED certification in Dade county in 2008. We identify building strategies that are most suited for a sub-tropical setting and pay close attention to context. We pride ourselves in manifesting buildings that grace their surroundings and contribute to the beauty intrinsic in South Florida landscapes. We offer partnership with anyone who has the vision for a project that is life-enhancing. The practice of architecture and the spaces that we create through it have the potential to enhance our sense of well-being, as they imbue our lives with peace, harmony and beauty. As architects, we embark on projects that require left and right brain skills, creative–yet focused, intuitive– yet rational. We celebrate putting our skills to the service of our clients and welcome opportunities to manifest dreams in built form.

So, what’s next? Any big plans?
Looking towards the future, we are excited about designing a couple of potential sustainable resorts in my native Costa Rica. This will provide fertile ground for testing sustainable strategies in a different setting and further explore a complete integration of indoor and outdoor spaces. I am also excited about continuing to collaborate with artists for installations that are integral to the architecture. In addition, I am interested in expanding the constituency that I serve with my skill. The luxury market is a great fertile ground for exploration but design should be accessible to all. We have recently designed a school in a small town in Liberia, Africa and are looking forward to seeing it materialize. Finally, as a woman architect, I am interested not so much in achieving equity in a male-dominated profession, but exploring ways in which feminine energy can enhance what is already a creative and collaborative field.

Contact Info:

  • Address: KZ architecture, Inc.
    3470 East Coast Avenue
    Suite H-201
    Miami, FL 33137
  • Website:
  • Phone: 305-865-9911
  • Email:
  • Instagram: KZ_architecture
  • Facebook: KZ Architecture

Image Credit:
Robin Hill

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