Member Spotlight: Dennis Galindo, AIA | AIA Atlanta
Member Spotlight

Dennis Galindo, AIA

April 4, 2023

I was born in Honduras, Central America. When I was two years old, my family migrated to the U.S. in search of a better life and the “American Dream”. I grew up in New Orleans, where the mix of Latin and Creole culture was ingrained in me from an early age. These cultural influences helped to form, mold, and inspire me – everything from music, art and especially my palate.

When people asked me, “What do you want to be when you grow up?” I answered, “Architect.” I didn’t exactly know what an architect was or did, but I knew I had a passion for drawing and sketching, especially buildings. A few months after graduating from Tulane University School of Architecture, I moved to Atlanta to start my career at Rabun Hatch & Associates. I was very fortunate that my first project was what is currently the Four Seasons on 14th Street, a large mixed-use high-rise project. I worked on this project from schematic design through substantial completion. The exposure of all the architectural phases solidified the foundation of my practical experience.

The Mix / Photo: Brian Gassel Photography

Ultimately, my career path turned towards multifamily. Today, I am Principal and Director of Planning at Preston, where I have been for over 25 years. In my daily practice, I focus mostly on density/viability studies and unit design for multi-family and mixed-use projects ranging from garden style, gurban, mid-density and high-rise. My work requires a strong understanding of the client’s needs and expectations, and quick assessment of sites from 30,000 feet to inform the team of the project’s position. I truly love what I do, which makes it easy to come to work every morning. I feel fortunate to have worked on several projects that have helped form Atlanta’s iconic skyline.

In my free time, I love tinkering with my home and always have some sort of project going on. I also love traveling abroad. Travel experiences inadvertently affect the way you see the world, and then those influences are reflected in your daily life, including your work.

Post Midtown / Photo: Brian Gassel Photography

What was a piece of advice that has stuck with you?

As a project architect, I once drafted a letter to a code official on a project in a very formal and reverent manner. A more experienced architect advised me to reformat the letter as a peer. Stating that “Code Officials are professional peers and civil stewards.” The one caveat to this approach was that I needed to understand the zoning codes, building codes, and fire codes, as thoroughly as the code official. When you demonstrate your knowledge of the codes then the officials respect you, and a peer relationship can develop. This type of relationship has allowed me to work with officials to solve design issues on projects. There is always a way to interpret and bend the rules.