Staff Spotlight: Housing Specialist Michelle Pribyl

portrait of a woman, Michelle Pribyl

Michelle Pribyl is a senior architect in LHB’s Minneapolis office and is a leader in the firm’s housing studio. Here, she talks about her background and interests.

What attracted you to architecture? 
Growing up, I enjoyed going to art museums and wanted to inhabit the cool metal sculptures and touch the highly textured paint, so was frustrated by all the “Don’t touch” signs. In a humanities class in high school my eyes were opened to the field of architecture, where we are invited to touch and inhabit beautiful objects and spaces. I wanted to be part of creating wonderful, inspiring spaces for people to occupy.  

Name a favorite project and tell us about it. 

I feel lucky to work in the housing studio, where so much of our work has a social impact. So it’s hard to pick a favorite. But some projects are just satisfying on multiple levels. Marshall Flats, the fourth building we designed for Clare Housing, an organization that provides services and housing for people living with HIV/AIDS, is one such building. Not only does it supply much-needed affordable housing but provided us the opportunity to try new design ideas and explore interesting detailing opportunities while working with a great client that supported our efforts.

Outside of work, what are you currently excited about? 
Our family moved a few years ago and I have ambitions of reshaping our suburban backyard lawn into a more interesting and environmentally responsible space. We are working on taking out much of the grass and planting serviceberry, wild ginger, pagoda dogwood, and other native woodland species. 

What is something about you that would surprise someone?  

A few years ago, I joined the planning commission in my city, and I’ve found it rewarding. At the time, I was the only architect, and I think it has helped the group to have a designer’s perspective. I’d encourage other architects to get involved in community organizations.  

Why is LHB a good fit for you? 

I’m passionate about housing, social impact, and environmental issues. We are doing great work at LHB, and I’m grateful to work with other professionals who are focused on pushing the envelope of regenerative design. I think we can stretch ourselves to do even better. 

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