John Margolis was born in Boston, Massachusetts into an academic family full of intellectual and artistic diversity. He received his Bachelors Degree with a Major in Architecture from Washington University in St. Louis, and later his Masters of Architecture from the University of California, Berkeley in 1986. He pursued his lifelong passion for architecture and urban design during his tenure at numerous prestigious firms including Skidmore Owings & Merrill and Shepley Bulfinch. But his primary interest has always been residential architecture and particularly the design of the built form and the surrounding landscape as a seamless unity. This prompted his Masters thesis planning and design study: The Villa and the Garden - Suburbia Reexamined at the Carolands Mansion in Hillsborough, California.

John joined Evens Architecture, a KAA Design Company in 2014 after maintaining his own practice Margolis, Incorporated for over twenty years on the affluent Gold Coast north of Boston. There he designed many varied residential designs - predominantly in the traditional vernacular, typical of the grand estates built over a century earlier. His passion for classical and traditional architecture led him to the Institute of Classical Architecture & Art (ICAA) where he served as New England Chapter President for five consecutive years. John is a member if the American Institute of Architects (AIA) and is licensed in Massachusetts. His projects have been published in periodicals both domestically and in Europe.

Aside from his professional pursuits, John continues to serve on numerous boards including the National Council for Architecture, and the New England Regional Cabinet, both at Washington University, St. Louis. For 10 years, John served on the Board of Agassiz Village in Poland, Maine, a camp founded by his ancestor Maximilian Agassiz, which continues to provide camping experiences for underprivileged inner-city children and children with physical challenges. For five years, Margolis also served on the board of Trustees at the Montserrat College of Art in Beverly, Massachusetts.

John is an avid watercolor painter, gardener, foodie and tennis player. Moving to KAA Design Group in Southern California has offered new opportunities for interpreting traditional approaches in a new and unique way. John enjoys sketching and creating environments for timeless and harmonious living.

About Us

Our design philosophy is predicated on deep, meaningful connections between the house and the land. Southern California is blessed with a nurturing environment that provides extraordinary opportunities for true indoor-outdoor living. The homes we design fulfill that promise with beauty and joy.


Our Thinking

The Mediterranean in Southern California

Architecture inspired by great traditions of the Mediterranean region has a long, rich history in California. The fruits of this long lineage flavor the character of our cities and dot the surrounding hillsides. At KAA Design, we have often found the Mediterranean architectures to be a perfect fit for our clients wishing to build here.

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