Taal Safdie was born in Montreal, Canada and began her career in 1986 after gaining her Master’s degree in Architecture from the University of Pennsylvania where she met her husband and partner, Ricardo Rabines. Upon graduation, they moved to New York City where Taal worked for Pei Cobb Freed & Partners and Kohn Pederson Fox Architects.
In 1990, Taal and Ricardo relocated to San Diego where they founded their practice, Safdie Rabines Architects. Beginning with a strong emphasis in single-family residential projects, their work has grown to include a diverse residential typology that today includes mixed-use/multi-family communities, affordable, and student housing. While housing is still a vital part of the firm’s portfolio, Safdie Rabines Architects now has a diverse range of projects which include master planning, civic, commercial, institutional, and infrastructure projects.
Some of the firm’s notable projects include the world-renowned Scripps Institute of Oceanography’s oceanfront conference center at the gateway to the lower UC San Diego campus, the Baldwin Hills Scenic Overlook with commanding views over downtown Los Angeles, the UC San Diego North Torrey Pines Living and Learning Neighborhood–a fully-integrated community for student life and academic learning, and the UCLA Court of Sciences Student Center which sits at the heart of the science quad.
While the firm is based in San Diego, they continue to expand into other regions across the US, including a mixed-use development for the Walton Family Foundation in Bentonville, Arkansas, a live-work community in Southwestern Las Vegas, as well as a wide range of infrastructure projects both domestically and internationally.
Today, the firm has grown to include a staff of 40 architects, designers, interior designers, and support staff. Taal, working closely with Ricardo, remains involved in the design of every project which sets the tone for the creative design direction for the firm’s body of work.