Abode Communities|Architecture Expands Leadership

Pooja Bhagat
Associate Principal

Pooja Bhagat is associate principal responsible for leading the teams’ design effort on several affordable housing and mixed-use projects. With more than 18 years of experience in award winning mixed-use, multifamily, urban design, and master planning projects, Bhagat’s design philosophy is rooted in implementing environmental strategies while incorporating social, cultural, and economic diversity in the built environment. Bhagat states that “Abode Communities offers a unique platform that shapes and brings community together. It is about changing people’s lives for a better future.”

Prior to joining Abode Communities, Bhagat served as City Architect for the City of Santa Monica and was Senior Associate at Moore Ruble Yudell Architects and Planners for 14 years.

She is a licensed architect in the State of California (C-33252); she is the founding chair of the Women in Architecture Committee of the American Institute of Architects, Los Angeles Chapter (AIA LA); and has co-organized AIA LA’s 2016-2017 POWERFUL conference. Currently serving on the board of AIA LA., Bhagat received a bachelor degree in architecture degree from Sushant School of Art and Architecture in New Delhi, India. She received a master degree in architecture from Southern California Institute of Architecture in California.

Paola Vezzulli
Project Director

Paola Vezzulli is a project director, responsible for coordinating and overseeing affordable housing and mixed-use projects at different stages from design to execution. She brings with her over 20 years of design and project management excellence. Her passion and expertise in all aspects of project feasibility and 3D digital design and fabrication will advance the integration of technology throughout the architectural studio. Vezzulli shared, “Abode Communities’ mission-driven business model really inspires me. I feel empowered and honored to uplift peoples’ lives and transform communities through design and multi-disciplinary innovation.”

Prior to joining Abode Communities, Vezzulli worked on high profile global projects at renowned firms including Neil Denari Architects, Frank Gehry Partners, and Aedas LA. She is an avid researcher for innovative design solutions. In 2018, her co-directed project, the Alpha Habitat, was selected among the top 10 projects by NASA Centennial Challenge for the 3-D Printed Habitat Challenge category. She has taught architecture, interior architecture, and digital fabrication at Woodbury University and CalPoly Pomona.

She has a master in architecture from Universita’ Degli Studi di Firenze in Italy. She received a post-master of architecture degree from Southern California Institute of Architecture, Los Angeles.