The Team

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Principal Architect

Bachelor of Architecture with a minor in Business,
Master of Architecture,
Tulane University, 2007

Stephen J. Ortego, AIA

Stephen oversees projects from their schematic design phase to construction administration and close out. His specialties include historic preservation and adaptive reuse projects, new contemporary designs for office buildings and mixed-use buildings, and master planning for neighborhoods and townhouse typologies.

Stephen is a graduate of the Tulane School of Architecture. While at Tulane, Stephen spent time in Central America where he studied tropical architecture in Guatemala and Belize through Tulane’s study abroad program and built his thesis five times on the coast of Honduras.

From 2012 to 2017, Stephen served as a member of the Louisiana House of Representatives. While a legislator, he served on the Commerce, Natural Resources and Municipal committees. He also focused on French Immersion education, environmentally friendly initiatives, and healthcare. Notable to the practice of architecture, he co-authored and led the bill that adopted the new Louisiana plumbing code for buildings (IPC).

Stephen is an active board member of the US Green Building Council, Louisiana Chapter and is a LEED accredited professional. He has overseen the design and construction of several LEED certified houses and previously worked in construction administration in 2007 for Make it Right in the Lower Ninth ward of New Orleans following hurricane Katrina.

More recently Stephen has led the charge to create a French Immersion Charter school in St. Landry Parish and has overseen the team to develop the construction documents, code research and schematic design for the rehabilitation of a historic school building in Sunset, Louisiana, adapting the building to new codes and modern teaching methodologies.

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Emerging Professional in Architecture

Bachelor of Architecture,
Master of Architecture,
University of Louisiana at Lafayette, 2016

Nouf AlBalushi

Nouf AlBalushi joined SO Studio in January 2017. Originally hailing from Oman, Nouf moved to Lafayette to attend the University of Louisiana at Lafayette where she graduated with a Masters of Architecture in 2016.

While at UL, Nouf was awarded the Alumni Award for her Bachelor’s final project. She also took part of the study abroad program in Paris, focused on architecture history and urban design.

Nouf’s professional experience includes new construction design and coordination of construction documents for office buildings. Her experience in detail drawings, building sections and renderings gives clients an encompassing visualization of the firm’s design concept.  Her experience also involves construction drawings for the rehabilitation of a historic elementary school, modernizing and updating for new codes and teaching methods.

Nouf serves as a member of the faculty at UL Lafayette as an adjunct professor, teaching first and second year architecture studio classes. She is currently working towards her architecture license as an emerging professional through the NCARB IDP program.

Nouf has a large orange cat named Dexter.

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Emerging Professional in Interior Designer

Bachelor of Interior Design,
University of Louisiana at Lafayette, 2016

André  J. Carr

André J. Carr joined SO Studio in January 2017. He holds a Bachelors of Interior Design from the University of Louisiana at Lafayette. André acted as designer for a home builder supplier for four years before joining the firm.

While at UL, André was awarded the Design Excellence award in 2014 and also participated in the UL School of Architecture and Design’s study abroad program in Paris, concentrating on history and interior design concepts. Before joining the Interior Design program at UL, André studied two years of Landscape Architecture at LSU at Eunice.

André has a well-trained eye for space planning, life-safety codes, and construction drawings. His professional experiences include leading the design for restroom remodels of multiple office buildings, millwork design, knowledge in furniture specifications and layouts as well as coordination of lighting design with engineering consultants. André is currently an emerging professional working towards his Louisiana Interior Design license through NCIDQ.

In his spare time André likes gardening and collecting antiques.