Professional headshot of John Anthal

John Anthal

Aviation Practice Director, Director of Millburn Office

When did you know you wanted to be an architect/designer?

When I was six or seven, my sister and I would wake up and sneak downstairs on Saturday mornings. We would completely disassemble our sectional couch and build elaborate forts out of blankets and pillows. I remember laying on my back looking up and being mesmerized by the way the light filtered through the loops in a crocheted blanket. I guess I knew even then that I loved planning and designing spaces.

What’s the biggest highlight of your career?

My favorite project so far would probably be the American Airlines Flagship Lounge at JFK International Airport. It was a very challenging project that taught me a lot. Working closely with the contractor gave me a fresh perspective on how things get built.

What’s the best thing about working at Mancini Duffy?

The attitude toward personal growth. Mancini Duffy knows that architecture can be many things to many people. They encourage everyone to find out what interests them about our profession, even if it isn’t directly related, and pursue it. For me it was aviation. I expressed an interest and Mancini Duffy provided the resources. Now we have a burgeoning aviation department.

What is something you collect?

Books. Lots of books. I like to keep everything that I read. I look at my bookshelves as a personal curated history of things that interested me. I can look at the shelves, see a book and immediately know what my life was like while I was reading it.

What’s one accomplishment you’re most proud of?

Marrying my wife. (She made me write that!) Honestly though, I would have to say my family. Being a husband and father is something that I really love. Nothing makes me happier than being able to experience life with them. Each day they encourage me, challenge me, and help shape my perception in ways I never would have thought. They are my greatest accomplishment because they help me be better every day.

Any other interesting fact about you?

I am a compulsive list-maker. I start my day by making a list of the things I need to do that day. It goes way beyond just helping me be organized. I do this with everything I want to learn about or that I’m interested in. I decided to learn about classical music so I made an Excel spreadsheet to track each piece that I listened to. Each entry had the title, composer, nationality of the composer, and year. I then wrote a one-sentence reaction to each piece. At the end, I was able to track trends in what I enjoyed and why. For the record, my favorite is French Impressionism from 1890 to 1930.


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