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Staff Biographies

Mark Joel Schmidt, AIA

Principal Architect, Knapp Schmidt Architects LLC

Mark Schmidt was born, raised, and educated in Wisconsin. Growing up in a rural home, Mark’s family had all the typical household pets, as well as all the animals common to Wisconsin dairy farms, both domestic and wild. As a teenager Mark was an active 4H member participating in equine competitions and woodworking.

Having attended the University of Wisconsin Madison campus, and graduating from the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee School of Architecture, Mark and his family constructed a passive solar residence south of Madison. Mark’s wife Ann, and daughters Claire and Laurel, have all helped in the Mark’s architectural businesses and a seemingly endless series of home construction projects.

For twenty-six years, Mark had an active professional career in southern Wisconsin working with a number of large and small architectural firms, as well as self-employment with commercial and residential design projects. Hands-on construction projects included new and renovated houses.

In 1986 Mark met E John Knapp, AIA, and was introduced to the “niche” market of veterinary and animal care building design. Mark and John worked together until 1996 when John Knapp sold the company to new owners, one of whom was Mark. One noteworthy project, among others, was the Animal Medical Center in Charlotte, NC, which won the 1994 Veterinary Economics Hospital of the Year award. By 2002, Mark had assumed sole ownership of Knapp Schmidt Architects.

As the principal architect and lead designer at KSA, Mark Schmidt has provided senior management of the design and construction of hundreds of animal care facilities throughout the United States, as well as several in other countries. These projects included new buildings, renovated buildings, and tenant space improvements for animal care projects including companion animal hospitals, large animal hospitals, animal control facilities, adoption shelters, pet resorts and luxury boarding kennels.

Mark says "The part of the business I like the best is helping owners solve their building problems and needs. I love to travel, and with Knapp Schmidt Architects' projects located around the entire country, it is exciting to visit new cities and towns and gain appreciation for other peoples’ perspective of their own locations.”

Mark currently maintains architecture licenses in many states, as well as holding a certificate from NCARB (National Council of Architectural Registration Boards), which allows him to seek architectural registration in any state or province in the United States and Canada. Mark is also a member of the American Institute of Architects (AIA).


Mark and his dog, Ruby, cross-country skiing in January in Wisconsin, in front of his passive solar hillside home.

Mark has hosted numerous hospital design seminars. His topics have included kennel design, large and small animal hospitals, animal care facility mechanical systems, noise and odor control, and the use of appropriate materials for animal care facilities. Mark has also contributed veterinary design articles to magazines and books.

Recently Mark has moved the company from Madison to Wautoma, from city to small town. With a slower pace and smaller workforce, Knapp Schmidt Architects will be continuing to provide animal care design to building owners.

Mark hard at work in his office at Knapp Schmidt Architects.

Mark canoeing at his home in central Wisconsin, with his new dog, Amber, adopted after her previous owner's death. One of Mark's three cats lounges on the pier.


A new venture is Mark’s concept for factory-built modular animal hospitals for special project conditions through American Veterinary Building Systems.

When not working on animal care facility projects, Mark enjoys outdoor activities including camping, hiking, skiing, and canoeing, sometimes on the lake adjacent to his home. Mark contributes time to the local lake owners association. The current family household has an adopted white German Shepherd, and a manageable number of three cats.