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
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.
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).
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
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
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.