Building in New York City is a multi-billion dollar business. In a city where even a rental can fetch hundreds of thousands of dollars per month, architects have a huge responsibility to bring value and style to every house they design. Whether a project involves designing a penthouse in the clouds, reviving a historic brownstone, or outfitting a downtown loft, residential architects must deliver forward-thinking plans and elevated designs.
Many lifestyle and home experts often point to the Hamptons as having one of the best collections of exquisite houses and estates in the world, while also doubling as a leading summer destination for wealthy homeowners. That’s why there’s such demand for the best Residential Architects and Designers in the Hamptons to create amazing properties. The string of communities in the Hamptons became known as gleaming pedestals for leading architects to exhibit their design aesthetics. Though the hamlets in Hamptons are known for their ‘Old World’, shingle style houses, contemporary homes sporting sharper, more distinct aesthetics have been built in the area in recent years.
Architects, professionally, carry responsibilities that have serious ramifications: not only are they concerned with the design and the surroundings of their subject site, but also the safety of those who will construct the building, and of those who live in it. The best architects understand the aesthetics and functionality of a structure, and how it will affect its occupants’ lifestyles.
This list includes both licensed architects and residential designers who can design stunning homes but differ in other services offered. Architects are trained in design, engineering, and project management and have passed a licensing exam. Residential designers typically don’t manage projects and plans will need to be approved by a structural engineer. Whether you choose to hire an architect or a residential designer will depend on your project needs and complexity.
Top Residential Architects
Bruce Nagel + Partners Architects
69 Main Street, Westhampton Beach, NY 11978
About Bruce Nagel + Partners Architects
Since 1984, Bruce Nagel, AIA, RIBA, has been designing for the Hamptons. The University of Texas at Austin Architecture alumnus began his career in New York soon after earning his master’s degree from the Harvard University Graduate School of Design. The firm has since designed private residences, offices, churches, hotels, and restaurants, earning multiple honors from the AIA New York and Long Island Chapters, as well as Dan’s Papers’ Hall of Fame Award in 2014 and the International Association of Top Professionals (IAOTP) Top Architect of the Year in 2019. In 2018, Bruce Nagel + Partners Architects (BN+PA) started a partnership with David Walker, AIA, NCARB, who has been Nagel’s trusted associate since 1999. Walker brings over 25 years of experience designing prestigious private residences as well as luxury retail spaces for clients such as Neiman Marcus and Macy’s to leading the Chicago office, while Nagel remains the managing partner and head of the New York operations.
This Greco-Roman temple-like estate overlooking the Atlantic conceals an older structure at its core. The client wanted to update and expand the home for his family yet keep it intact, against the architects’ first instincts. This was what inspired BN+PA to create the enclosing frame. White stucco-clad columns and trellises extend from the core, creating viewing porches around the structure. The white walls and blend of curvatures and flat planes continue in the interior, accentuated by colorful furniture and art pieces hanging alongside the views framed by the windows.
180 Varick Street #930, New York, NY 10014
About Cass Calder Smith Architecture + Interiors
Cass Calder Smith Architecture + Interiors, founded in 1990, has already designed a number of public and private structures that are consistently met with praise. The firm maintains offices in both San Francisco and New York City, and typically works with commercial, community, and residential projects.
Cass Calder Smith, founder of the firm, received both his Bachelor’s Degree and Master’s Degree from the University of California, Berkeley. Smith is also a lecturer at UC Berkeley and a Trustee of the Board for the Djerassi Resident Artist Program. Though he is today a modernist who designs with bold imagery, Smith’s earlier influences were that of Greenwich Village and California artisans.
Cass Calder Smith Architecture + Interiors has been featured in Dering Hall, Silicon Valley, Objekt, Elle Decor, Beach Architecture Issue, Luxe, New York Spaces, Interior Design, Interior Design, and Elle Sojourn.
2913 Montauk Highway, Box 405, Sagaponack, NY 11962
About Martin Architects
Martin Architects provides full architectural design service for their clients, including interior design, engineering design, master planning, and house and site evaluation. The firm has been designing high end, residential homes in the Hamptons, the New York City area, Connecticut, New Jersey, Baltimore, and even beyond the United States, in Costa Rica, Portugal, and the Caribbean.
The firm, founded by Nick Martin in 1998, provides project proposals tailored to individual clients and conditions, while also considering the aesthetic and technical requirements of the project.
In addition, the firm includes sustainable building practices in their projects, including energy efficient systems and the use of recycled materials. Martin Architects is a member of the US Green Building Council.
Steven Harris Architects
50 Warren Street, New York, NY 10007
About Steven Harris Architects
Steven Harris Architects’ portfolio boasts an impressive collection of projects ranging from townhouses to private residences, and has also been involved in both public and private commissions. Steven Harris Architects sees to it that the design process is specifically tailored to match each client – making for a design with a personalized touch.
The firm’s founding partner, Steven Harris, received his education at New College, Rhode Island School of Design, and Princeton University. The firm’s two other partners, John Woell and Elliot Lee, joined in 1995. Since the firm’s establishment in 1985, Steven Harris Architects has received numerous American Institute of Architects awards.
Steven Harris Architects has been featured in publications including Stone Houses, Galerie, Luxe, Architectural Digest, Esquire, Ocean, Veranda, Elle Decor, Interior Design, The Wall Street Journal, Vanity Fair, and Elle Decor
860 Broadway At Union Square, New York, NY 10003
About Selldorf Architects
Selldorf Architects, founded by Annabelle Selldorf in 1988, is a boutique architectural firm focusing on the individual experience. The firm’s residential works – spread out across the in the Hamptons and areas in New York City, predominantly evoke modernity with a touch of humanism.
Selldorf was born and raised in Germany, and nd earned her Masters of Architecture degree from Syracuse University in Italy. Selldorf is a fellow of the American Institute of Architecture, and a recipient of its 2016 Medal of Honor.
Selldorf Architects offers architectural services, interior design, exhibition design, master planning, landscape concepts, and strategic planning for residential and commercial buildings.The firm’s projects have been featured in Financial Times, Architectural Digest, Upstate Diary, The London Times, Abitare, Town and Country, The New York Times, and The Wall Street Journal.
235 Park Avenue South, 11th Floor,New York, Ny 10003
About Sawyer Berson
New York City-based Sawyer Berson specializes in interdisciplinary work relating to architectural design, landscape, and interior design.
Sawyer Berson is adept in working with various architectural styles – both be traditional and contemporary – while also seeking to create new and unique styles. Before designing, the firm approaches their designs with intensive research in related elements such us the project’s contextual, technical, and historical contexts.
Brian Sawyer and John Berson, who co-founded the firm in 1999, are both highly-experienced. Berson has been practicing architecture for more than 30 years, while Sawyer specializes in landscape architecture. The firm has designed exceptional houses in both the Hamptons, and in New York City.
Sawyer Berson has been featured in Galerie, Architectural Digest, Elle Decor, Vogue, New York Design, Luxe, Wall Street Journal, Garden Design, Landscape Architecture, and The Hamptons. The firm is currently working on two notable residential projects located in Watermill and Southampton.
219 Pantigo Road, East Hampton, NY
About Z|O|H Architects
Z|O|H Architects is steeped in the Hamptons’ architectural history, and as such, specializes in designing shingle homes that reflect the quintessential Hamptons look.
The firm, established in 1988, offers clients end-to-end service management from ‘concept to occupancy’, which includes floor plans, design and development, construction documents, bidding, negotiating, and construction oversight.
The firm, led by Gregory W. Zwirko, Robert W. Ortmann, and Michele S. Hugo, approaches architecture with an atelier, or ‘design studio’ ,in which working together and making connections both contribute to the design process. The firm advocates fluid collaboration between clients and the design team to produce unique works.
The firm’s work have been featured in Luxe Magazine, East Hampton Star Newspaper, Dream Homes, The New York Times, New York Newsday, and House Magazine. In addition, the firm has received the AIA Peconic Chapter Honor Design Award for their Amagansett Free Library Project.
7 Newtown Lane, East Hampton, NY 11937
About MB Architects
By working in the city and in rural areas, MB Architects is able to focus on the relationship between human settlement and nature – as seen widely in their works. MB Architects, led by Maziar Behrooz, has built various types of structures, from multi-residential, cultural, and commercial, to private residences. The firm builds in the Hamptons, as well as in other countries as far reaching as Germany, Austria, Kenya, and China.
Notably, the firm is committed to building sustainable houses in a way that the design itself is incorporated into – or part of-the environment. MB Architects seeks to aim for maximization of natural habitats.
The firm has won House of the Year for their innovative Arc House, as well as several AIA Peconic Honor Awards in different categories, including merit and juror categories.In addition, the firm’s work has been featured in publications including Pulse, End Magazine, The East Hampton Star, NY Post, The New York Times, CNN Money, HC&G, and Hyland Magazine.
Fleetwood McMullan Architects
251 Pantigo Road, East Hampton, NY 11937
About Fleetwood McMullan Architects
Fleetwood McMullan Architects designs houses that exude the aesthetic of the classic, shingle Hamptons style. The firm, headed by Francis Fleetwood and James McMullan, has been at work for more than 30 years.
The firm approaches architecture with ‘balance’ – reinterpreting the past, but building accordingly to modern standards. The firm doesn’t call its work modern nor historical, but ‘contextually based’ on their client. Ultimately, the firm strives to bring the best representation of their clients to their designs, with the community and environment in mind.
Fleetwood McMullan’s designs are built in the areas of Southampton, Bridgehampton, Sagaponack, Amagansett, and Montauk. They have been featured in publications such as Naomi Leff Interior Design, The Art of a Working Building, Bathrooms, Gardens for the New Country Place, and Home Styling.
Bates Masi + Architects
132 North Main Street, 2nd Floor, East Hampton, NY 11937
About Bates Masi + Architects
Bates Masi + Architects is an award-winning architectural firm based in the Hamptons. The firm, steered by its leaders Paul Masi and Harry Bates, focuses on designing projects that enrich the lives of their clients, while maintaining sensitivity to the environment, no matter the project size.
Bates Masi has been providing services for over 50 years, and has specializes in a variety of building projects, including residences, schools, offices, and restaurants. The firm’s approach includes in-depth research of material, craft and environment.
Bates Masi has received over a hundred and fifty recognitions for their work, including the HC&G Innovator of the Year, Wm. S. Marvin Hall of Fame, Ocean Home Top 50 Coastal Architects, Cooper-Hewitt Design Award Nominations, 2018 East End Design Awards, and Luxe RED Design Award, as well as several AIA awards, .
In addition, the firm has been featured in Architectural Record, Dwell, Interior Design, Elle Decor, The New York Times, HC&G, and Coastal Living.
Pamela Glazer Architect
54 Eastway Drive, Southampton, NY 11968
About Pamela Glazer Architect
Pamela Glazer Architect aims to simplify home design – while considering a number of factors including the client’s overall daily routine, and the surroundings of the site. The result is a carefully constructed, personalized architectural design suited to each client.
Pamela Glazer, the founder of the firm, routinely uses clean designs, light, air, and bold colors in designing for her clients’ needs. The firm offers an array of services including architectural designs, home extensions, remodels, and new house design, as well as sustainable building practices.. Pamela Glazer handles all the necessary building permits, and is also involved in finding the right general contractor for the project. Pamela Glazer herself is LEED Certified.
The firm is currently building in the areas of Bridgehampton, Hampton Bays, Watermill, Montauk, Sagaponack, and Sag Harbor, among others. The firm has been featured in Beach, The New York Times, Curbed Hamptons, Dan’s Papers, Hamptons magazine, Long Island Pulse Magazine, and The East Hampton Star.
Stelle Lomont Rouhani Architects
48 Foster Avenue, PO Box 3002, Bridgehampton, NY 11932
About Stelle Lomont Rouhani Architects
With over 40 year of experience in coastal and residential architecture as well as interior design services, SLR Architects are best known for their sensitive and seemingly effortless work, always catering to the individual or groups as a collaborative effort. Founded by Frederick Stelle, and later joined by partners Michael Lomont and Viola Rouhani, the firm strives to make the process of designing a house enjoyable for clients. The firm approaches architecture collaboratively, with the promise that every project is client-centered.
Stelle Lomont Rouhani caters to high profile clients, offering architectural design, drawings, floor plans, home additions, project management, and energy-efficient amenities. The firm builds primarily on the East End, but also in all the places that is mentioned under international recognition. They have built in central Europe, Florida, the Carribean, and the Mediterranean.
With the landscape and context serving as the primary inspiration, each project is designed to uniquely respond to its surroundings and owner needs. This philosophy has won the award winning firm both local and international recognition from Coastal Long Island, the Caribbean, Europe and the Mediterranean. The firm builds in the areas of Amagansett, Bridgehampton, East Hampton, East Hampton North, New Suffolk, North Haven, Southampton, Wainscott, and Watermill.
The firm has been recognized as a finalist for the East End Design Awards, included in the Ocean Home 50: Top Coastal Architects of 2017, and has received numerous design awards on the East End, Long Island, and New York City. In addition, the firm has been featured in publications such as The Independent, The Real Deal, Ocean Home Magazine, Residential Design, Hamptons Magazine, Luxe, the East Hampton Star, New York Times and the Guardian.
137 Varick Street, 5th Floor, New York, NY 10013
About Alexander Gorlin
For the past 30 years, Alexander Gorlin Architects has been consistently excelling in the design of high end properties – both residential, commercial, as well as other building types. A prolific and highly-cited architect, founder Alexander Gorlin begun designing in Manhattan after returning from Rome where he won a Rome Prize in Architecture.
Gorlin is adept in applying modernist principles in his design projects, and often uses natural materials and light for the comfort of his clients. Gorlin is a graduate of the Cooper Union School of Architecture, and received his Master of Architecture from the Yale School of Architecture. is work has appeared in The Wall Street Journal and the New York Times.
Gorlin is well known for designing luxury homes for high profile clients located in New York, Florida, and beyond. His work has been featured in essays which appeared in publication including the Architectural Record, Architectural Digest, and Metropolis. To date, Gorlin has won numerous American Institute of Architects awards, and was honored to become one of its Fellows.
Blaze Makoid Architecture
7 Tradesman Path, Suite 4, Bridgehampton, NY 11932
About Blaze Makoid Architecture
Blaze Makoid Architecture, as shown in its portfolio, brings to life modern architecture and modern life. The firm specializes in designing luxury residential houses located in in-demand locations for high profile clients. Blaze Makoid founded the firm in 2001, 15 years after graduating from Rhode Island School of Design in 1985.
Blaze Makoid Architecture boasts a line of modern and functional creations – often making use of the site’s natural surroundings to enhance the structure’s features and make it seamlessly blend.
Unsurprisingly, the firm has received numerous awards pertaining to its superb work,
including the Mountain Home Award, Honor Award for Outstanding Achievement in the Architecture Category by the Peconic Chapter of the American Institute of Architects, Archi Award Commendation for Outstanding Achievement in the residential Single Family,and a citation from the New York Chapter of American Institute of Architects Design Awards.
The firm’s work has been prominently featured in the The New York Times, Contemporist, Architecture Digest, Dering Hall, Luxe, Interior Design, and Elle Decor.
Barnes Coy Architecture
1936 Montauk Highway, Bridgehampton, NY 11932
About Barnes Coy Architecture
Barnes Coy Architects is a prolific designer responsible for some 250 well-designed projects in the Hamptons, Colorado, Central American, and the Caribbean. Its founders, Robert Barnes and Christopher Coy, made it a point to simplify the firm’s design philosophy: Interaction with the client produces the best design possible.
Barnes and Coy assure clients that they are always personally involved in every project to make sure that the requirements are fully executed. The firm also maintains a strong on-site presence during the construction phase.
The firm has received several recognitions for its work, including being named as one of the Top 50 Coastal Architects by Ocean Home Magazine, and having received the HC&G Innovation in Design Award in 2011, 2012, and 2013, as well as two International Property Awards. In addition, the firm has been featured in publications such as American House, Luxe, Beach, Hamptons, Purist, and the Luxury of Home.
Bruce Nagel and Partners Architects
153 Chardonnay Drive East Quogue, New York, 11942
About Bruce Nagel and Partners Architects
Bruce Nagel and Partners Architects has been designing highly-acclaimed houses in the Hamptons for 34 years. Its founder, Bruce D. Nagel, has a rich history in architectural design. From having received his Master of Architecture degree from the Graduate School of Design at Harvard University, he went on to work on many celebrated projects, became a lecturer in Boston Architectural Center, and a guest critic in several architecture design schools.
For the firm, client satisfaction takes precedence. No matter the size and location of a project, it strives to have well-satisfied clients who enjoy their homes. The firm’s residential projects include country houses, beach houses, and townhouse renovations, among others. The firm offers full-service house design, from site and amenities evaluation up to the general layout and selection of paints and other minute details. For their work, Bruce Nagel and Partner Architects has been featured in several publications such as Luxury of Home, Hamptons Magazine, Picture Elements Catalog, Behind the Hedges, Architectural Digest, and Dan’s Papers.
The modern office got its start in New York City in 1915, when a local insurance company transitioned to low-profile desks and open floor plans. One hundred years later, these office features are trending again. From Wall Street to Silicon Alley, New York City is a global business center for companies in all sectors and stages of development. New startups and Fortune 500 companies are taking advantage of the new construction and historical spaces the city has to offer, teaming with renowned architects to create workspaces that will push business forward.
The following are the top ten office architects in New York City. Our team evaluated numerous architects adept in working on offices throughout the city. In assessing these architects, we considered their certifications and accreditations, their professional affiliations, and the awards and press recognition they’ve accumulated over the years. We also took into account their years of experience and client satisfaction. With their extensive knowledge of and experience in the various facets of office architecture, the architects on this list create ideal spaces for industry leaders.
Architecture Research Office (ARO)
170 Varick St., 7th Floor, New York, NY 10013
ARO is an architecture firm in New York City led by acclaimed architects Stephen Cassell, Kim Yao, and Adam Yarinsky. Since 1993, the firm has earned a reputation for “architecture that unites beauty and form with strategy and intelligence.” The firm touts a diverse project portfolio that spans strategic planning, architecture, and urban design. ARO’s entire body of work is united by a principled and engaged approach to design, collaboration, and technical precision. Moreover, the team always aims to use the fewest natural and financial resources while maintaining aesthetic quality. This philosophy has earned the firm more than 100 design awards, including the American Institute of Architects (AIA) Architecture Firm Award, the AIA New York State Firm of the Year Award, and the Smithsonian Cooper-Hewitt National Design Award for Architecture.
Harry’s new 62,000-square-foot headquarters was designed to support the company’s expanding operations. The layout and arrangement of the new office space were based upon a planning strategy grounded on the company’s transparent, collaborative, and relaxed office culture—between the large open desk areas are common spaces that promote openness and engagement.
ARO organized Harry’s departments into three groups, each anchoring a corner of the triangular floor layout. Each space maximizes daylight and city views. Connected by an “attractor,” the corner spaces serve as dining, lounge, conference, and event spaces. These are distinguished by floor-to-ceiling wood panels and a blue color palette.
250 W 57th St., 17th Floor, New York, NY 10107
Dedicated to integrated, environmentally responsive architecture, COOKFOX Architects is a collaborative practice that primarily pursues innovative and sustainable designs. Founded in 2003 by Rick Cook and Bob Fox, the firm is now led by Cook and six partners, with the core mission of creating holistic and biophilic architecture that promotes client health and well-being. COOKFOX’s diverse portfolio encompasses work from small jewel projects to complex urban transformations, such as single-family and multifamily residential projects as well as institutional and commercial projects.
COOKFOX Architects designed 512 West 22nd Street to achieve Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) Gold certification and create an office environment connected with nature. Bordering the High Line and with views of the Hudson River, this Chelsea office building was inspired by its proximity to the green public space as well as biophilic design. In fact, the canopy of trees converges with the landscaped terraces cut into the building’s profile. At the same time, the building’s structure recalls the neighborhood’s historical infrastructure and the crisp, contemporary design that defines west Chelsea, touting industrial sash windows and a facade made of anthracite terracotta, zinc, and granite.
Desai Chia Architecture
115 W 27th St. Suite #901, New York, NY 10001
Established in 1996, Desai Chia Architecture provides bold and deliberate design solutions for institutions, organizations, and private clients throughout the U.S. and even abroad in Toronto, Bangalore, and the U.K. Founded by seasoned professionals Katherine Chia, FAIA (Fellow of the American Institute of Architects) and Arjun Desai, AIA, the practice has since established a reputation for creating authentic and inspiring designs. The firm’s projects have received several coveted accolades, such as the AIA Institute Honor Award and the AAP Architecture Prize Small Firm of the Year Award for Multi-disciplinary Architecture. Desai Chia Architecture’s work has also been exhibited at the Center for Architecture, the Chicago Architecture Biennial, the Istanbul Biennial, Salone del Mobile Milan, the Herman Miller showrooms in New York and L.A., and Parsons School of Design.
Desai Chia Architecture’s design for an international news organization, Quartz, accommodates the company’s rapidly growing office needs while preserving the quirky aspects of the company’s ethos, which it refers to as its “quartziness”. The practice anchored the main spine of the office with a series of Quartzy Spaces. This collection of break-out spaces serves as a buffer between the main entry and the work area. The undulating, wood-frame structure comprises a coffee bar, reception area, book lounge, and maker space. These spaces are creative meeting destinations that support the company’s culture and collaborative process.
The project won a handful of design awards, earning recognition from the AAP, NYCxDESIGN, Interior Design Magazine, the Society of American Registered Architects (SARA) NY, and the Architecture Podium International Architecture Awards, among others.
Design Republican Partners Architects
501 Madison Ave., 11th Floor, New York, NY 10022
The team at Design Republic Partners Architects has specialized in office, retail, and media design for more than two decades. In that time, the practice has worked with more than 200 clients, including ABC, Accenture, Barclays Capital, HBO, and Ferrari. When designing a workspace, Partners Neil Tucker, AIA, LEED AP and Barry Ludlow, AIA, LEED AP and Design Manager Inga Kruliene, LEED AP lead the team and the client through a series of discovery exercises to ensure that the resulting design reflects the character and goals of the company that will call it home. Business Insider, The Real Deal, and The New York Post have recognized the firm’s work.
Yelp is a $3 billion business that has changed how we use the internet. When it came time for new digs in New York, the company partnered with Design Republic Partners Architects to reflect Yelp’s spirit with an innovative design. Yelp has more than 4,000 employees around the world, so the two-floor, sales-oriented, New York office needed a strong, localized identity. Small meetings are held in open spaces, such as a common area styled like a miniaturized High Line park. Each of the company’s four teams works in a “neighborhood” named after distinct communities throughout New York City’s five boroughs.
11 W 25th St., 6th Floor, New York, NY 10010
Just six years after incorporating, Float Studio is proving that youth can be a virtue in the design world. It is comprised of a group of interior designers and primarily focuses on office interiors. Founder and Partner Brad Sherman, LEED AP studied urban planning, architecture, and fashion design before establishing the firm, which focuses on creating office spaces for startups. Meanwhile, Partner Nina Etnier brings to the table her background in interior spatial design and visual media. The New York Times, Remodelista, Business Insider, and Interior Design Magazine have recognized the young firm’s work. In fact, New York Observer dubbed Sherman “The Startup Whisperer.”
The studio recognizes that spaces must always reflect the perfect marriage between the utility of a space and its three-dimensional identity. As designers, it’s in the team’s blood to make something fresh, iconic, and memorable, but Float Studio’s ultimate goal is to improve the functionality and atmosphere of the offices it works on.
One of the firm’s clients is the health grocery service, Hungryroot. The practice matched the energy of the company’s branding by incorporating pops of color and strong graphic elements throughout the 6,500-square-foot office. The space also offers a variety of comfortable and collaborative workspaces.
1700 Broadway Suite #400, New York, NY 10019
Global architecture, design, and planning firm Gensler operates in 49 locations, touting more than 6,000 professionals networked across Asia, Europe, Australia, the Middle East, and the Americas. The firm serves more than 3,500 active clients in diverse industries pertaining to community, lifestyle, and work.
The firm maintains that strong workspace design can enhance the performance of a company and its staff. With numerous worldwide offices of their own and a client list that includes 40 of the top 50 companies on the Fortune 500 list, Gensler has had many opportunities to test its belief. Regional Managing Principals Robin Klehr Avia, FIIDA and Joseph Brancato, AIA have led office projects for Microsoft, Condé Nast, Young & Rubicam, Comcast, Warner Media, and Citi.
Completed in 1968, the Ford Foundation’s building was hailed as an architectural icon. In late 2018, the private, not-for-profit organization partnered with Gensler to redesign its Manhattan headquarters that had just reopened. The holistic renovation took place over two years and enhanced the building’s original character while increasing the building’s accessibility.
Kohn, Pedersen, and Fox Associates (KPF)
11 W 42nd St., New York, NY 10036
Operating across 40 countries, Kohn Pedersen Fox Associates (KPF) is a unified architectural practice whose work comprises building designs of all types and scales. The firm’s work portfolio touts buildings found in diverse geographic regions and includes the world’s tallest towers, longest spans, most-varied programs, and inventive forms. The KPF team operates on the tenet of finding the smartest solution for each project, and the firm believes that the best designs are the results of an open-minded approach, taken without preconceptions or a predetermined stylistic formula. The practice strives to create structures that fit sensitively within their surroundings and individual needs.
The practice designed a reconfiguration of this overbuilt property on 390 Madison Avenue, which allowed for the provision of a modern work space without sacrificing valuable area. The new configuration offers floors with greater ceiling heights and structural spans—the new volumes of space include several new double-height spaces throughout the existing structure and a triple-height amenity space on the ninth floor. The originally dark and dated facade was stripped away, and new energy-efficient curtain walls were put in its place. This pulled more light into the structure, effectively illuminating the interiors. The building was also outfitted with new roofs and new cores, including new elevators, mechanical, plumbing, and electrical equipment, and will pursue a LEED Gold certification. Doing such also ensured the removal of toxins contained in aged building materials.
This project garnered several awards, including the following: a 2016 Merit Award from AIA New York; an Innovative Architecture, Best of Best Award from the 2018 ICONIC Awards; and a Gold award for Repositioning/Redevelopment from the 2019 Commercial Property Executive Distinguished Achievement Awards.
183 Madison Ave., New York, NY 10016
At Spectorgroup, design is a family affair. Founded in 1965 by AIA Fellow Michael Harris Spector, the architecture, interior, and master planning firm is now in the capable hands of his sons, Scott E. Spector, AIA, and Marc B. Spector, AIA, NCARB. As principals, the pair and their team of designers expand Spectorgroup’s presence in New York City and its surroundings, building on the legacy that has grown since Scott founded the regional office in 1998. Spectorgroup has completed more than 1,000 projects and earned numerous national and local AIA awards for its work, which touches every inch of New York City’s five boroughs.
Investment management firm Waterfall Asset Management sought a larger space to cater to its growing team and selected 1251 Avenue of the Americas as the location of its new headquarters. Wanting to depart from the typical white prebuild palette that’s often seen among asset management firms, Waterfall Asset Management opted for a custom design that represented the true nature of its brand—the resulting office features a palette that combines elements of warm hospitality and corporate sophistication, with French walnut paneling and exposed black ceilings. Touches of greenery set against stone finishes add a splash of natural elements; meanwhile, characteristic furniture pieces and curated lighting provide the workplace with a contemporary and mature working environment.
588 Broadway Suite #702, New York, NY 10012
STUDIOS Architecture, a 35-year-old practice with a stellar list of clients, is redefining the future of design by enhancing the experience of space through dynamic, program‑driven architecture. Now an international practice with six offices, led by 20 principals, STUDIOS’ culture of innovation is driven by a collaborative team of architects and interior designers, crafting inspired solutions that advance their clients’ missions. STUDIOS’ has been praised by The New York Times, Interior Design, and Architectural Record, including being the recipient of their prestigious Good Design is Good Business award. The firm’s work has also earned countless awards from both AIA Nationals and Regional chapters as well as the International Interior Design Association (IIDA).
In 2015, Nickelodeon sought a “grown-up” space that maintained the media company’s vibrant, expressive, and fun character. The TV network hired STUDIOS Architecture to redesign its workspace, which occupies more than six floors of 1515 Broadway. After meeting with the company’s various groups and departments, the STUDIOS team created a unified space that still offered distinct identities for each department. Key design elements include increased exposure to views and daylight; creating necessary private offices; and providing informal “refresh and connect” areas to foster a sense of community. The firm also introduced storage solutions on each floor to maximize space and eliminate clutter.
31 Penn Plaza 132 W 31st St., 5th Floor, New York, NY 10001
Leading NYC design firm TPG Architecture is focused on designing interior environments that provide immense value to its clients. Founded in 1979, the practice has grown from a dual partnership to a firm of around 200 professionals. Today, the company has offices in Long Island and London, working locally and internationally.
TPG Architecture consistently ranks in the top ten Corporate/Office Design and Retail Design firms in the U.S. based on revenue, according to Interior Design Magazine’s “Design Giants” survey. The practice’s core business focuses on corporate interiors and retail design, but it has also cultivated practice groups in advanced technology and broadcast, architecture, health-care, education, hospitality, and branding and graphics.
In each project, the firm ensures the personalized service of a small firm as well as the breadth and depth of a large organization. In a project for marketing agency Mekanism, TPG Architecture designed the company’s NYC office to emulate the personality of the brand and its storytelling expertise. The overall design concept was based on the 1960s Madison Avenue advertising agency era; TPG gave the office a refined, retro, and sophisticated look. Key design features include the live moss wall in the elevator lobby and chandeliers adoring the conference rooms named after the popular 90s TV show American Gladiators. Additionally, the playfulness of the brand was emulated through a variety of wall coverings and textures throughout the space. The office was also fitted with a variety of support and amenity spaces, including huddle rooms, a photo studio, an editing suite, and a fitness center.
The largest and most influential American metropolis, New York has always been known for its iconic buildings and skyscrapers. Fifth Avenue, in particular, is an iconic landmark where various retail stores can be seen. Just like the skyscrapers donning architectural beauty that can be both timeless and modern, these retail stores are also recognized for the modern designs that reflect both the city’s booming atmosphere and the brand’s taste. In this list are some of the architects responsible for iconic structures like the well-known glass-clad Apple stores in the city.
New York’s food scene is as diverse and competitive as New York itself. There are dozens of restaurants across Manhattan, Queens, and Brooklyn that are Michelin-starred, with cuisines originating from every corner of the globe. In an international city that celebrity chefs like Tom Colicchio, Daniel Boulud, Jean-Georges Vongerichten call home, restaurants must distinguish themselves through their menus and their design. The firms on our top restaurant architect list have designed eateries that continue to shape the ever-evolving New York City restaurant landscape, and they have won the industry’s highest awards.
12 W 27th St.18F, New York, NY 10001
Allied Works is an interdisciplinary architecture and design practice based in Portland, Oregon, and New York City. Led by Founding Principal Brad Cloepfil, and Principals Kyle Lommen and Chelsea Grassinger, the firm has received widespread acclaim for their residences, creative workplaces, academic and civic institutions, and spaces for art, music, performance and fine dining.
Allied Works’ projects have been featured in noted national and international publications, including Conde Nast, Metropolis, Wall Street Journal, The New York Times, The Evening Standard, Architectural Digest, Architectural Record, Casabella, and Introspective Magazine.
With a slate of iconic cultural works to his name, including the Clyfford Still Museum in Denver, the Museum of Arts and Design in New York City, and the National Music Centre in Calgary, the renovation of the Eleven Madison Park in 2017 opened a new chapter in Cloepfil’s career. The three Michelin star restaurant topped the coveted World’s 50 Best Restaurants and is known for its elegant lines, materials, and exacting attention to detail. Established in a historic Art Deco building, the remodel takes inspiration from the neighboring Madison Square Park and its seasonally changing light, colors, textures and forms. The project was an opportunity for Cloepfil and the Allied Works team to work closely with restaurateur Will Guidara and Chef Daniel Humm on every aspect of the design, from finishes, textiles, fixtures and furniture to the creation of a custom, 18-piece ceramic dinnerware suite.
This partnership continued with the design of Davies & Brook, Chef Humm’s highly anticipated new restaurant in London’s Claridge’s Hotel, which opened in the fall of 2019. In its few months of operation, Davies and Brook has established itself as one of the premier culinary destinations in the city.
224 Centre St., 3rd FL, New York City, NY 10013
AvroKO conceptualizes and designs some of the most progressive dining spaces in New York City. Partners and Principals Greg Bradshaw, Adam Farmerie, William Harris, and Kristina O’Neal established the firm in 2001 after meeting in college. Since establishing offices in Manhattan, San Francisco, London, and Bangkok, the 120-person firm has designed everything from interiors to uniforms. In doing so the team has drawn the attention of Condé Nast Traveler, Interior Design, and New York Magazine.
AvroKO is the architect and developer behind Saxon + Parole, one of Esquire’s Best Bars in America and the Tales of the Cocktail Best Restaurant and Bar. The East Village restaurant is styled with a modernist equine theme, taking inspiration from New York City history; the namesake horses were winning local races at the turn of the century when horse stables were a common sight in lower Manhattan.
A finalist for the Hospitality Design Award for Best Fine Dining Design, Saxon + Parole employs everyday items in unusual ways. One installation wall juts into the space with knives sourced by the owners and brought in by customers. Built-in storage stacked with horse blankets provides an acoustic dampener and adds a contrasting texture to finishes like reclaimed wood, exposed brick, and a wall dotted with close to 60,000 hand-hammered tacks.
A few blocks away, on the Lower East Side, Beauty & Essex has emerged as another AvroKO darling of the downtown restaurant scene. Formerly the storefront of furniture shop Katz & Sons, the restaurant is a 250-seat jewel box hidden behind a functioning pawn shop. Haute Living named the 10k square-foot restaurant one of New York’s hottest, citing the glamorous flourishes throughout the three-story space. In one room, dark, sumptuous banquettes sit under a tin ceiling draped with crystal, while in another, herringbone tile floors and textured, graphic wall panels glow under a convex skylight.
Bentel and Bentel
22 Buckram Rd., Locust Valley, NY 11560
Established in 1957, Bentel & Bentel has built a strong reputation in architectural design and planning. It was first founded by the late Dr. Frederick R. Bentel, and the late Maria A. Bentel, and is now headed by Dr. Paul Bentel, Peter Bentel, and Dr. Carol Bentel. The three current principals have strong expertise in the field of art and design. Paul is an alumnus of Harvard and taught in prestigious colleges including Harvard, MIT, and Colombia. Peter was a sculptor in Pietrasanta, Italy and delivered lectures in major universities worldwide including the National Autonomous University of Mexico, University of Tokyo, and Milan Polytechnic. Carol was a Fulbright Scholar at the University of Venice and is now the national chair of the AIA Committee on Design with over 10,000 members.
With this strong background, it is not surprising that Bentel & Bentel garnered multiple James Beard Awards for Best Restaurant Design and that all three principals were inducted at the Hospitality Design Hall of Fame.
Bentel & Bentel has designed restaurants and dining clubs all over the country. The Halifax at W Hotel, Les Sablons at Harvard Square, and The Yale Club at New York City are some of the restaurants that make the firm’s portfolio stand out. The Bentel team moves to the philosophy of creating spaces that engage and inspire people. They also stress the importance of keeping the projects authentic and unprecedented.
The Master Building, 310 Riverside Dr., Suite #1504, New York, NY 10025
With a strong affection for design, Cornell University alumnus James Biber established his namesake architecture firm. Biber has an extensive portfolio that ranges from museums to private estates, offices, and restaurants, and many of his projects have appeared in nationwide circulations such as The New York Times, USA Today, and even the Italian newspaper Corriere Della Sera. Biber also has an impressive list of affiliations including a fellowship in AIA and a membership in the National Council of Architectural Registration Board (NCARB). The firm also maintains affiliations with cultural institutions like the Museum of Modern Art, the Open House New York, and The Storefront for Art and Architecture.
Biber Architects works with the principle of ‘Architecture of Identity:’ the idea that projects should be based upon the identity of the clients. You can see this concept in Sullivan’s Restaurant & Broadcast Lounge. This restaurant has an intertwining history with the Saturday Night Live cast and David Letterman. Biber also designed celebrity chef Bobby Flay’s second restaurant Bolo, taking inspiration from the interiors of restaurants in Barcelona.
270 Lafayette St., Suite #906, New York, NY 10012
Enrico Bonetti and Dominic Kozerski founded bonetti/kozerski architecture in 2000. The two have extensive architectural background in Italy and the United Kingdom respectively; Bonnetti studied under the acclaimed Italian architect Aldo Rossi, while Kozerski received mentorship from Peter Cook and John Hejduk. The duo has an impressive list of clients including music executive Rick Rubin and hoteliers Ian Schrager and André Balazs. Both have been featured by major publications such as The Monocle Guide To Better Living, Arch Daily, Departures Magazine, Icon Design, Elle Decor, Dezeen, and Wallpaper.
bonetti/kazerski architecture worked on the Norm at the Brooklyn Museum. The Brooklyn Museum partnered with Michelin-starred chef Saul Bolton to serve eclectic, multicultural dishes. The atmosphere was inspired by the museum’s maze-like layout and secret storage space. Anda Andre of bonetti/kazerski laid out the massive artworks on display and put in crate boxes to fill the space as diners eat. Juxtaposing the massive fine art hanging on the wall is the modern furniture by Nordic design company Muuto. Norm, as an aesthetic whole, captivates guests with an unparalleled dining experience within the walls of an esteemed art museum.
180 Varick St., Suite #930, New York, NY 10014
Cass Calder Smith founded CCS Architecture in 1990. The team of 30 designers and principals now operates out of one office situated between the trendsetting neighborhoods of Greenwich Village and SoHo and another in San Francisco. With partners Taylor Lawson, Barbara Vickroy, and Melissa Werner, Smith has led the firm to critical acclaim in the pages of Dwell, Architectural Record, The New York Times, and Metropolis. CCS Architecture has also earned recognition for their restaurant designs from James Beard, AIA Los Angeles, and the International Interior Design Association.
CCS Architecture brought the charm of a quintessential Upper East Side locale downtown with designs for Sarabeth’s Park Avenue South. In this renovation, a former steakhouse became the 16k-square-foot outpost — now the largest of Sarabeth’s restaurants — with three private dining rooms, a patio for al fresco dining, and a large, refurbished bar. In total, the new Sarabeth’s can seat nearly 400 guests at completely new tables and banquettes across its main and lower levels. The restaurant is finished in contrasting colors and varying textures, from walls wrapped in black tile and bleached wood panels, to floors tiled in varied geometric patterns. CCS Architecture also designed Covina, an elevated casual dining experience in NoMad. In partnership with Chef Tim Cushman and his wife Nancy, CCS Architecture created an environment that draws Park South Hotel guests and Manhattanites alike. Warm light and natural finishes forge a welcome oasis from the bustle of the city. A zinc-topped bar is tucked into a cozy alcove, warmed by exposed brick and wide plank wood floors. Guests sitting for a full meal may prefer the semi-private dining room, or a seat at the chef’s counter, looking into the open kitchen with its custom-tiled pizza oven and wood-fired grill.
CRÈME / Jun Aizaki Architecture and Design
85 North 3rd St., Suite #110, Brooklyn, NY 11249
Crème founder and Principal Jun Aizaki relocated from Japan to New York City in the early 1990s before earning a degree from Pratt Institute School of Architecture. In 2004, after a few years working with formidable firm Rockwell Group and earning an IHMRS Gold Key Award for Best Restaurant Design, Aizaki established Crème, now a critically acclaimed, internationally recognized design firm. Hospitality Design honored the Williamsburg, Brooklyn-based business with a Wave of the Future Award. Crème has received similar attention from The New Yorker, Interior Design, Architectural Digest, New York Magazine, and Food & Wine.
Crème won the Prix Versailles in the restaurant category for the interior of L’Amico, an eatery in the Eventi Hotel in Chelsea. The 1,700 square-foot space combines rustic and industrial details. Woodfire ovens, clad in copper, stand next to built-in, geometric shelving used to store firewood. The rest of the open kitchen is dressed in simple black and white tile that nods at the graphic, concrete floors of the dining room. Floor-to-ceiling folding wall panels open the interior to the sidewalk, where diners sit in deep, oversized banquettes or blackened-steel and walnut chairs designed by the firm. The Promenade des Anglais is the result of Chef Alain Allegretti’s collaboration with Crème — an elegant setting that taps into Allegretti’s connections with Southern France. The design is transportive, from the deep blue velour of the banquettes to the graphic ceiling. Brass light fixtures, antique mirrors, and a marble-topped bar punctuate the brasserie’s moody decor.
Gerner Kronick + Valcarcel Architects
675 Third Ave., Fl 16, New York, NY 10017
Since 1995, Gerner Kronick + Valcarcel Architects has established itself as one of New York’s best-regarded firms. The firm has built millions of square feet of work that spans the world. The company is headed by industry leaders Randolph Gerner, Richard Kronick, and Miguel Valcarcel, along with co-principals Joseph Barbagallo, Benita Welch, Michael Fontaine, and Silke Rapelius. This strong company leadership afforded Gerner Kronick + Valcarcel major industry awards including Gold Key Award for Excellence in Hospitality Design, the 2018 Palladio Award, and the 2018 AIA Design Award.
Publications like The New York Times, New York Post, Architect Magazine, Arch Daily, and Interior Design have all take notice of the firm’s projects. Zuma is a 24,000-square foot Japanese restaurant that takes inspiration from traditional Izakaya and Robata methods of grilling. Gerner Kronick + Valcarcel created the high-end two-story dining room, bar lounge, and private rooms with premium finishings that matches the celebrity status of the restaurant. Creator and co-founder, Rainer Becker was inspired by his tenure as the Executive Chef of Park Hyatt in Tokyo and decided to give his own take in Japanese cuisine in Zuma’s first location back in 2002. Since then, over a dozen restaurant locations have been established in major food capitals like Abu Dhabi, Rome, Bangkok, and New York.
Glen and Co. Architecture
33 E 33rd St., Suite #906, New York, NY 10016
In over 20 years of operations, Glen & Co. Architecture won numerous awards including the coveted James Beard Award for Outstanding Restaurant Design in 2012 and 2015. Glen Coben, an alumnus of Cornell University, headed the team of architects and designers on projects commended by publications like The New York Times, Architects + Artisans, and Architectural Digest.
Coben’s resume is diverse, having worked with SITE on projects located in places as diverse as Tennessee, Hiroshima, and Yokohama. He also worked as the Director of Store Planning and Retail Design in Nike. Glen’s book, “An Architect’s Cookbook, A Culinary Journey Through Design,” takes a peek behind the curtain of many of the firm’s restaurant designs and includes recipe contributions from each chef. The book was published in October 2018 by ORO Editions and is currently available to purchase on Amazon if it cannot be found at your local book store.
Bâtard, nominated for the 2015 James Beard Award for food, service and design, demonstrates Glen & Co.’s attention to detail and craftsmanship. This Tribeca restaurant serves Modern European cuisine with an extensive wine and cocktail list. Bâtard is the product of Chef Markus Glocker’s lengthy resume, a resume that he began building with his summer job in his uncle’s hotel in Austria and in the kitchen of culinary legends Charlie Trotter and Gordon Ramsay. Chef Glocker enlisted the services of the firm to design an elegant open floor plan that channels the ‘high spirits’, as the New York Times puts it, of the restaurant. The Bâtard team describes the 65-seater interiors of the restaurant as a combination of a classic style with a relaxed, downtown atmosphere channeled through twirling bas-relief walls and a rich combination of leather and mohair.
New World Design Builders
261 Madison Ave., 25th Floor, New York, NY 10016
New World Design Builders bring more than 25 years of experience to their work. President Chris Kofitsas leads the firm, a full-service company offering interior architecture and construction services. Architectural Digest, The Daily Beast, DuJour Magazine, and The New York Times have covered the New World Design Builders restaurants that have become celebrity favorites in New York and Los Angeles. New World’s streamlined communication means a smoother production process and the use of natural materials creates calming environments. The strategy is working for Kofitsas’ team; look for New World Design Builders projects on top restaurant lists from Business Insider, Fodor’s Travel, AM New York, and Vogue.
ABC Kitchen — the New American restaurant helmed by chef Jean-Georges Vongerichten — has become a New York favorite due in part to its unique location. The Michelin-starred eatery has drawn attention from The New York Times, GQ, New York Magazine, and Vogue. In deference to the farm-to-table, sustainable menu options, the dining room is dressed in natural wood floors and exposed beams. Raw, concrete columns are softened by moody lighting and wood, natural-edge tabletops. The James Beard Foundation named ABC Kitchen the Best New Restaurant of 2011. Across town is Toro NYC, a 120-seat restaurant bringing the flavors of Barcelona to Chelsea. The design plays up the former factory setting. To warm the steel beams, concrete floors, and exposed ductwork, the design also brings in a textured wall of wood panels and 18-foot windows that allow in natural light and city views.
Richard H. Lewis Architecture
445 Central Park West, Suite #12E, New York, NY 10025
A sole proprietorship, Richard H. Lewis operates out of two offices on Manhattan’s Upper West Side. Since 1982, Lewis has created hospitality spaces that establish trends and galvanize the paradigms of New York’s high-end dining world. Interior Design, The New York Times, New York Magazine, and The New York Post are among the publications that have taken notice of Lewis projects. Those projects include successful newcomers — such Via Carota, Pisellino, Pastis, the bar at Momofuku Ko, Momofuku Kawi, The Great Northern Food Hall, Urban Space Market at 45th and Vanderbilti — as well as iconic New York destinations, like Balthazar and Tavern on the Green. The firm also designs luxury retail locations, workspaces, and private residences.
Keith McNally, dubbed by The New York Times as ‘The Restaurateur Who Invented Downtown’, enlisted Richard H. Lewis Architect and Ian McPheeley in reopening the beloved New York restaurant Pastis as well as Morandi, Balthazar, and Augustine. The firm recreates a new version of the former restaurant while retaining much of the old details including the original bar, mirror light boxes, and tiles.
In the heart of Manhattan’s Central Park lies Tavern on the Green. Years after closing, the legendary restaurant has been revived with its original design still intact. The renovation required New York City to invest $20 million into gutting the original and replacing the stone 1880-era roof that had once sheltered the sheep who roamed the adjacent meadow. The new owners put an additional $18 million into updating the building and restoring the facade. Lewis brought luster to the 350-seat dining rooms with gold leaf mirrors, tufted-velvet banquettes, and Victorian Gothic features. Diners can also sit outside in the bucolic yet contemporary courtyard, which brought the firm a Lumen Award of Merit.
5 Union Square West, New York, NY 10003
David Rockwell, FAIA founded Rockwell Group in Manhattan in 1984. Now, under the care of Rockwell and partners Greg Keffer and Shawn Sullivan, the firm employs a team of 250 designers and staff. From their offices in New York, Shanghai, and Madrid, Rockwell Group produces designs for projects in hospitality, healthcare, retail, and more. The firm, a James Beard Foundation Who’s Who of Food & Beverage inductee, has earned the National Design Award from the Cooper-Hewitt National Design Museum, the AIA New York President’s Award, among other prestigious architecture honors. Condé Nast Traveler, Food & Wine, and Fast Company all rank Rockwell Group and among the most innovative firms in the industry.
Having developed a 23-year relationship with Chef Nobu Matsuhisa — one that began with the restaurant’s Tribeca location — the firm is now the design collaborator for Nobu’s locations worldwide. The Rockwell Group design for Nobu Downtown, in the Financial District, won an NYCxDesign Award in the Restaurant/Bar category. The new, 4,500 square-foot restaurant is located in the former AT&T building. Immense, Botticino marble columns rise around the perimeter and through the center of the ground floor dining room. Another traditional feature, a coffered ceiling, gives way to a wooden canopy, pieced together with undulating wood beams and designed to resemble origami. Tao, another icon of the New York restaurant scene, also looked to Rockwell Group to design their Lower Manhattan outpost. Tao Downtown occupies the former home of the Maritime Hotel in Chelsea. Eschewing the typical dining format, the team created a dynamic, two-story layout that moves guests through various lounge areas spread across the 22k-square-foot space. Twenty-foot statues, a grand staircase, and carved pillars add drama and scale to the experience.
77 Chambers St., New York, NY 10007
James Slade and Hayes Slade founded Slade Architecture two decades ago. Since then, the firm has garnered major awards and publications including multiple industry awards from Fast Company, Interior Design Magazine, AIA, Society of Registered Architects, and appeared in over 300 publications including The New York Times, Nylon, and Surface.
James and Hayes are aided by associate principal Magdalena Stoenescu in operations in New York and in international ventures. James is a past co-chair of the AIA New York Awards Committee and an alumnus of Cornell University and Columbia University, while Hayes is the president of AIA New York and an alumnus of Cornell University and University of Pennsylvania Wharton School of Business.
Slade Architecture designed the Clubhouse for Virgin Atlantic. The design aims to translate the warmth and identity of the airlines into the lounge. Avant-garde finishes and art by New York-based artist Jorge Colombo fill the walls and surfaces while geometric and non-linear shapes set the tone. The lounge also sports bold magenta and black highlights, creating a modern, youthful appeal. The project has won a number of industry awards, including the 2014 James Beard Foundation Outstanding Restaurant Design Award in the ‘Projects with 76 Guests or More’ category.
STUDIO V Architecture
44 E 32nd St., 3rd Floor, New York, NY 10016
With millions of square feet of work under design and renowned for their innovative restaurant designs, New York firm STUDIO V Architecture is among the city’s most prominent architects. Jay Valgora, an alumnus of Cornell and Harvard, founded STUDIO V in 2006 after being Design Director for Walker Group and Rockwell Group. Local and national publications like Boston Magazine, Architectural Record and Wall Street Journal feature STUDIO V routinely. STUDIO V also won the prestigious New York Design Award for Best Commercial Project.
STUDIO V has demonstrated a flair for complex and innovative commercial projects. The firm’s knack for contemporary design blends well with its use of unconventional materials and dramatic layouts to dramatic visions to life.
The Morimoto Asia at Disney Springs is one of the studio’s most daring projects. This 500-seater modern Pan-Asian restaurant is owned and headed by Chef Masaharu Morimoto, a skilled chef and a famous personality from the Japanese Cooking Show, Iron Chef. The restaurant is set in a high-ceiling room featuring a sculptural 290 foot long bar that links and unites the sushi bar, dining areas, and lounges at all levels of the dramatic 36-foot tall, two-story space.
Wid Chapman Architects
547 West, 27nd St., Suite #304 New York, NY 10001
Wid Chapman Architects has completed projects across the US, as well as in the Dominican Republic, Malaysia, and other countries around the world. Founder Wid Chapman, a member of the American Institute of Architects (AIA), studied architecture at the Rhode Island School of Design and went on to chair the interior design program at Parsons School of Design. Since establishing the firm in 2003, Wid has become an authority in lifestyle design, with projects featured in Hospitality Design, New York Magazine, Interior Design, and The New York Times, as well as international publications in Japan and India.
The Wid Chapman-designed Industry Kitchen is in an unusual spot. This social media-ready bar and restaurant occupies 3,200 square feet under FDR Drive, the freeway that runs along Manhattan’s eastern waterfront. Architectural Digest and the Wall Street Journal have noted the restaurant’s innovative design. Floor-to-ceiling windows just yards from the water’s edge give diners panoramic views of boats, bridges, and Queens. The design draws from the view; green tile evokes the flowing river, while concrete and iron recall the Brooklyn Bridge and, of course, the city’s skylines. A wood-paneled ceiling and natural wood table- and bar-tops mediate the effect of the more industrial finishes. Up the block, on SHoP Architects-designed Pier 15, you’ll find Watermark Bar. This Chapman project is a bit larger, with 3,500 square feet of indoor and outdoor space for up to 200 guests to enjoy a cocktail after exploring the South Street Seaport. The restrained design centers on a large bar wrapped in black subway tiles and topped with reclaimed wood. Metal finishes and globe light fixtures hint at old New York without competing for the view.
Design-build firms provide architecture and construction services via one contract and one team, eliminating the headaches that arise from attempting to keep clients and multiple partners on the same page. This streamlined approach often means projects can be executed with shorter timelines and more efficient budgets. It’s a perfect approach for New Yorkers, who want it done well and want it done now.
Our editorial team has selected and evaluated the top-performing general contractors offering comprehensive design-build solutions in New York. These companies were assessed based on a number of criteria, including years of experience, mastery of the trade, and industry accreditations and certifications. The strength of their portfolios, awards, and press recognition were also taken into account. This list features 15 of the best design-build firms in the city.
Aerial Design and Build
122 E 57th St. Suite #4R, New York, NY 10022
Aerial Design and Build is a full-service design consulting, general contracting, and project management firm serving clients throughout New York City. The firm was founded 13 years ago by seasoned professionals Julie Kelley and Rupila Sethi. Julie brings more than three decades of business experience to the practice and leads the corporate side of the business. She manages the firm’s day-to-day operations, working closely with project managers and handling contracts. Meanwhile, with degrees in architecture and lighting design under her belt and more than 20 years of experience working side by side with retail brands, restaurant owners, and residential clients, Rupila maintains a quality control while ensuring the project goals are met and each client’s vision is realized.
Aerial Design and Build is a member of the New York City Hospitality Group and the U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC). New York Magazine consistently lists Aerial Design and Build among the top contractors in the city, and the firm’s projects have garnered attention from Architectural Digest, The Huffington Post, and CNN.
Agencie Architecture + Engineering
145 Hudson St. Suite #203, New York, NY 10013
Architecture and engineering firm Agencie is a solutions-focused practice that provides architecture, engineering, design-build, and construction management services in the U.S. and Canada. Founded in 2007, the firm has designed and built more than 300 projects amounting to more than $500 million. Its extensive expertise encompasses design-build for custom residences, real estate development, building envelopes and enclosures, commercial tenant improvement, specialty structures, architecture, and structural engineering. Over the years, Agencie has designed, engineered, and constructed projects using distinct elements, such as glass, timber, concrete, steel, and composite materials. It has worked methodically across a wide range of building classifications and program typologies.
Agencie has developed a reputation for reliable expertise and high-quality end-products. In each project, the team ensures meticulous attention to detail and thorough communication to precisely address unique client needs. The firm exemplified these practices in a project that involved the merging of two West Village lofts. The resulting loft features a limited material palette, which allowed for a strict yet stunning coordination of different materials and details, making the space quintessentially New York.
119 W 24th St., New York, NY 10011
Home renovation company Bolster has established a reputation for its data-driven and streamlined approach to design and construction. The firm’s mission is to eliminate the risks associated with major home renovations through transparency and financial guarantee, as well as an efficient design-build process. Thanks to the company’s team of skilled experts, clients can expect to pay no unexpected costs and have their projects completed two weeks early, on average.
Since 2012, the firm has completed more than 1,000 complex projects in New York and has been featured in several publications, such as Brownstoner, ArchDaily, and The New York Times. What sets the firm apart from other design-build contractors is that Bolster provides a lifetime warranty for its projects, which is an industry first.
The owners of the featured Upper West Side home hired Bolster to design a clean and contemporary renovation of the 1,650-square-foot space to better accommodate their family of five. The team updated the layout and design of the apartment, opening up the floor plan to create a parlor room and a kitchen with a countertop extension that flows into the dining area. A key design feature is the Porcelanosa ceramic tile wall in the living area, which serves two purposes: it acts as a disguise for the wall-mounted TV and serves as a grounding element for the otherwise light and natural airiness of the apartment. For more information on Bolster, you can visit their website here.
110 W 40th St. Suite #2100, New York, NY 10018
Crafted Interiors is a full-service design-build firm that specializes in interior renovations, providing turnkey solutions to clients throughout New York. With an experienced team of in-house architects, designers, and builders, the firm ensures successful projects with timeless results. The team has the knowledge and understanding necessary to guide clients through the design process and transition to the build phase. Past clients have lauded the firm’s thoughtful planning and responsiveness in its renovation projects.
The featured three-bedroom, two-and-a-half-bath residence in the heart of NoMad was a challenging project for the team. However, Crafted Interiors was able to add value to the home by incorporating custom millwork, a modern kitchen, and a central AC system. Additionally, the team utilized the space’s existing beams to add recessed lighting without sacrificing the ceiling height throughout the home.
175 Varick St., New York, NY 10014
Design+Build Enterprises is the general contracting, management, and advisory firm making a mark on New York’s most popular neighborhoods. Tambi Kat—a Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED)-certified professional and graduate of a five-year architecture program—established the company and now serves as its principal. Kat is also a hands-on project director, connecting clients with the firm’s talented team of designers, technology specialists, and craftspeople. Kat worked with architects and development firms for years before striking out on his own to assemble a team that would offer soup-to-nuts design and build services. Today, Design+Build Enterprises works on brownstones and apartments in Brooklyn Heights, Park Slope, and Fort Greene, where home listings frequently top $15 million.
One of the firm’s projects was the full-gut renovation of a landmark brownstone in Fort Greene. Design+Build Enterprises renewed and modernized the building, which now touts custom millwork and solar roof panels. What’s remarkable is the team completely preserved and restored the original details of the building during the renovation. This particular project exemplifies the firm’s strong attention to detail and superior construction methods.
Harborside Plaza 2, 200 Hudson St. Suite #1000, Jersey City, NJ 07311
Specializing in renovations, Dixon Projects delivers award-winning construction and project management, architecture, and interior design services across the New York metropolitan area. As a one-stop-shop for diverse design, renovation, and construction solutions, the company has a highly experienced team of architects, interior designers, and construction managers. Over the years, the firm has completed more than 1,000 projects and has caught the eye of several award-giving bodies, thanks to its top-notch design and construction workmanship. In fact, in 2018, Dixon Projects received immense recognition from the American Residential Design Awards, winning the Global Choice, Design Details, Best Renovation, and Outdoor Living awards, among others.
In every project, the firm builds upon the visions and goals of clients, while considering different needs, preferences, and budgets. The team then aligns these factors with critical design and building requirements to create structurally sound and visually striking spaces. In one project, the team reworked a SoHo loft to better utilize the space and incorporate a modern and minimalistic design throughout. Dixon Projects stripped the interior of its outdated finishes and fixtures and added brightness to the space through the use of white oak hardwood floors. Additionally, the team incorporated a kitchen with glossy white cabinetry set against a white Macaubas Quartzite stone countertop and backsplash. Meanwhile, the combination of glass and matte black steel on the staircase and the feature wall of the guest bedroom provides the perfect industrial touch.
214 7th St., Brooklyn, NY 11215
Ecostruct has built a reputation for delivering high-performance design and building solutions since its inception in 2009. It offers full-service design-build work, management and consultation, and high-performance construction and development services. Serving clients across the Tri-State area, the practice has worked on numerous design-build projects with a focus on sustainable and high-performance construction. With offices in Brooklyn and Shelter Island, the firm also has access to a wide array of sustainable resources from local artisans and manufacturers. Ecostruct is a certified Passive House trade company and a LEED-accredited firm—these accreditations serve as testaments to the firm’s dedication to high-quality, sustainable, and energy-efficient processes and end results.
Ecostruct worked together with interior design studio General Assembly to create a contemporary haven in a loft near Union Square. The post-war-renovated apartment had high ceilings and double-height windows, which offered great structural and design potential. The teams revamped the space by opening up multiple walls to provide direct exposure to the large windows. Additionally, Ecostruct built and installed a custom dark walnut kitchen with PaperStone countertops, a black Blanco sink, and stainless steel appliances. The team also installed floor-to-ceiling walnut doors on offset Deltana pivot hinges to take advantage of an existing recess in one wall, adding significant storage space.
According to the firm, the most challenging element of the project was designing and building a set of stairs to fit the existing space between the entryway and the loft. To address this, Ecostruct engineered a set of alternating-step stairs, leaving the finished edges exposed to provide a contrast to the dark walnut treads. To finish the structure off, the team mounted a cold-rolled steel railing to the wall.
Essential Design + Build
555 Fifth Ave., 16th Floor, New York, NY 10017
Formerly known as Atco Construction, Essential Design + Build has provided detail-oriented architecture and construction services since 1971. Working out of its Midtown office, USGBC-certified firm’s LEED AP staff uses sustainable construction practices to complete residential and commercial projects throughout the city. Essential Design + Build projects have appeared on Curbed New York. Interior decorating magazine House Beautiful has asked the firm to share its expertise for a feature on urban remodels.
The firm’s primary philosophy is to provide clients with all of the necessary resources, from the initial planning stages to completion. As a result, the team delivers well-coordinated projects that translate into impressive structures and spaces. Such is the featured East Village triplex. Along with the architectural team at Atema Architecture, Essential Design + Build was commissioned to transform and reimagine a three-story, 1,500-square-foot apartment for a family of four. The home features a two-bedroom suite at the lower level and a master suite on the mezzanine linked together by elegant and clean living spaces.
Harper Design + Build
343 Sixth St., Brooklyn, NY 11215
Harper Design + Build, a Brooklyn-based firm, provides a full-service architectural, construction and design experience to homeowners in New York’s well-established and currently trending neighborhoods. Principal, architect, and general contractor Ryan Harper founded the firm in 2004, drawing on his experience as an architect and contractor with Gensler and Saladino Group. His college experience at the University of Cincinnati architecture program gave him a formal and practical education in the finer points of design and project management. Also a principal and licensed architect, Christine Harper joined the company after nine years as a senior associate at 1100 Architect, working on residences for high-profile clients. In total, Harper has more than 20 years of experience in high-end residential design. Clients can look for projects by Harper Design + Build in Architectural Digest, Forbes, and Elle Decor.
Harper Design + Build has worked on numerous architectural planning, construction, and interior design projects. One of its design-build ventures was the renovation of a 3,800-square-foot apartment, which turned the space into an open and bright home. The renovation occurred in two phases and involved the relocation of the kitchen for easier access to the main living space and for opening up views of the East River.
Hatchet Design Build
628 Grand Ave., Brooklyn, NY 11238
Founded in 2015, Hatchet Design Build is comprised of an in-house design team, contractors, and a custom fabrication studio. The Brooklyn-based firm specializes in full-service design-build work throughout Brooklyn and Queens, and recently across Manhattan. Although the firm has been in business in less for than a decade, Hatchet Design Build’s stunning projects have been recognized by prominent publications, such as Brownstoner, Hunker, Domino, Dwell, Interior Design Magazine, Architectural Digest, and Dezeen among many others.
Each Hatchet Design Build project exemplifies the team’s fine attention to detail and superior building methods. For instance, this 19th Century townhouse—located just off Grand Army Plaza in North Park Slope—was embellished with cabinets, closets, and vanities created by the firm’s fabrication shop. The Hatchet Design Build team also restored the staircases and fireplaces to their original aesthetic.
KBR Design and Build
838 6th Ave., 5th Floor, New York, NY 10001
Since its founding, KBR Design and Build has directed its resources and efforts to providing dynamic solutions to intricate residential remodeling and renovation projects throughout NYC. From simple remodels and total apartment renovations to complete commercial construction, KBR Design and Build provides unmatched expertise and guaranteed fixed prices and schedules for all projects. What’s more, the company uses environmentally friendly products and practices to lessen its carbon footprint and to increase project sustainability. The firm is a member of multiple industry associations, such as the National Association of the Remodeling Industry (NARI) and the National Kitchen and Bath Association (NKBA).
As a design-build firm, KBR Design and Build comprises professionals who operate in lockstep and are confident in each member’s ability to carry the plan forward. All are committed to creating spaces that look and feel the way clients envision. As a result, numerous people continue to seek the firm’s comprehensive services, such as the owners of the featured SoHo penthouse apartment.
The project involved the complete gut renovation of three bedrooms and three bathrooms as well as the design and construction of a custom kitchen suitable for entertaining. It also included the installation of a remotely controlled system for heating, cooling, sound, security, and privacy. In the living room, the KBR Design and Build team installed faux brick paneling that included the integration of Trane heating unit cover panels. The firm also designed, built, and installed custom frameless doors throughout the home.
810 2nd Ave., New York, NY 10017
Since its establishment in 1992, Knockout Renovation has completed thousands of remodeling projects in Manhattan and Brooklyn. The firm specializes in residential interiors—so much so that it doesn’t perform exterior, commercial, industrial, or government work. As a result, the team has developed proficiency in all facets of interior renovations, handling everything from paperwork and filing to home decor, architectural services, and anything a client needs to make their dwelling a clean and functional space. The firm’s streamlined, cost-effective, and time-saving remodeling services have produced impressive spaces, many of which have been featured on numerous media outlets, including The Rachael Ray Show, Queer Eye for the Straight Guy, CBS TV, The New York Times, and The New York Daily News.
Knockout Renovation’s team of top designers, tradespeople, and project staff effectively guides clients through the remodeling process. What’s more, the team approaches each project with a foundation of strong design aesthetics and functionality, comprehensive product options, sound project management, and a commitment to craftsmanship. The featured project is a result of this strong dedication—Knockout Renovation renovated a 1,000-square-foot, two-bedroom apartment on 150 East 49 Street. The project scope included the complete remodel of the bathroom; painting and floor sanding and staining throughout; and several window replacements. In the kitchen, the team templated and installed Silestone and granite countertops as well as a ceramic and porcelain tile backsplash.
444 W 50th St., New York, NY 10019
Leib Designs is an architecture, design-build, and development firm led by Assaf Leib. An interior architect and industrial designer, Leib is a graduate of the Bezalel Academy of Arts and Design in Jerusalem and Politecnico Di Milano in Italy. He was educated in and is inspired by both contemporary and traditional design elements. This has resulted in designs that utilize natural and staged lighting and maximize available square footage. Leib collaborates with his clients in order to deliver a finished product that exceeds both of their expectations. Former clients laud Leib for his calm demeanor and keen understanding of unique client needs, which allow him to effectively communicate with all of the tradespeople and professionals involved in a project.
The featured penthouse project exemplifies the firm’s immense creativity. Located on 420 East 51 Street, this residence touts custom home furnishings with unique forms and materials. The original rooms made for awkward spaces, whereas the new design and layout created rooms with more privacy. The team tore down a few walls to make way for an open living space, but it also added a couple more to create a private office/nursery. The firm’s biggest challenge was to create a custom lavish media center to house the owner’s prized audio equipment, with a fireplace incorporated into the center of the space.
141 Beard St., Building 12B, Brooklyn, NY 11231
Established in 2002, MADE is an innovative combination of a design studio, fabrication workshop, and contracting team under one roof. The firm specializes in design-build services, focusing on residential homes and custom retail boutiques in and around New York. Over the years, the firm’s exceptional projects have been featured in several publications, including Architectural Digest, Dwell, Elle Décor, House & Garden, Interior Design, New York Magazine, The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, and World of Interiors. These numerous recognitions serve as testaments to the firm’s impressive skills and capabilities.
Ben Bischoff, the company’s principal, is a registered architect and contractor in New York. He holds a Master’s Degree from the Yale School of Architecture and was awarded the David Schwarz Good Times Award traveling fellowship for excellence in design during his stay there. He also served as the construction supervisor for the Yale Building Project for two years. Bischoff worked as a designer at Steven Haris Architects and Deborah Berke and Partners prior to founding MADE. Today, he presents MADE’s work in lectures at Mississippi State University, Tulane University, University of Kansas, University of Pennsylvania, and Yale University.
1 Maiden Ln., New York, NY 10038
Founded in 1997, TRA Studio unites the capabilities of artist, environmental designer, and American Institute of Architects (AIA)-licensed architect Robert Traboscia and AIA member Caterina Roiatti. The practice draws on Traboscia’s and Roiatti’s prior experiences in leading projects of various types, scales, and geographical locations. This collaboration has resulted in TRA Studio’s interdisciplinary project approach and diversified portfolio of contemporary build-outs and historical renovations. Throughout its more than two decades in business, the firm has drawn attention from notable publications, such as The New York Times, Architectural Record, and The New York Post.
Fulfilling the modernist practice of integrating interiors and exteriors, TRA Studio designed eight floors of a building on 44 Mercer Street as well as the interior of the building’s penthouse. The resulting interior space builds on all the attributes that make the old loft apartments desirable, while adding more modern and efficient amenities. For instance, the light maple floor adds to the airiness of the space, while the generous ceiling height is enhanced by the lighting. A large Bulthaup kitchen, clad in a metallic bronze palette, and crisp bathrooms complete the industrial, modern interior.
The state of New York’s plans to be carbon neutral by 2050 is driving NYC’s green building movement. The initiatives target all types of structures in the region, but their goals place a heavier emphasis on single and multifamily residences. This set of priorities are based on the results of a 2017 inventory which revealed residential buildings contribute up to two-thirds of the city’s overall carbon pollution. City and state-level officials passed new plans that put green construction and sustainable building methods at the forefront. The approved policies cover every corner of the housing market, not just for the metropolitan’s skyscrapers, but also for luxury single-family homes, student housing, and affordable housing units.
Bjarke Ingels Group
AIA Housing Award,
AIA New York Merit Award,
Architizer Firm of the Year Award,
Wall Street Journal Architectural Innovator of the Year Award
61 Broadway, Suite 3300, New York, NY 10006
About Bjarke Ingels Group
Sometimes referred to as “BIG,” the Bjarke Ingels Group is led by Danish architect Bjarke Ingels, once regarded by Time Magazine among its list of “100 Most Influential People.” Since establishing Bjarke Ingels Group (BIG) in 2005, Ingels and his team, from their offices in Copenhagen, London, and New York, have earned a reputation for eco-conscious, innovative designs that push the boundaries of the architectural paradigms. BIG’s international portfolio of skyscrapers, museums, residential enclaves, and civic projects formed the backbone of an episode of Netflix’s Abstract: The Art of Design. BIG has earned an Architizer Firm of the Year Award and a Wall Street Journal Architectural Innovator of the Year Award. Aside from its architects, the firm is made up of designers, urbanists, landscape professionals, interior and product designers, researchers, and inventors; all greatly contribute to the firm’s image of being a leader in contemporary design and construction.
BIG didn’t hold back for its first New York building, Via 57 West. The 35-story, pyramid-shaped building draws second glances and turned heads from anyone driving down the West Side Highway, with walls carved out with terraces and a distinctive pointed top piercing the boxy skyline. The unique design draws on the surrounding highrises and the security and efficiency of a European perimeter block. The design for VIA 57 West garnered more than a dozen awards, including an AIA Housing Award, AIA New York Merit Award for Future Project, the Interior Design Silver Award for Residential Architect, and ENR New York Best Residential Project. With that recognition behind them, BIG put in a bid and won the contract to redesign 2 World Trade Center after developers and prospective clients wanted a change for the original Foster & Partners design. The tower, located at 200 Greenwich Street, is designed to rise 1,340 feet above the 9/11 Memorial Park, as the final building in the rehabilitation of the site. Its seven, stacked volumes will literally and figuratively reflect the contemporary highrises and historical low-rises in the surrounding neighborhoods of Financial District and TriBeCa. Combined, the terraces on each volume comprise 38k square feet of green space. The lobby’s connection to the World Trade Center transit hub ensures the area will once again be a fully connected nerve center of the city.
Robin Klehr Avia
AIA NYS Firm of the Year
1700 Broadway, Suite 400, New York, NY 10019
Art and Drue Gensler established their firm in San Francisco in 1965 and has since grown it to become a global firm with its stronghold in New York. It has had the privilege of being featured in publications like Architectural Record, ENR, and Building Design + Construction in addition to winning various distinctions from the AIA. The AIA New York State named Gensler Firm of the Year in 2014 while the Commercial Observer listed it among the most noteworthy firms shaping New York. In 2016, Gensler pulled in nearly $170M in revenue from New York contracts alone, contributing to their reported $1.2B in global revenue for the year. The firm’s global community includes over 6,000 professionals, who together collectively shape the firm’s expertise. The firm is also noted for its sustainability efforts, noting that its designs are defined by its highly efficient elements and innovative techniques. The firm has worked on countless projects that have proven to be both vital and unique.
JetBlue Airways retained Gensler to design their terminal at JFK Int’l Airport, the airline’s first. Terminal 5 reflects JetBlue’s business model and customer profiles, with a design that makes it easy for passengers to find their way to one of the 26 gates or to navigate the 640k-square-foot space to find food and drinks. For the exterior, Gensler wanted the terminal to complement the historic, Eero Saarinen design of the adjacent Terminal 6. Terminal 5’s curved rooflines are a nod to the mid-century gull wings of the 1962 landmark. Wide berths at each gate allow JetBlue planes to maneuver easily, cutting down on unnecessary delays. Also a commercial design firm, Gensler designed 25 Kent, based on a concept by Hollwich Kushner. The development is the first ground-up commercial project in Williamsburg, Brooklyn, in more than 60 years. The design echoes the neighborhood’s industrial history but provides layouts and conveniences for the most progressive of technology companies.
Hill West Architects
11 Broadway, 17th Floor, New York, NY 10004
About Hill West Architects
Hill West Architects is a renowned architectural firm best known for its contributions to the New York City skyline. It is led by L. Stephen Hill and David West, who co-founded the company in 2008 with now-retired architect Alan Goldstein. The firm is made up of over 120 talented and skilled architects and professionals who work closely together to design some of the city’s best high-rise residential, hospitality, retail, and office structures. It has also worked on a variety of multi-use complexes. The firm’s processes highlights the importance of taking into account contexts, environments, and culture into a project’s overall design. Given all of these, it comes as no surprise that the firm has worked on some of New York’s most important projects.
Hill West collaborated with Swiss firm Herzog & De Meuron to design 56 Leonard Street, a 60-story residential tower known for its distinctive, Jenga-like outline. Both beautiful and functional, the building offers 145 residences and 17k square feet of luxury amenities. Units hit the market at prices ranging from $3.5M to $50M. 56 Leonard Street is the tallest building in TriBeCa. Sky, another luxury tower from the minds of Hill West, is a glass-skinned, 60-story edifice. 42nd Street unfolds from the base of the $850M building like a red carpet, leading to a grand lobby anchored by a Yayoi Kusama sculpture and fountain. Each of the 1,175 rental units comes with access to a Turkish bath and a full-sized basketball court. The latter feature has become a big draw for professional athlete tenants, like Kristaps Porzingis of the New York Knicks.
Kohn, Pedersen, Fox Associates
James von Klemperer
A. Eugene Kohn
William Pedersen and Sheldon Fox
World Architecture Festival Future Civic Project of the Year
11 West 42nd Street, New York, NY 10036
About Kohn, Pedersen, Fox Associates
Kohn, Pedersen, Fox’s additions to the New York City skyline have earned several AIA National and AIA New York State Design Awards. An ENR and ENR New York Top Design Firm, the company earned over $28M in regional design revenue in 2016. President and Design Principal James von Klemperer, FAIA, RIBA, began his career with KPF in 1983. The team has since doubled in size to over 500 staffers working out of headquarters in Midtown, and five more in Europe and Asia. One of KPF’s first projects after incorporating in 1976 was repurposing a West Side armory to house studios and offices for ABC. Current Chairman A. Eugene Kohn, and co-founders William Pedersen and Sheldon Fox helmed the project.
Kohn, Pedersen, Fox projects are changing the landscape of New York City as we know it. The firm’s best work is embodied by its 20 Hudson Yards project. Spanning over a million square feet, 20 Hudson Yards is primarily a mixed-setting and houses over a hundred carefully curated collections of shops and top brands. It is home to New York City’s first Neiman Marcus store and has its own iterations of some of the area’s finest eateries, a complex called The Restaurants, which brings together New York’s most celebrated cuisine. The project features an 85-foot high central atrium defined on its west side by an extravagant James Carpenter designed glass wall display.
Pei Cobb Freed & Partners
Eason H. Leonard
Henry N. Cobb
AIA Honor Awards,
AIA Firm Awards,
Chicago Athenaeum American Architecture Award,
Building Stone Institute Tucker Design Award
88 Pine Street, New York, NY 10005
About Pei Cobb Freed & Partners
Headquartered in New York, City, Pei Cobb Freed and Partners is an international architectural firm with over six decades of industry experience. It was founded in 1955 and is led by I.M. Pei, Eason H. Leonard, and Henry N. Cobb. The firm became Pei Cobb Freed & Partners in 1989 and has since won over 200 design awards, including 24 AIA Honor Awards, AIA awards, AIA NYS Firm Awards, and the Lifetime Achievement Award from the New York Society of Architects. Though the firm’s eight partners and 100 designers have completed over 250 projects around the globe, many of the most notable are in New York: The Jacob K. Javits Convention Center, the Four Seasons Hotel, The Plaza, and New York University’s University Plaza. The firm has extensive experience in working with major corporations, and its portfolio includes a rich variety of important educational, cultural, civic, and religious institutions. It also offers a full range of services, making its process holistic and comprehensive.
Pei Cobb Freed and Partners designed the Goldman Sachs global headquarters at 200 West Street. The $2.1B office tower allowed the massive investment banking firm to consolidate a number of New York offices into one campus. The design takes into account the building’s Lower Manhattan site, between the World Trade Center and Battery Park City, connecting the neighborhoods via a glass-covered walkway and public space. Angular on the side facing into the city grid and bowed on the Hudson Riverside, the 2.1M-square-foot, 45-story tower is Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) Gold certified. The design for the tower earned recognition from AIA NYC and an Emporis Skyscraper Award. 7 Bryant Park is another striking addition to a business center. Designed to adhere to zoning mandates while still providing ample generous office floor plates, the building consists of a nine-floor podium beneath a set back 21-story tower. The design had a $150M construction budget and won Engineering News-Record New York’s Project of the Year. The volumes are connected by two opposing, conical cutouts, whose pinnacles touch where the volumes meet, adding dynamism to the building’s park-level aesthetic. Among design awards for 7 Bryant Park are a Chicago Athenaeum American Architecture Award, ENR New York Best Office Building, and the Building Stone Institute Tucker Design Award.
Greater New York Construction User Council Healthcare Environment Award,
American Council of Engineering Companies (ACEC) of New York Engineering Excellence Award,
Interior Design Best of Year Merit Award,
AIA NY Design Merit Award
115 5th Avenue, New York, NY 10011
About Perkins Eastman
Bradford Perkins, Fellow of the American Institute of Architects (FAIA) and Member of the Royal Architectural Institute of Canada (MRAIC) and the American Institute of Certified Planners (AICP), and Mary-Jean Eastman, FAIA, MRAIC, and member of the International Interior Design Association (IIDA) founded Perkins Eastman in 1981 after leaving their positions at Perkins + Will and reorganizing their initial firm, Attia Perkins. Decades Perkins Eastman designs have been recognized by AIA New York State, AIA New York City, and Interior Design. They have also placed among the top design firms on the Engineering News-Record and the Engineering News-Record New York lists. Perkins is currently chairman of the firm; Eastman is the principal and executive director. The firm, on the other hand, has since grown to become a global leader in architecture and is now manned by over a thousand employees and operates out of 17 interdisciplinary offices across the globe.
One of among New York City’s many notable healthcare facilities, Memorial Sloan-Kettering is the pinnacle hub for cancer treatment and research. Perkins Eastman designed the hospital’s Josie Robertson Surgery Center, a 179K-square-foot facility that provides technologically advanced surgical care. A glass curtain wall façade brings scenic views of the Queensboro bridge into the outpatient experience. The 16-story building houses 12 robotic, surgery-ready operating rooms, private prep and recovery spaces, and stress-relieving amenities like its rooftop garden. The innovative and practical design earned Perkins Eastman a Healthcare Environment Award, an Outstanding Project recognition from The Greater New York Construction User Council (GNYCUC), and a Healthcare Design Showcase Honorable Mention. Also a leader in projects for public spaces, Perkins Eastman designed the now-iconic Times Square TKTS Booth. Part of the redevelopment of Father Duffy Square, the glass and fiberglass structure draws long lines of theater-goers hoping to snag discount tickets to Broadway shows. The compact ticket office uses radiant panels and an air handler to achieve optimal temperatures, regardless of the weather. Not just a point of sale, the booth sits beneath red, LED-illuminated steps that function as seating for many a weary tourist. The eye-catching design won an American Council of Engineering Companies (ACEC) of New York, Engineering Excellence Award, an Interior Design Best of Year Merit Award in the Public Spaces/Outdoor category, and an AIA NY Design Merit Award in Architecture.
Renzo Piano Building Workshop
27 Washington Street, New York, NY 10014
About Renzo Piano Building Workshop
Renzo Piano Building Workshop designs international landmarks, from the Centre Pompidou to The Shard in London. Having established offices in Genoa, Paris, and New York, Chairman and Founding Partner Renzo Piano and the nine other partners leading the firm have placed themselves at the center of urban design. Since incorporating in 1981, the Renzo Piano Building Workshop staff has grown to 150 design professionals. Mr. Piano has earned the Royal Gold Medal, the Kyoto Prize, and the Pritzker Prize, among many other design honors. With its team having design experience abroad in Europe, the firm uses the latest building and design approaches and is capable of handling any specific aesthetic challenges that may arise. The team assists clients throughout the entire process from start to finish. It also offers a full range of architectural and design services, as well as interior, town, and urban design work. Since its inception, the firm has completed over 140 projects, most of which are recognizable and are regarded as some of the city’s most important landmarks.
When the Whitney Museum of American Art vacated its Marcel Breuer-designed, brutalist home on the Upper East Side, the collection of 19k works moved downtown. Their new home designed by Renzo Piano, The Whitney Museum at Gansevoort in the Meatpacking District, is an eight-story building clad in blue-grey enamel steel panels. Its asymmetry defies the rigid skyline, much the way the nearby Highline dares to make an urban green space of an abandoned railroad. On the East side of the building, stepped terraces and walkways face the city. The top floor houses a cafe and studio gallery lit by daylight pouring through a sawtooth skylight system. The four floors beneath house an amazing 50k square feet of gallery space, including a column-free fifth level, a feat of engineering that allows for wildly flexible exhibition design. Another downtown project, 565 Broome, is a 30-story residential tower that will bring a soaring height to the traditionally low-rise SoHo. Renzo Piano Building Workshop collaborated with SLCE and RDAI to design a luxury residence, which houses a 55-foot swimming pool. With floor-to-ceiling windows — including curved panels on corner units — joined by thin mullions, tenants will have panoramic views of the city and the river.
Richard Meier & Partners Architects
James R. Crawford
AIA Honors Awards
475 10th Avenue #6, New York, NY 10018
About Richard Meier & Partners Architects
Co-founder and Managing Partner Richard Meier, FAIA and Fellow of the Royal Institute of British Architects (FRIBA), established his architecture firm in 1963 after studying architecture at Cornell University. Richard Meier, along with his six partners — James R. Crawford, Bernhard Karpf, Vivia Lee, Reynolds Logan, Michael Palladino, and Dukho Yeon — equipped Richard Meier & Partners Architects’ dual-coast practice to receive 30 Honors Awards from the AIA, as well as more than 50 from AIA New York and other regional chapters. The firm’s portfolio showcases projects completed in over 18 countries, with its body of work being instantly recognizable for its fine expertise for modern architecture. It is also known for creative solutions and its ability to work on a wide range of building types, not just commercial buildings. Some of these projects include cultural facilities, government offices, libraries, and educational buildings.
Richard Meier and Partners Architects designed 685 First Avenue, a 42-story tower of obsidian glass that is interrupted only by a terrace at its midpoint. For all 556 units, the dark façade gives tenants privacy from residents of neighboring towers in Turtle Bay. The cutout at the terrace separates rental and condo units. Among the luxury amenities are a game room, a fitness center, and a 70-foot lap pool. Tenants will enjoy a below-ground, 110-car garage and quick access to ground floor retail spaces.
Angelica Trevino Baccon
Fast Company Most Innovative Architecture Firm in the World,
Smithsonian/Cooper Hewitt National Design Award for Architecture
233 Broadway, New York, NY 10279
About SHoP Architects
Five principals are at the helm of SHoP architects — twins Christopher and William Sharples, William’s wife Coren Sharples, and couple Kimberly Holden and Greg Pasquarelli. The firm’s name is a mashup of their last initials. Formed in 1996, the relatively young practice has gained attention for its prominent New York City designs, including the Domino Sugar Refinery development in Williamsburg, The Steinway Tower in Midtown, and a reimagined South Street Seaport. Fast Company called SHoP Architects the “Most Innovative Architecture Firm in the World;” Smithsonian/Cooper Hewitt honored them with a National Design Award for Architecture. The firm makes use of an interdisciplinary approach on each of its projects and has had the opportunity to work on a variety of interesting projects.
The American Copper Buildings by SHoP brings a sculptural focal point to the Manhattan skyline. The site in Kips Bay, near the United Nations, is home to two copper-clad towers, angled toward each other in the middle and connected by the highest sky-bridge in Manhattan, the first of its kind to be built in decades. Residents of both towers share access to the lap pool and lounge, housed in the bridge. The roof of the east tower offers the same amenities in the open air. Taking into account the risk of flooding to waterfront property, the buildings have a forward-thinking, self-sufficient energy system. The Barclays Center, another SHoP design, also makes use of a metal façade. The urban sports arena and concert venue, home to the Brooklyn Nets and New York Islanders, is a glazed ground-level story topped with a thirty-foot-high canopy, surrounded by a prismatic lattice of 12k pre-weathered steel panels. The $1B, 675k-square-foot building in Prospect Heights has no dedicated parking but is connected to a $76M public transit hub.
Skidmore, Owings & Merrill
Mustafa K. Abadan (Consulting Partner)
Stephen Apking (Consulting Partner)
Chris Cooper (Design Partner)
Laura Ettelman (Managing Partner)
T.J. Gottesdiener (Consulting Partner)
Gary Haney (Consulting Partner)
Colin Koop (Design Partner)
Kenneth A. Lewis (Managing Partner)
AIA Architecture Firm Award,
AIA 25-Year Award,
AIA Regional & Urban Design Award,
AIA National Honor Award for Architecture,
AIA National Honor Award for Interior Architecture
7 World Trade Center 250 Greenwich Street New York, NY 10007
About Skidmore, Owings & Merrill
Skidmore, Owings & Merrill (SOM) is a collective of architects, engineers, urban planners, and interior designers that has been at the vanguard of the profession for more than 80 years. With offices in Manhattan since 1937, some of its most prominent work has been designed and built in New York City.
The firm has spent two decades designing and planning the future of the West Side of Midtown Manhattan. Between Eighth and Ninth Avenues, SOM has played a leading role in the design of the monumental civic project to convert the 1913 James A. Farley Post Office into the new Daniel Patrick Moynihan Station. The new train hall, with a dramatic skylight, will restore the lost grandeur of the original Pennsylvania Station. It will also anchor the burgeoning development further to the west, starting with the Manhattan West Development on Ninth Avenue. Master planned by SOM, Manhattan West is a new, seven-million-square foot neighborhood built almost entirely above active railroad tracks. The firm designed all four of the mixed-use development’s towers, and the project is on pace for completion in 2023.
SOM is also designing 4 Hudson Square – The Walt Disney Company’s new headquarters in New York – as well as the renovation and restoration of the Waldorf Astoria, a project that will renew the splendor of one of the world’s most iconic hotels. In between, construction is underway on 1245 Broadway and 28th Street and Seventh Avenue – two boutique office buildings that will integrate seamlessly with their neighborhoods in the NoMad district and Chelsea.
Each of these projects build upon the firm’s extensive legacy in New York City, from the completion of Lever House in 1952 to the design and construction of One World Trade Center. Lever House, which brought the International Style of office design to the United States, was the first modernist landmark designated by the city’s Landmarks Preservation Commission. Decades later, One World Trade Center rose 1,776 feet to become the tallest building in the Western Hemisphere, and an instant New York icon.
Throughout its history, SOM has completed more than 10,000 projects across the world, and has earned more than 2,000 design awards. It is the only firm to date to have twice won the AIA Architecture Firm Award, as well as the only firm to have six projects win the AIA Twenty-five Year Award, which recognizes architecture that has stood the test of time.
New World Design Builders
James Beard Award for the Best Restaurant in the US
261 Madison Avenue, 25th Floor, New York, NY 10016
About New World Design Builders
New World Design Builders bring more than 25 years of experience to their work. President Chris Kofitsas leads the firm, a full-service company offering interior architecture and construction services. Architectural Digest, The Daily Beast, DuJour Magazine, and The New York Times have covered the New World Design Builders restaurants that have become celebrity favorites — in New York and Los Angeles. Also active in the spa industry, New World Design Builders focuses on the health and wellness of clients and guests. Streamlined communication means a smoother production process, and the use of natural materials creates calming environments. The strategy is working for Kofitsas’ team; look for New World Design Builders projects on top restaurant lists from Business Insider, Fodor’s Travel, AM New York, and Vogue.
ABC Kitchen — the New American restaurant helmed by chef Jean-Georges Vongerichten — has become a New York favorite due in part to its unique location. The Michelin-starred eatery drawing attention from The New York Times, GQ, New York Magazine, and Vogue is inside of ABC Carpet & Home, a Gramercy Park, high-end decor retailer. In deference to the farm-to-table, sustainable menu options, the dining room is dressed in natural wood floors and exposed beams. Raw, concrete columns are softened by moody lighting and wood, natural-edge table tops. The James Beard Foundation named ABC Kitchen the Best New Restaurant of 2011. Across town is Toro NYC, a 120-seat restaurant bringing the flavors of Barcelona to Chelsea. The design plays up the former factory setting. To warm the steel beams, concrete floors, and exposed ductwork, the design also brings in a textured wall of wood panels and 18-foot windows that allow in natural light and city views.
Jennifer Carpenter Architect
59 Hester Street, Ground Floor, New York, NY 10002
About Jennifer Carpenter Architect
Jennifer Carpenter, a Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED AP), established her eponymous architecture and interior design firm in 2010, after earning a Master of Architecture from Columbia University and obtaining a bachelor’s degree from Yale. Jennifer Carpenter Architect has since earned awards from Confindustria Ceramica and the Boston Preservation Alliance. Also a co-founder of furniture and product design house Truck, Carpenter has designed pieces sold in luxury and museum design retailers. The New York Times, Interior Design, and Architectural Products magazine have featured the firm’s culinary designs, and they are the exclusive architecture design partners for HoneyGrow, a health-food chain that just opened its first New York location in Downtown Brooklyn.
On the list of Jennifer Carpenter Architect clients, you’ll find more than one celebrity chef. Just before closing the doors to beloved hotspot WD-50, Chef Wylie Dufresne partnered with the firm to create Alder. In the spirit of Dufresne’s whimsical cuisine, the design for the East Village restaurant employs materials in unexpected ways. Wood reclaimed from the chef’s farmhouse now serves as a textured ceiling above the dining room. The tabletops — enough to seat 64 — are wrapped in bronze and fitted with rubber inlays where an ordinary placemat would lie. Uptown, the firm worked with internationally acclaimed chef Marcus Samuelsson to breathe new life into new classic Red Rooster. The Harlem restaurant remained open while the pass was replaced with a copper and worn-wood, rustic frame for the elevated soul food menu. The first floor dining room was also upgraded throughout, with new finishes and communal furniture pieces that enhance the restaurant’s joyful atmosphere.
85 North 3rd Street #110, Brooklyn, NY 11249
Crème founder and Principal Jun Aizaki relocated from Japan to New York City in the early 1990s before earning a degree from Pratt Institute School of Architecture. In 2004, after a few years working with formidable firm Rockwell Group and earning an IHMRS Gold Key Award for Best Restaurant Design, Aizaki established Crème, now a critically acclaimed, international design firm. Hospitality Design magazine honored the Williamsburg, Brooklyn-based business with a Wave of the Future Award. Crème has received similar attention from The New Yorker, Interior Design, Architectural Digest, New York Magazine, Food & Wine, and other notable outlets.
Crème won the Prix Versailles in the restaurant category for the interior of L’Amico, an eatery in the Eventi Hotel in Chelsea. The 1,700-square-foot space combines rustic and industrial details. Wood fire ovens, clad in copper, stand next to built-in, geometric shelving used to store firewood. The rest of the open kitchen is dressed in simple black and white tile that nods at the graphic, concrete floors of the dining room. Floor-to-ceiling folding wall panels open the interior to the sidewalk, where diners sit in deep, oversized banquettes or blackened-steel and walnut chairs designed by the firm. Le Promenade des Anglais is the result of Chef Alain Allegretti’s collaboration with Crème — an elegant setting that taps into Allegretti’s connections with Southern France. The design is transportive, from the deep blue velour of the banquettes to the graphic ceiling. Brass light fixtures, antique mirrors, and a marble-topped bar punctuate the brasserie’s moody decor.
John Beard Award for Best Restaurant Design,
Americas Restarant Design Awards
224 Centre Street, 3rd Floor, New York, NY 10013
AvroKO conceptualizes and designs some of the most progressive dining spaces in New York City and beyond. Partners and Principals Greg Bradshaw, Adam Farmerie, William Harris, and Kristina O’Neal established the firm in 2001 after meeting in college. Since establishing offices in Manhattan, San Francisco, London, and Bangkok, the firm of 120 creatives has designed everything from interiors to uniforms that have drawn the attention of the James Beard Foundation, Condé Nast Traveler, Interior Design, New York Magazine, and more.
AvroKO is the architect and developer behind Saxon + Parole, one of Esquire magazine’s Best Bars in America and the Tales of the Cocktail Best Restaurant and Bar. The East Village restaurant is styled with a modernist equine theme, taking inspiration from New York City history; the namesake horses were winning local races at the turn of the century when horse stables were a common sight in lower Manhattan. A finalist for the Hospitality Design award for Best Fine Dining Design, Saxon + Parole utilizes everyday items in unusual ways. One installation wall juts into the space with knives sourced by the owners and brought in by customers. Built-in storage stacked with horse blankets are an acoustic dampener and add contrasting texture to finishes like reclaimed wood, exposed brick, and a wall dotted with close to 60,000 hand-hammered tacks. A few blocks away, on the Lower East Side, Beauty & Essex has emerged as another AvroKO darling of the downtown restaurant scene. Formerly the storefront of furniture shop Katz & Sons, the restaurant is a 250-seat jewel box hidden behind a functioning pawnshop. Haute Living named the 10k-square-foot restaurant one of New York’s hottest, citing the glamorous flourishes throughout the three-story space. In one room, dark, sumptuous banquettes sit under a tin ceiling draped with crystal, while in another, herringbone tile floors and textured, graphic wall panels glow under a convex skylight.
Cass Calder Smith
and Melissa Werner
John Beard Award for Best Restaurant Design,
Hospitality Design Award Best Casual Restaurant,
BLLA Award for Best Boutique Restaurant,
AIA|LA Restaurant Design Award
180 Varick Street #930, New York, NY 10014
About CCS Architecture
Cass Calder Smith founded CCS Architecture in 1990. The team of 30 designers and principals now operates out of one office situated between the trendsetting neighborhoods of Greenwich Village and SoHo, and another in San Francisco. With partners Taylor Lawson, Barbara Vickroy, and Melissa Werner, Smith has led the firm to critical acclaim in the pages of Dwell, Architectural Record, The New York Times, and Metropolis. CCS Architecture has also earned recognition for their restaurant designs from James Beard, AIA Los Angeles, and the International Interior Design Association.
CCS Architecture brought the charm of a quintessential Upper East Side locale downtown with designs for Sarabeth’s Park Avenue South. In this renovation, a former steakhouse became the 16k-square-foot outpost — now the largest of Sarabeth’s restaurants — with three private dining rooms, a patio for al fresco dining, and a large, refurbished bar. In total, the new Sarabeth’s can seat nearly 400 guests at completely new tables and banquettes across its main and lower level. The restaurant is finished in contrasting colors and varying textures, from walls wrapped in black tile and bleached wood panels, to floors tiled in varied geometric patterns. CCS Architecture also designed Covina, an elevated casual dining experience in NoMad. In partnership with Chef Tim Cushman and his wife Nancy, CCS Architecture created an environment that draws Park South Hotel guests and Manhattanites alike. Warm light and natural finishes forge a welcome oasis from the bustle of the city. A zinc-topped bar is tucked into a cozy alcove, warmed by exposed brick and wide plank wood floors. Guest sitting for a full meal may prefer the semi-private dining room, or a seat at the chef’s counter, looking into the open kitchen with its custom-tiled pizza oven and wood-fired grill.
547 West 27th Street, Suite 304, New York, NY 10001
About Wid Chapman
Wid Chapman Architects has completed projects across the US, as well as in the Dominican Republic, Malaysia, and other countries around the world. Founder Chapman, member of the American Institute of Architects (AIA), studied architecture at the Rhode Island School of Design and went on to chair the interior design program at Parsons School of Design. Since establishing the firm in 2003, Chapman has become an authority in lifestyle design, with projects featured in Hospitality Design, New York Magazine, Interior Design, The New York Times, and more. The firm’s work has also appeared in international publications distributed in Japan and India.
The Wid Chapman-designed Industry Kitchen is in an unusual spot. This social media-ready bar and restaurant occupies 3,200 square feet under the FDR drive, the freeway that runs along Manhattan’s eastern waterfront. The location — in a larger structure designed by SHoP Architects — does have its perks. Architectural Digest and Wall Street Journal have noted the restaurant’s innovative design. Floor-to-ceiling windows just yards from the water’s edge give diners panoramic views of boats, bridges, and Queens. The design draws from the view; green tile evokes the flowing river, while concrete and iron recall the Brooklyn Bridge and, of course, the city’s skylines. A wood-paneled ceiling and natural wood table- and bar-tops mediate the effect of the more industrial finishes. Up the block, on SHoP Architects-designed Pier 15, you’ll find Watermark Bar. This Chapman project is a bit larger, with 3,500 square feet of indoor and outdoor space for up to 200 guests to enjoy a cocktail after exploring the South Street Seaport. The restrained design centers on a large bar wrapped in black subway tiles and topped with reclaimed wood. Metal finishes and globe light fixtures hint at old New York without competing with the view.
Evan and Oliver Haslegrave
61 Greenpoint Avenue, Suite 225, Brooklyn, NY 11222
About Home Studios
Brothers Evan and Oliver Haslegrave are the co-founders of Home Studios, the Greenpoint, Brooklyn design firm behind New York City’s newest hotspots. Under Oliver’s direction, the small firm has captured the attention of Wall Street Journal, The New York Times, Wallpaper, Surface, and New York Magazine for projects across the United States. Since the company incorporated in 2009, Home Studios projects have consistently landed on top restaurant design lists from Eater and Dwell magazine. Home Studios projects have also been shortlisted for multiple Restaurant Bar & Design Awards and took home the prize for Tørst, named best-designed bar in North and South America.
Home Studios designed Cherry Izakaya, the Japanese gastropub Dwell magazine called one of 10 Best-Designed Restaurants in America. The retro Tokyo design complements the Williamsburg, Brooklyn milieu. The large bar is dressed in handmade tiles, while the upstairs dining room is awash in reclaimed wood. Brass banker lamps and patinaed mirrors diffuse a warm glow, bolstered by the glow of recessed fixtures in the vaulted, wood-paneled ceiling. June in Cobble Hill has another artfully appointed interior by Home Studios. The existing wine bar, owned by Tom Kearney, was completely overhauled and given a vintage Paris-inspired palette of deep blues and soft grays. Vogue, Refinery29, Travel + Leisure & Food & Wine, have taken note of the immersive aesthetic. The marble-topped bar — opposite red, wood banquettes, and textured walls — dances with light from the frosted bulb light fixtures that run along the ceiling’s rounded vault. The space is rich, sophisticated, and unpretentious.
Will Meyer and Gray Davis
International Hotel & Property Awards
180 Varick Street, Suite 404, New York, NY 10014
About Meyer Davis
Will Meyer and Gray Davis partnered in 1999 to establish Meyer Davis, a boutique design firm creating high-end residential, commercial, and corporate spaces. Meyer, once a protégé of the late, famed architect Charles Gwathmey, has established a reputation for expertly relating modern and traditional modes. Davis has spent more than 20 years in the industry and previously worked with designers Thomas O’Brien and John Saladino. The Meyer Davis team of over 40 designers operates out of offices in New York, London, and Los Angeles. Among the firm’s elite chef clientele are Daniel Boulud, Ford Fry, Tom Colicchio, and Jean-Georges Vongerichten. Meyer Davis restaurant designs have garnered awards and accolades from Interior Design, Boutique Design, Hospitality Design, and the International Hotel & Property Awards.
A Meyer Davis collaboration with Reveal Design Group produced Harlow — the epitome of Hollywood glamour right in Midtown East. The marble oyster bar gleams under ornate chandeliers and a mirrored back bar. The main dining room, which retained its 1930s stained glass windows, seats 100. But before guests get to their tables, they come to a sumptuous parlor room to grab a drink at the white, leather bar lounge in plush seats beneath a high ceiling. The conservatory room is behind an interior wall draped in vines. Downtown, Meyer Davis is trendsetting with Boqueria. The SoHo restaurant and shop offers Spanish fare in a textural paradise. Ceiling panels hand-wrapped in burlap underscore a market aesthetic — a nod to the namesake Boqueria Market in Barcelona — while the thick, marble countertops along the bar and open kitchen steep the experience in luxury and quality.
Richard H. Lewis Architect
Richard H. Lewis
Lumen Award of Merit
444 Central Park West, Suite 12E, New York, NY 10025
About Richard H. Lewis Architect
A sole proprietorship, Richard H. Lewis operates out of two offices on Manhattan’s Upper West Side. Since 1982, Lewis has created hospitality spaces that establish trends and galvanize paradigms of New York high-end dining world. Interior Design, The New York Times, New York Magazine, and The New York Post are among the publications taking notice of Lewis projects, which range from successful newcomers — like The Meatball Shop and French bistro Cherche Midi — to iconic New York destinations, like Tavern on the Green. The firm also designs luxury retail locations, workspaces, and private residences.
The original Tavern on the Green opened in 1934 and evolved into a destination within Manhattan’s Central Park. In 2009, however, the restaurant closed amid scandal and bankruptcy. Five years after closing, the paragon of fine dining has been revived. The renovation required New York City to invest $20M into gutting the original and replacing the 1880, stone roof that had originally sheltered sheep who roamed the adjacent meadow. The new owners put another $18M into updating the building and restoring the facade. Lewis brought luster to the 350-seat dining rooms with gold leaf mirrors; red, tufted-velvet banquettes; and Victorian Gothic features. Diners can also sit outside in the bucolic yet contemporary courtyard, which earned a Lumen Award of Merit. In another Richard H. Lewis Architect transformation, what was once a barber shop tucked into a corner of Grand Central Terminal has become Agern, a Nordic eatery that offers respite from the city’s bustle. With designers Christina Meyer Bengtsson and Ulrik Nordentoft, Lewis brought Scandinavian charm and a spa aesthetic to the windowless, subterranean space. The 2,900-square-foot dining room is finished in pale woods and geometric tile. The chevron pattern nods at the Art Deco style of the nearby Chrysler building.
Cooper-Hewitt National Design Award,
AIA New York President’s Award,
5 Union Square West, New York, NY 10003
About Rockwell Group
David Rockwell, a Fellow of the American Institute of Architects (FAIA), founded Rockwell Group in Manhattan in 1984. Now, under the care of Rockwell and partners Greg Keffer and Shawn Sullivan, the firm employs a team of 250 designers and staff. From their offices in New York, Shanghai, and Madrid, Rockwell Group produces designs for projects in hospitality, healthcare, retail, and more. The firm, a James Beard Foundation Who’s Who of Food & Beverage inductee, has earned the National Design Award from the Cooper-Hewitt National Design Museum, the AIA New York President’s Award, among other prestigious architecture honors. Condé Nast Traveler, Food & Wine, and Fast Company rank Rockwell Group and their work among the most innovative and hottest in the industry.
Having developed a 23-year relationship with Chef Nobu Matsuhisa — one that began with the restaurant’s Tribeca location — the firm is now the design collaborator for Nobu’s locations worldwide. The Rockwell Group design for Nobu Downtown, in the Financial District, won an NYCxDesign Award in the Restaurant/Bar category. The new, 4,500-square-foot restaurant is located in the former AT&T building. Immense, Botticino marble columns rise around the perimeter and through the center of the ground floor dining room. Another traditional feature, a coffered ceiling, gives way to a wooden canopy, pieced together with undulating wood beams and designed to resemble origami. Tao, another icon of the New York restaurant scene, also looked to Rockwell Group to design their Lower Manhattan outpost. Tao Downtown occupies the former home of the Maritime Hotel in Chelsea. Eschewing the typical dining format, the team created a dynamic, two-story layout that moves guests through various lounge areas spread across the 22k-square-foot space. Twenty-foot statues, a grand staircase, and carved pillars add drama and scale to the experience.
Design + Build Enterprises
103 Atlantic Avenue, Brooklyn, NY 11201
About Design + Build Enterprises
Design + Build Enterprises is the Cobble Hill firm making a mark on Brooklyn’s most popular neighborhoods. Tambi Kat, a LEED-certified professional, and graduate of a five-year architecture program, established the company and now serves as a principal and hands-on project director, connecting clients with the teams of designers, technology specialists, and craftsmen that will bring a dream home to life. Kat worked with architects and development firms for years before striking out on his own to assemble a team that would offer soup-to-nuts design and build services. A member of the U.S. Green Building Council, Design + Build Enterprises works on brownstones and apartments in Brooklyn Heights, Park Slope, and Fort Greene, where home listings frequently top $15M.
Design Build + Enterprises renovated an 1860 Italianate-style home in Fort Greene. The house at 158 South Oxford Street — which at one time was on the market for $13M — sits on a hill that used to overlook farmland, but it is now in danger of being overrun by Fort Greene’s sprawling development. Homeowners can watch the neighborhood change through the property’s 33 windows, or from the Gothic, trimmed front and back porches. The 5,400-square-foot, four-bedroom received a new kitchen with a wraparound countertop, butcher-block center island, and subway tile backsplash. One of the home’s bathrooms retains the charm of traditional tilework and a stained-glass window, while another got a slate tile update. The wood flooring was restored flooring throughout — from the parquet entry and upstairs bedroom to the main living spaces’ hardwood planks. An exterior staircase with filigree risers leads from the second-story down to the garden. Design + Build Enterprises completed another gut renovation in Fort Greene, revitalizing a four-story townhouse within a six-figure budget. Each bedroom and living space has its own unique aesthetic, bound together by white trim and a central staircase. The top story, which has panoramic views of the historic Fort Greene, now houses a lofted cinema with three skylights. Outdoor space is precious in New York City, and this home doesn’t disappoint. The master suite extends outdoors to a private teak deck.
Essential Design + Build
555 Fifth Avenue, New York, NY 10017
About Essential Design + Build
Formerly known as Atco Construction, Essential Design + Build has provided detail-oriented architecture and construction services since 1971. Working out of their Midtown office, the certified US Green Building Council member brings sustainable construction practices and LEED AP staff to commercial and residential projects throughout the city. Essential Design + Build projects have appeared on Curbed New York. House Beautiful tapped the firm for their expertise for a feature on urban remodels.
Essential Design + Build renovated a 1920s, 3,373-square-foot home on Summer Street in the Forest Hills Garden neighborhood of Queens. Working with architect Daniel Flebut and the homeowner, a registered architect and interior designer, the firm gutted the home to the studs and reimagined the layout to better accommodate family and entertaining. The kitchen was broadened and now features an island and adjacent wet bar. Original handicraft details and millwork were revived and recreated. Crown molding and traditional tilework nod at Tudor history. The Queens Chamber of Commerce dubbed the project the best single-family home renovation in the borough. In a landmarked section of the same historic neighborhood, Essential Design + Build completed an interior and exterior renovation of a 1940s home. The firm retained as much of the original charm as possible while affording the homeowners something akin to the Manhattan loft lifestyle they left behind. The grand entryway features a checkerboard floor and a staircase with dark wood treads. Replete with modernized mullioned windows, the house is bright and airy. Downstairs, the study’s masonry chimney is a visual backbone, supporting the house from its 16th-century, English roots, up to its eye-catching chimney. The extensive renovation landed on the cover of Metropolitan Home magazine.
Beckman Studio Design Build
186 Grand Street, Third Floor, New York, NY 10013
About Beckman Studio Design Build
In 1994, sculptor and master builder Thomas Beckman established Beckman Studio Design Build, a multi-disciplinary firm he leads with support from Director of Project Management Brian MacKinnon. Beckman, a graduate of the Rhode Island School of Design, traveled the United States extensively and took on diverse apprenticeships before settling in New York and opening a studio in the Meatpacking District. In his 20-plus year career, Beckman has amassed a client list that includes Calvin Klein and Burberry, and he broadened his focus to luxury interiors and custom furniture. Experience in international real estate development, MacKinnon is a hands-on leader, facilitating interactions between designers, clients, and construction crews. The New York Times and Interior Design have featured Beckman work.
The Beckman Studio renovation of a 1,000-square-foot loft in Williamsburg took the unit from cookie cutter to one of a kind. The firm chose finishes that play off of the unit’s covetable views of the Williamsburg Bridge and Lower Manhattan, as well as the neighborhood’s industrial past. In the kitchen, white subway tile evokes classic New York and the brickwork patterns of nearby buildings. The team treated an exposed steel column — not unlike the beams that anchor the 100-year-old bridge in the East River — so it would patina over time. Beckman Studio also transformed a 1,500-square-foot loft in the heart of Tribeca. In the main living space, the firm used maple cabinetry, Carrara marble slabs, and a travertine fireplace front to make the most of light from the apartment’s northern exposure. The two baths showcase a similarly unpretentious luxury, with custom millwork, Moroccan marble floors, and frosted windows that diffuse daylight through the room while affording the homeowner privacy. The apartment also received upgrades to its electrical, mechanical, and audio-visual systems for state-of-the-art, sustainable living.
311 West 43rd Street, Penthouse, New York, NY 10036
About Studio DB
Damian and Britt Zunino are the minds behind Studio DB, a Manhattan-based firm that has delivered forward-thinking designs and skilled craftsmanship on residential projects since 2007. Britt, a trained studio artist, and former professional snowboarder, eventually went for an Interior Design degree from New York’s Fashion Institute of Technology. The management and merchandising experience she gained working for Ellen Tracy and Philippe Starck have been an asset to the company’s evolving aesthetic. Damian utilized his master’s in architecture from Yale University first to design homes in Connecticut, and then to take a position working with esteemed New York firm CookFox Architects. He is a LEED Accredited Professional who brings sustainable strategies to all of the firm’s residential undertakings. In the last decade, Studio DB has racked up features in The New York Times, Wallpaper Magazine, Vogue Paris, and Elle Décor.
Home World Design magazine profiled the Studio DB renovation of a downtown townhouse, originally built in 1888. The single-family smart home encompasses a whopping 9,600 square feet of living space, plus a 1,000-square-foot roof terrace. The continuous stair reaches all the way through the glass-floored fifth and sixth stories. Two large skylights and translucent finishes fill every level with natural light. The ground floor is a dream for the homeowners’ children, with a half-court for basketball, a rock climbing wall, and a 100”, retractable projector screen. Guests can take an elevator down from their second-story suite to the cellar level, where they can enjoy a wine vault, 700-square-foot gym and yoga studio. The third-story kitchen — dressed in oxidized maple and lacquered cabinetry — is open to the two-story living room. North of Union Square, Studio DB tackled a smaller project with the same level of finesse. For the full renovation of a 2,800-square-foot loft, the team designed an open space primed for privacy. The homeowner can create intimate enclaves with custom teak, steel, and glass sliding doors and bookshelves. White, epoxy floors, a bi-level library, and a cantilevered steel staircase lend industrial sophistication.
The Brooklyn Home Company
Lyndsay Caleo and Fitzhugh Karol
138 Union Street #1B, Brooklyn, NY 1123
About The Brooklyn Home Company
Projects by The Brooklyn Home Company have garnered press from Brownstoner, Curbed New York, The New York Times, and The Real Deal. The family-run firm has expanded their focus from single-family homes to also developing and designing several multi-unit buildings throughout Brooklyn. Married couple and co-Creative Directors Lyndsay Caleo and Fitzhugh Karol both trained in studio arts at the Rhode Island School of Design. Lyndsay’s brother Bill is the company founder and head of operations. He has more than a decade of experience in Brooklyn real estate. The team at iFathom Construction Corp., led by Pete Gerolimatos, works exclusively with The Brooklyn Home Company as a dedicated general contractor. Food & Wine has tapped the firm for their kitchen design expertise. Their projects — which command millions on the market — have also been featured in New York Magazine.
The Brooklyn Home Company renovated a four-story townhouse on 5th street in Park Slope. The ceiling wood beams are one of the home’s defining characteristics. The designers uncovered them during demolition and smartly decided to keep them exposed. Custom, built-in shelves also run throughout the house. In the living room, they frame a fireplace and integrated wall sculpture by Karol. A new, two-story extension houses the kitchen, an homage to cottage aesthetics with a vintage farm sink, reclaimed-wood open shelving, and an island topped with Sapele wood. A few blocks down in South Slope, The Brooklyn Home Company transformed a 15th street duplex, from the interior architecture to bespoke furniture. Though decorated in a palette of subdued neutrals, the home has textural depth from dark exposed ceiling beams, an interior stone wall, and painted exposed brick. Karol’s distinct sculptures make another appearance, creating shadows under the abundant natural light. Reclaimed factory floors add the sustainable, vintage touch that is The Brooklyn Home Company’s signature.
284 Kingsland Avenue, Brooklyn, NY 11222
About Descience Laboratories
With work featured in The Wall Street Journal, Architectural Record, Elle Decor, and Interior Design, Brooklyn-based Descience Laboratories is a making a splash in New York’s residential design-build scene. Simrel Achenbach founded the firm in 2000, having already gained 15 years of experience in international art and design. Descience Laboratories takes a tailored approach to each project, whether that calls for artisanal millwork or cutting-edge machinery. Also a furniture studio, the firm’s pieces often make appearances in high-end interiors.
Architectural Digest covered a Descience Laboratories downtown Manhattan loft makeover for Dutch fashion photographers Inez van Lamsweerde and Vinoodh Matadin. Working in collaboration with designer Daniel Sachs, they joined two lofts in a Nolita building to create one expansive, 3,400-square-foot unit. Pine built-ins add a warm hue without breaking with the industrial aesthetic — so does the bleach alder wood kitchen, light and airy against wide-plank pine floors. Touches of red cedar in the master suite intensify the tonal depth and pop against the dark ceramic tile behind the vanity. The dynamic yet neutral finishes are a complementary backdrop to the homeowners’ collection of pop art, as well as their own work. Descience Laboratories bathed another Nolita loft in wood for a decidedly more finished aesthetic. The double-height living room borrows from contemporary Japanese design, with low-profile seating and second-story panels that resemble traditional screens. Beyond the two-story wall of mullioned windows and doors is the kitchen, where white, flat-faced cabinets and a wood-plank ceiling balance a waterfall-edge marble island with a six-burner range.
Harper Design + Build
The Architect’s Magazine Best of Design Award for Residential Interior
343 Sixth Street, Brooklyn, NY 11215
About Harper Design + Build
Harper Design + Build, a Park Slope-based firm, provides a full-service experience to homeowners in New York’s well established and currently trending neighborhoods. Principal, architect and general contractor Ryan Harper founded the firm in 2004, drawing on experience as an architect and contractor with Gensler and Saladino Group. His college experience in the University of Cincinnati architecture program gave him a formal and practical education in the finer points of design and project management. Also a principal and licensed architect, Christine Harper joined the company after nine years as a senior associate at 1100 Architect, working on residences for high-profile clients. In total, Christine has over 18 years of experience in high-end residential design. Look for projects by Harper Design + Build in The Architect’s Newspaper, GQ, and New England Home.
Harper Design + Build partnered with O’Neill McVoy Architects to reconstruct a cramped carriage house in Brooklyn as a bright family home. The street-facing facade is in step with Clinton Hill’s neighboring brownstones, in opposition the more modern rear design of the house. To bring light into the space, Harper Design + Build added floor-to-ceiling windows on the first and second stories overlooking the private yard, and cut out volumes of negative space that brighten the master bedroom and library, and also makes space for a garden centered in the first floor. The renovated home was featured on Dezeen and earned a Best of Design Award for Residential Interior from The Architect’s Newspaper. In Manhattan, Harper Design + Build reworked a 5th Avenue condo for Interior Design Hall of Fame inductee Celeste Cooper. The 2,000-square-foot apartment already offered sweeping views of Central Park, but the firm upped the ante by adding a top-of-the-line, stainless steel kitchen, bespoke Corian cabinets, and a seamless epoxy resin floor. A cutting-edge lighting program allows for efficient, customizable environment. Other luxe features include a butler pantry concealed behind sculptural, black-lacquered, sliding doors, and a foyer finished in vellum goatskin. The American Society of Interior Designers featured the richly appointed home on a tour for emerging designers.
Regina Kellerman Award for Historic Preservation
1 Maiden Lane, New York, NY 10038
About TRA Studio
Caterina Roiatti, AIA, NCARB and Parsons School of Design graduate Robert Traboscia co-founded TRA Studio Architecture in 1997. Throughout their 20 years in business, the firm has drawn attention from notable outlets such as The New York Times, Architectural Record, and The New York Post. TRA Studio is skilled at contemporary build-outs and historical renovations. Roiatti has served as a co-chair of the AIA New York Historic Buildings Committee, and the Greenwich Village Society recognized the firm with the Regina Kellerman Award for Historic Preservation for their work on 173 MacDougal Street. Several of the team’s projects have landed in the AIA Guide to New York City.
TRA Studio designed and built out a unit in the historic Ritz Tower, the standard for New York City residential luxury. Built in 1925, the Midtown East icon was the first residential high-rise to go up on the island of Manhattan. The apartment’s open layout, though, is thoroughly modern. By carefully reconstructing three adjacent apartments as one expansive unit, TRA Studio afforded the homeowners light-suffused, expansive space for entertaining; bedrooms for five children; and a master suite. The airy living room transitions almost seamlessly to a terrace that places guests high above the bustle of the streets below, yet in the thick of the city’s diverse architecture. Exposed, cast-iron columns hint at the building’s rich history. In another unique Upper East Side endeavor, TRA Studio redesigned a rare four-story, brick townhouse with a detached carriage house. Behind the custom, corten steel gate and limestone facade is a canopied entryway and a wood staircase wrapped in glass and metalwork. The two-story carriage house is a self-sufficient guest suite — the likes of which are unheard of in the concrete jungle — under a living green roof. The buildings are bridged by a private courtyard and a skylit, underground passageway extending from the townhouse basement. The property hit the market with a list price of just over $14M.
Oliver Freundlich and Brian Papa
141 Beard Street Building 12B Brooklyn, NY 11231
MADE is a design-build practice based in Brooklyn’s Red Hook piers, led by Principal Ben Bischoff. Bischoff founded the company in 2002 with fellow Yale School of Architecture graduates Oliver Freundlich and Brian Papa. The firm’s choice of office — a Civil War-era warehouse — is no accident. MADE is known for having a particular finesse for adapting historic structures for modern living. MADE combines design, fabrication, and contracting services to execute architectural designs to their fullest potential. The Architect’s Newspaper, Elle Décor, and New York Magazine have picked up on MADE’s bold designs and precise execution.
Architectural Digest and Curbed New York covered Brooke Shields’ family home renovation, a joint effort between MADE and British interior designer David Flint Wood. When Shields and her husband purchased the landmarked, four-story townhouse, it needed a total gut. MADE set out to restore as much of the original, 1910 architecture as possible while preparing the $5.6M, Greek revival structure for a modern update. On the main floor, glossy, dark wood floors add edge and glamour opposite white crown molding. In the master suite, the expansive walk-in closet is formed from rift-sawn white oak and includes a library ladder for access to floor-to-ceiling shelving. The black-painted, free-standing soaking tub recalls the black and white motif in other finishes throughout the home. The guest room isn’t short on glamour; a luxurious, oversized marble mantel plays off of the form of the deep-set windows. MADE also designed and built some of the Greenwich Village abode’s furniture pieces, including the reclaimed-wood dining table and the master bath vanity. In the upscale Brooklyn neighborhood of Boerum Hill, MADE designed and rebuilt a previously gutted 2,400-square-foot townhouse. The design-build firm oriented the house around a switchback staircase situated under a skylight. The untraditional layout makes for more spacious floorplans and a light-filled home. The master bedroom and bathroom are divided by a floor-to-ceiling, wood-paneled volume and a sliding screen. The kitchen features custom cabinetry built from salvaged wood beams.
122 E. 57th Street, Suite 4R New York, NY 10022
About Aerial Design-Build
Aerial Design-Build specializes in residential and restaurant design-build projects. Founding Principals Julie Kelley and Rupila Sethi work with design-build director Jessica Maktal in their Midtown office. Kelley, an 18-year veteran of the New York construction scene, leads the corporate side of the business. With degrees in architecture and lighting under her belt, Sethi has worked on commercial projects for Tiffany and HBO, as well as luxury residences in the US and abroad. A graduate of the prestigious City College of New York architecture program, Maktal rounds out the leadership trifecta as an on-the-ground project manager. New York Magazine consistently lists Aerial Design-Build among the top contractors in the city, and the firm recently became a member of U.S. Green Building Council. Their projects have garnered attention from Architectural Digest, The Huffington Post, and CNN.
Aerial Design-Build created a Gramercy Park apartment for fashion designer Derek Lam and his life and business partner Jan-Hendrik Schlottmann. Now referred to as “the treehouse,” the unit overlooks Gramercy Park, the private green space only accessible to residents of the surrounding buildings. Lam’s apartment, at the recently redesigned, the 1930s 50 Gramercy Park North, is a three-bedroom, three-and-a-half-bath spread that cost the pair $4.8M before renovations. The design-build firm partnered with interior design house Neal Beckstedt Studio to outfit the space with custom, pale-washed oak cabinetry, and wall panels. The tan hue is utilized again in the master bath, which is swathed in travertine. The Wall Street Journal covered an Aerial Design-Build project at 24 West 30th Street. In partnership with architect Aaron Schiller of Schiller Projects, the firm completed a $700k renovation of a 1,979-square-foot unit in the Pell Building. With eleven-foot ceilings, the apartment in the 1909 warehouse building had good bones. During the first four months of the 14-month renovation, the team opened up the floor plan by removing interior walls and exposed some of the original masonries. A louvered partition separates the entryway from the high-end kitchen. Bleached wood plank floors bounce light from the apartment’s 24 windows.