This list includes both licensed architects and residential designers who can both 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.
American Association of Museums Excellence in Exhibition Design Award,
City of Philadelphia Commerce Department and the Community Design Collaborative Storefront Challenge Best Overall Design,
HGTV Fresh Faces of Design,
Mid-Atlantic Association of Museums “Buildy” Award,
City of Philadelphia Commerce Department and the Community Design Collaborative Storefront Challenge Best Overall Design,
PA Brownfields Conference nExtreme Makeover Award.
211 N 13th Street, Philadelphia, PA 19107
In 2002, Alan Metcalfe invited one of his clients, Aaron Goldblatt, then deputy director at the Wagner Free Institute of Science, to start a new firm together. Metcalfe, AIA, LEED AP, NCARB, worked as lead designer and partner at three Philadelphia firms before starting Metcalfe. He holds a Master of Architecture from Columbia University, a Bachelor of Arts in Art History from Tufts University and is a LEED AP and NCARB certified. The firm’s work has been featured in a variety of publications, including The Huffington Post, The Wall Street Journal, Context Magazine, The Philadelphia Inquirer, and the New York Times. Metcalfe has also been feted with a long list of awards, including the 2017 American Association of Museums, Excellence in Exhibition Design Award; the 2016 City of Philadelphia Commerce Department and the Community Design Collaborative Storefront Challenge, Best Overall Design; the 2015 HGTV Fresh Faces of Design; the 2015 Mid-Atlantic Association of Museums “Buildy” Award; the 2014 City of Philadelphia Commerce Department and the Community Design Collaborative Storefront Challenge, Best Overall Design; and the 2013 PA Brownfields Conference, Extreme Makeover Award.
Bringing traditional Philadelphia homes up to 2017, Metcalfe has worked on a variety of residencies near and around Philadelphia. One of these includes “The Seidenberg House” in Conshohocken, Pennsylvania. The firm reinvented this Mid-century “kit house” by reorienting the house towards its rear yard and adding a glass connector bridge, linking a new bedroom nestled in the trees to the rest of the house. The renovations completed at the Seidenberg House convey their unique approach to play, design, and appreciation of tree-filled vistas. The project won Metcalfe the 2012 Pennsylvania Society of Registered Architects Design Award of Merit. Metcalfe also worked on “The Cohen Residence” in Philadelphia. They redesigned the renovation of a 1925 stone Colonial in the Mt. Airy neighborhood. The home features custom-built shelves, cabinets, bureaus, and expanded closets in each room. Its open floor plan puts the focus on the back terrace and glass-encased entryway. The firm also inserted a new mudroom in the back of the home for the family’s use. Creative inspiration from the family’s art collection can be found in colorful vignettes and artistic finishes.
Krieger + Associates
Jeffrey F. Krieger
PA Council of Society of American Registered Architects Design Award of Honor,
Chrysalis National Award,
Society of American Registered Architects Professional Award of Honor
1800 Lancaster Avenue, Paoli, PA 19301
About Krieger + Associates
Krieger + Associates Architects is an award-winning, Philadelphia-area firm. Located in nearby Paoli, Pennsylvania, the firm has provided architectural and planning services to residential, institutional, and commercial clients for over two decades, since its creation in 1992. The firm has accumulated a long list of plaudits, including the Design Award of Honor, PA Council of Society of American Registered Architects in 2013, the Chrysalis National Award in 2014, the Professional Award of Honor from the Society of American Registered Architects in 2013, listed “Best of the Best” by Professional Remodeler Magazine in 2009. Krieger + Associates is lead by President and Principal Jeffrey F. Krieger, AIA, LEED AP. Krieger brings over three decades of architectural practice to the group. Prior to founding the firm in 1992, Krieger worked at Venturi, Scott Brown and Associates in Philadelphia. He has been a registered architect since 1985 and has taught architectural design studios at Drexel University for 25 years. He is also a member of the Pennsylvania Society of Architects and the Philadelphia Chapter of the AIA.
Krieger + Associates has designed a number of unique homes in and around the Philadelphia area. Some of these include the “Family Room With a View” in Chestnut Hill. This 1930’s house is an unusual blend of the Cotswold style — common to Northwest Philadelphia — and the more avant-garde International style. Krieger + Associates renovated the living and sleeping spaces on the first and second floors, updating the bathrooms and lighting. Two additions were created on the street side of the house. One provides a new mudroom and rear entrance, while the second adds a large breakfast room and family room, large skylights, and a fieldstone floor. White cabinets and cherry and slate countertops harmonize with the exposed interior stone walls. Another project in Chestnut Hill was the “Right-Sized Modern.” This modest-sized stone and brick twin house had a dated interior and had suffered serious neglect. Krieger + Associates worked to restore it top to bottom, with all new finishes and systems. A second-floor window bay had to be completely rebuilt due to damage discovered when replacing the roof. The firm took out walls on the first floor for a bright and modern open plan, so the living room now flows into the dining and kitchen area.
Jerry K Roller
100 E Penn Square #1080, Philadelphia, PA 19107
Founded in 1984, JKRP Architects is a full-service architecture firm built on relationships located in the Center City neighborhood, just next door to City Hall. JKPR offers a wide range of services that balance design, scope, and cost across every step of the project. Jerry K Roller, AIA LEEP AP, is also the founder of the firm. He’s served as president of AIA-PA and regional director and vice president on the National AIA Board. He is also an active board member of the BIA of Philadelphia. Roller is joined by Paul Georges, AIA, who joined JKRP in 1986. Glenn Werner, AIA, LEEP AP, has been part of JKRP since 1987. He is also a member of the American Institute of Architects, Philadelphia; the ACHE/American College of Healthcare Executives; the Builders Industry Association Green Committee; the Health Care Facilities Managers Association of Delaware Valley HFMADV; and the Morgantown Area Business Association. David Urffer, AIA, joined in 1998 and is on the board of directors. It also includes Robert McCall, AIA, Jonathan A. Broh, AIA, and Jose J. Hernandez, AIA, NOMA, NCARB, as principal architects.
JKPR has worked on a variety of custom homes across the Philadelphia area, one of which is a single-family private residency at a penthouse apartment in the famous Rittenhouse Square. Using custom millwork, the firm worked with their client to design new rooms for entertaining and private living spaces in the 7,500-square-foot apartment. A 3,200-square-foot, separate, private balcony was designed with floor-to-ceiling windows to create a large conservatory and to offer a beautiful view of the city. Broh, Hernandez, DeAscanis, and Roller worked to design a custom single-family home in Center City. The 1,900-square-foot carriage home included two bedrooms and a living room. The original building was completely converted from an old office building into a beautiful new home. The living room featured double-height ceilings. A new one-car garage used the antique decor and a wooden garage door to match the traditional carriage home facade.
Maria Keares Wyant
2103 Sansom Street, Philadelphia, PA 19103
About Wyant Architecture
Wyant Architecture is a Philadelphia-based design-build firm led by Principals Jeffrey Wyant and Maria Keares Wyant. The firm’s work focuses on site-specific, custom residential architecture, including thoughtfully planned and detailed interior renovations, significant additions to existing structures, and sustainably designed new construction. Wyant Architecture’s work has been featured in a new hardcover book Home Extended, edited by Francesc Zamora; on HomeDSGN.com; and in the Spectacular Homes of Greater Philadelphia publication, AIA Philadelphia’s Quarterly Journal, Context Magazine, Philadelphia Style Magazine, and Garden House Magazine. Wyant, AIA, LEED AP, has over 25 years of professional experience managing a broad range of project types. He holds a Bachelor of Architecture from Carnegie Mellon University. He is a member of the American Institute of Architects and is registered in the state of Pennsylvania. Keares Wyant, RA, LEED AP, manages design development and construction documentation for many of the firm’s projects. She holds a Bachelor of Architecture from Carnegie Mellon University. She is NCARB certified and is a registered architect in the state of Pennsylvania.
Wyant has been the architect of record for a long list of single-family homes and apartments in and around Philadelphia. One of their jobs was a designing a one-family apartment at the Parc Rittenhouse at 227 South 18th Street in Philadelphia. The firm worked to make the best of the existing parameters, including low ceilings and deeply imbedded concrete structure. Unique, coffered ceilings and soffits were introduced to alleviate the issue both physically and aesthetically, to maximize the height, and to define space, while also facilitating infrastructure and utilities. Another one of their projects was the Center City residence in Philadelphia. The adaptive reuse project allowed the firm to convert a vacant community building into a single-family residence. The building’s original street-fronting exterior walls and facade were salvaged, reused and reintegrated. The firm also designed new floor levels within the old building’s original frame, including an additional third story that matches the height and scale of the local skyline.
Archer & Buchanan
Daniel G. Russoniello
Michele L.W. Thackrah
PA Society of American Registered Architects Design Award,
West Chester Preservation Alliance Bricks & Mortar Award,
Preservation Alliance Award for Greater Philadelphia,
PA Society of American Registered Architects Outstanding Firm Award
125 W Miner Street, West Chester, PA 19382
About Archer & Buchanan
Since its inception in 1996, Archer & Buchanan has worked in the Philadelphia area, focusing on architecture for new homes, additions and renovations, historic restorations, country property planning, colleges and universities, libraries, and other institutional projects. Much of their work is inspired by the works and design of Mellor, Meigs and Howe, Walter Durham, R. Brognard Okie, and Wilson Eyre. The firm is lead by principals Daniel G. Russoniello, AIA, LEED AP, and Michele L.W. Thackrah, AIA, LEED AP. Russoniello leads the firm’s Institutional Projects team. He holds a Master of Architecture from the University of Pennsylvania and has over 30 years of experience at a variety of architectural firms based in Philadelphia. Thackrah leads Archer & Buchanan’s growing hospitality design practice. Before joining A&B in 2002, Thackrah worked at a variety of design firms in Washington DC and Philadelphia. Archer & Buchanan has won a long list of awards, some of which include the 2016 PA Society of American Registered Architects Design Award, the 2016 West Chester Preservation Alliance Bricks & Mortar Award, the 2016 Preservation Alliance Award for Greater Philadelphia, the 2015 PA Society of American Registered Architects Design Award, and 2015 PA Society of American Registered Architects Outstanding Firm Award.
Archer Buchanan works on a variety of custom homes. One of which, titled the “Connors Residence” in nearby Radnor, was a new home that replaced an earlier version inappropriate to its charming old Main Line neighborhood. The client’s desire was to blend their home more seamlessly with the surrounding homes built in the 1920s, predominantly in the English mode. Off the master bath is a walled court with a spa. Throughout, special attention was given to the use of traditional materials and details to achieve a feeling of permanence. Another project by the firm was “Canary Cottage” in Wayne, Pennsylvania. In the style of R. Brognard Okie and a traditional Pennsylvania farmhouse, the inside is a series of special spaces for living, with comfort and gathering as the key elements. The open plan provides a visual connection from the den to the kitchen and living room and is articulated by the scale of spaces and the warmth of materials and furnishings. Located on a beautiful, wooded site, the seasonal porch brings nature into this alluring country retreat.
Studio Agoos Lovera
Preservation Alliance for Greater Philadelphia’s Grand Jury Award,
PA Brownfields Conference Extreme Makeover Award,
General Building Contractors Association’s award for Best Adaptive Reuse Project
1 S Broad Street, Philadelphia, PA 19107
About Studio Agoos Lovera
Studio Agoos Lovera was founded in 1983, when Jorge Lovera and Ted Agoos decided to combine forces after several years of working together in leading Philadelphia design firms. Founding Principal Jorge Lovera retired in 2011, and Ted Agoos’s retired at the end of 2013. Since 1999, it has been led by Principals David Franke and Jim Row. The firm has been awarded with numerous achievements, including the 2014 and 2013 Preservation Alliance for Greater Philadelphia’s Grand Jury Award; the 2013 PA Brownfields Conference, Extreme Makeover Award; and the General Building Contractors Association’s award for Best Adaptive Reuse Project. David Franke, RA, holds a Bachelor of Architecture from Temple University. Franke is also an active member of the Doylestown Pennsylvania Mercer Museum and Fonthill Castle Board of Trustees. He is also a member of the Building and Facilities Committee of the Historical Society of Pennsylvania. He’s joined by James Rowe, AIA, who holds a Master of Architecture from the University of Pennsylvania and a Bachelor of Science in Architecture from the University of Virginia. Beyond Studio Agoos Lovera, Rowe is was director and president of AIA Philadelphia in 2015 and a director of the Center for Architecture, and he is currently an adjunct professor of Architecture at Drexel University.
Studio Agoos Lovera are architects of record for single-family homes, residences, and apartments in Philadelphia. One of these was a condominium at the Society Hill Towers at 285 St. James Place. The project involved combining two units on the complex’s 15th floor, which hadn’t been modified since the tower was built in 1962. Part of the work involved the firm creating an expansive living room with 180-degree views of the city. Another feature was a new open kitchen, that featured a custom-designed millwork integration. The firm also worked for a client to design a luxury penthouse apartment at Two Liberty Place in Philadelphia. The unit is one of Philadelphia’s most expensive residences and is on top of one of Philadelphia’s tallest mixed-use buildings. The space include nearly 6,000 square feet indoors, and an additional 2,040 square feet of terrace space. The outdoor space became one of the largest residential balconies on the East Coast. Studio Agoos Lovera designed and created a modern, state-of-the-art residency with all the latest technology, including fully programmable concierge, lighting, and sound systems; imported Italian kitchen cabinetry; and electronically activated translucent glass partitions.
The Omnia Group Architects
HBA Synergy Award for “Best Architectural House Plan” and “Best Custom Landscaping.”
323 S York Road, Hatboro, PA 19040
About The Omnia Group Architects
Founded in 1993, The Omnia Group Architects delivers an exceptionally broad range of creative architectural solutions to residential and commercial clients in the greater Philadelphia region. From their offices in nearby Hatboro, Omnia’s portfolio includes single- and multi-family homes, apartments, offices, retail spaces, and restaurants, whose liveability and workability belie their extraordinary buildability. Omnia also specializes in high-end, new home architectural design, along with architectural additions and renovations. They have a fluency in many high-end architectural tools, including Autocad, Revit, and 3D modeling and building information modeling. They are lead by principals and co-founders Gene Grimaldi. Brian Mann holds degrees in design, engineering, and management from the University of Pennsylvania. Grimaldi, RA, AIA, NCARB, graduated from Temple University. The firm has won numerous awards. Most recently, Omnia Group Architects received the 2015 HBA Synergy Award for “Best Architectural House Plan” and “Best Custom Landscaping.”
The Omnia Group Architects designs and offers custom homes across Philadelphia and the surrounding area. One of these includes a custom home in Lower Moreland. The firm worked with the client from first concepts through to final color selections. The commanding yet elegantly balanced street presence of this Manor-style custom home gives way to stunning, gleaming volume in the foyer, which holds a magnificent glass and wood circular staircase. Each of the main living areas opens out to a grand patio and then into views of the woods and creek beyond. Another home by Omnia is a custom riverside home in nearby New Hope. Perched above the beautiful Delaware River, Omnia dispensed with conventional historicist styles and created an open plan blended with traditional forms, punctuated by vast rows of glass windows and doors to bring in the panoramic views of Lambertville, the bridge, the wooded opposite bank and river. A sweeping front porch integrates the entry with the vibrant pedestrian streetscape. Low garden walls enclose a beautifully landscaped courtyard, defining private space without turning its back on the street. The second floor features a common loft area with a large balcony overlooking the water.
Blackney Hayes Architects
Kevin R. Blackney
John Fox Hayes
New Jersey Business & Industry Association “New Good Neighbor Award,”
Preservation Alliance for Greater Philadelphia’s Grand Jury Award
AIA Philadelphia’s Preservation Award,
IIDA Pennsylvania Merit Award,
New Jersey and Delaware Chapter’s Best Interior Design Award,
10,000 Friends of Pennsylvania’s “Building A More Perfect Pennsylvania” Award,
New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection & Historic Preservation Office’s “Adaptive Reuse and Historic Preservation” Award,
Subcontractor Association of Delaware Valley’s Architect of the Year Award
150 S. Independence Mall West, Suite 1200, Philadelphia, PA 19106
About Blackney Hayes Architects
Blackney Hayes Architects was founded in 1988 with a commitment to interactive design and exceptional service. The principals of the firm are Kevin R. Blackney, AIA, John Fox Hayes, FAIA, and Jennifer Crawford, AIA. Blackney is a founding partner of BHA with over 30 years of professional experience. Fox has served as president and on the board of directors of the of the American Institute of Architects Member’s Philadelphia chapter. Blackney Hayes Architects employees nearly 50 architects, engineers, and interior designers to cater to a variety of design-build needs. The firm has recently been awarded the 2014 New Jersey Business & Industry Association “New Good Neighbor Award,” the 2011 Preservation Alliance for Greater Philadelphia’s Grand Jury Award, the 2011 American Institute of Architects of Philadelphia’s Preservation Award and Merit Award, the IIDA Pennsylvania, the 2011 New Jersey and Delaware Chapter’s Best Interior Design Award, the 2011 10,000 Friends of Pennsylvania’s “Building A More Perfect Pennsylvania” Award, the 2008 New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection & Historic Preservation Office’s “Adaptive Reuse and Historic Preservation” Award, and the 2006 Subcontractor Association of Delaware Valley’s Architect of the Year Award.
Blackney Hayes Architects, in addition to all their other design work, offers their “Residential Studios” to work with clients to design custom homes and residencies in and around Philadelphia. One of these is the “Bryn Mawr Residency.” The home was designed to eliminate its dark 1980’s aesthetic. The use of materials and bright colors on the exterior accentuates individual areas and creates a much more linear outline. The interior rooms were designed to flow easily together, using bright colors, the strategic placement of abstract expressionist art on the walls, and large expanses of glass windows. The firm also worked to create a new home out of a traditional Carriage House in Philadelphia, designed as an emotional retreat from the busy city and to entertain friends and clients. The design team created a juxtaposition of modern elements against the historic wood of the existing structure. Antique, wood plank ceilings and beams were installed, and and crown molding was used to initiate the original, historic trim details. In contrast, stairs, lighting, and furniture were contemporary, as is the open plan treatment of the main living space.
Storefront Challenge for Best Design,
Restaurant Design Awards Finalist,
AIA National Emerging Professionals Exhibition,
James Beard Foundation Finalist for Outstanding Restaurant Design Award,
AIA Pennsylvania Emerging Professional Award,
Remodeling Design Grand Award.
453 Johnson Street #100, Jenkintown, PA 19046
About OTTO Architects
Located in suburban Philadelphia, in Jenkintown, Pennsylvania, Otto Architects LLC provides architecture, interior design, sustainable design, product and furniture design, and graphic design services for a variety of both public and private clientele. The firm is led by Principal Joshua Otto. Otto is registered architect and LEED Accredited Professional and is licensed in Pennsylvania, New Jersey, Connecticut, and Maryland. He also holds an NCARB certificate. Prior to founding Otto Architects, he worked at Brett Webber Architects, GBQC Architects, and Roger Ferris + Partners. He holds a Master of Sciences in Advanced Architectural Design from Columbia University and a Bachelor of Architecture from the University of Kentucky. Otto has has served on AIA Philadelphia’s Board of Directors and co-chairs the AIA Philadelphia Design Committee. He is also the co-founder and coordinator of the Philadelphia Emerging Architecture Prize. Otto and his firm have won numerous awards, including the 2016 Storefront Challenge for Best Design, finalist for the 2016 Restaurant Design Awards, a 2015 AIA National Emerging Professionals Exhibition, a 2014 James Beard Foundation Finalist for Outstanding Restaurant Design Award, a 2014 AIA Pennsylvania Emerging Professional Award, and a 2014 Remodeling Design Grand Award.
Otto Architects worked on a custom townhouse on Leithgow Street in Philadelphia. The 900-square-foot building lot posed some challenges in a tight city like Philadelphia. The firm used a design solution that provided light-filled interiors on each floor. Each living space receives abundant natural light. Otto Architects included a walk-out basement that also creates a large, open living area. A two-story atrium allows natural light to reach each room in the house; three roof decks encourage flexible outdoor living. Glass interior partitions offer visual transparency for wide, open floor plans. Outside of Philadelphia, Otto Architects also worked on a family’s residence on Washington Lane in Meadowbrook. They retained the exterior of the home’s original stone Colonial home facade, but created a modern addition to the rear. Fiber-cement panels and reclaimed wood matched the antique aesthetics. A new dining room, a double-height living space, and a family room were designed for the lower levels, while a fourth bedroom and master suite complete the second floor.
Cecil Baker + Partners
Cecil Baker + Partners
American Builders Quarterly Building Excellence Awards,
Residential Architect Magazine Hall of Fame Leadership Award,
Friends of Pennsylvania Commonwealth Gold Award
1107 Walnut Street # 2, Philadelphia, PA 19107
About Cecil Baker + Partners
Established in 1982, Cecil Baker + Partners offers feasibility studies, programming, design of new structures, adaptive reuse of existing structures, and interior design. The firm has been recognized by The American Institute of Architects, Progressive Architecture, Architectural Record, and the US Department of Housing and Urban Development. They have also had their work published across the United States, Europe, Japan, and South America. Recent awards include Building Excellence Awards from American Builders Quarterly, the Residential Architect Magazine Hall of Fame 2008 Leadership Award, and a Friends of Pennsylvania Commonwealth Gold Award. The firm is lead by Principal Cecil Baker, who was born and raised in Argentina before coming to the United States in 1959 to attend Williams College. He then went on to receive his Master of Architecture degree at the University of Pennsylvania, studying under Louis Kahn. In 2012, Baker was appointed by the mayor of Philadelphia to serve on the City Planning Commission’s Civic Design Review Committee. Baker is also a past board member and vice president of the Philadelphia Chapter of the AIA. He has been a regional representative on the national AIA’s Standing Committee on Housing. He has taught at the University of Pennsylvania and Drexel University and lectured at other institutions of higher learning.
Cecil Baker + Partners has worked on high-end apartments in many of the famous buildings of the Philadelphia skyline. They’ve worked in Rittenhouse Square, at Wanamaker House, and at Independence Place. For one project, the firm was charged with the task of creating a penthouse pied-a-terre, single-family residency in Philadelphia. The goal was to create a modern and urban home that also functioned as an art gallery, as the family collected and wanted to display contemporary glass crafts. The design process involved converting three original penthouse units into one shared residency. The result was an 8,500-square-foot home with extensive terraces and sweeping views of Philadelphia. The firm and the clients collaborated with a number of local artists to incorporate their work into the architectural experience. Cecil Baker + Partners also designed two kitchens. The larger one included an open space for visitors, as the client was looking to offer opportunities to present the theatrical possibilities of food preparation. The firm also designed a secondary kitchen that allowed the client to display an extensive wine selection and a full bar.