Leading 7 Architects in New York You Should Know About

New York boasts about 4,30,000 residential units across the state. Not surprisingly, it is the hub for leading architects working in residential architecture and interior design. While residential designs are not acclaimed as much as public infrastructures, the works of these architects who navigate the dynamic balance between chaos and tranquility in the bustling five boroughs of New York are no less impressive. This article will explore the works of NY’s 7 most renowned architects.

Alexander Butler

Alexander Butler founded his design firm, Alexander Butler Design Services, back in 2010 with the mission to create unique living spaces that respond to client’s individual needs rather than echo a certain design style. The design firm highly values client needs and advocates a collaborative approach to residence design. With degrees from the University of Virginia and Yale University, Butler boasts two decades of rich professional experience spanning London and NY.

The firm successfully executed a gut renovation project in a Soho loft with Ghislaine Vinas. Butler skillfully placed a floating kitchen to separate the TV den area from the dining area, adding a minimalist touch to the traditional loft. Currently, his firm provides a wide array of services, including 3D rendering, drafting, floor plans, home remodeling, and construction drawing.

Axis Mundi

John Beckman, a Parsons School of Design alumni, established the interior and contemporary design firm Axis Mundi in 2004. His works uniquely combine architecture, design, and contemporary art. Being deeply inspired by modern architecture, his design connects the observer’s senses and makes them think. John Beckman has a wealth of experience when it comes to designing high-end residential units. He also equally mastered the design of commercial and cultural space. His projects are not limited to New York; he has notable projects in San Francisco, LA, and Chicago.

Among the works of Axis Mundi, the 432 Park Avenue apartment stands out as the finest, with its skillful blend of color and texture. The interior gives off a sense of luxury through an impressive art collection. The texture of brass and walnut in the furniture also adds to the luxury. This project was awarded as the best residential interior project in Archmarathon 2020.

Lauren Rubin Architecture

Lauren Rubin leads this architecture and interior design firm, which specializes in residential architecture, and is led by Lauren Rubin. After graduating from the Catholic University of America, Rubin began practicing in Washington, DC. She has projects in New York City, New Jersey, Delaware, Connecticut, and Philadelphia.


One of her most acclaimed works of the firm is the gut renovation of a Park Slope townhouse for a small family of four. This interior project’s success was making the interior warm and aesthetic while keeping some original features intact to uphold the family legacy. The design opened up the interior to invite natural light through large French windows, and the abundant light flowed from the front openings to the back patio. The central wooden stairway was refurbished to preserve the original design. The clever color schemes and bold accents make the interior a perfect cozy den for the residents.

Desai Chia

The design firm Desai Chia was established in 1996 by Katherine Chia and Arjun Desai, two like-minded architects from different backgrounds. The firm’s bold designs quickly gained popularity. Desai Chia’s portfolio includes USA, Toronto, India, and the UK projects. The firm adopts a humanistic approach to design that connects humans and nature. Their designs captivate the viewer with their boldness and simplicity.

One of their remarkable projects, the Montauk home, NY, was designed to promote family interaction and an easy indoor-outdoor transition. They incorporate sustainable means in this design by placing concealed photovoltaic cells in the roof with power storage that is capable of running the entire house. Air conditioning requirement was also minimized by taking advantage of natural ventilation by positioning openings in the direction to capture airflow. Large overhangs in the roof and the breezeway terrace that covers the first floor protect the interior from heating up during the summer days. Overall, the project skilfully combines modernity and sustainability.

Anjie Cho

Anjie Cho is a certified Feng Shui consultant and architect. She is also the founder of Holistic Spaces, a platform that promotes healthy living. Cho graduated from the University of California and started her practice in 1999, focusing on Feng shui architecture and mindfulness in design. Inspired by ancient practices and meditation, she designs spaces that nurture creativity by incorporating natural elements. Her design promotes healthy and clean living where creative energy flows.

Her interior design features non-toxic, organic elements and materials in their natural form without any embellishments. Every aspect exudes a pure, natural aura free from industrial toxic chemicals, from the wall paint to the cushion’s dying materials. Cho also finds innovative ways to incorporate materials to meet clients’ unique needs. One of her works on Fifth Avenue shows her commitment to inclusive design. It includes a bathroom renovation with Carrara marble to create a unique texture for the visually impaired resident.

Tom O’Brien

Tom O’Brien, a renowned figure in New York’s residential Architecture scene, comes from Westchester. As he was raised in Westchester, he understands the values that matter to the community. Earning his architecture degree from the University of Toronto, he started his practice in 1980. Through his European tours, he developed a soft spot for historical features that he tried to incorporate into modern design. His approach also transcends geographical boundaries, as seen in his incorporation of French Barn-style architecture to offer an international perspective on New York’s traditional residence design.

He has a vast portfolio, with 80% residential projects. His architectural practice is not just limited to the communities in Westchester, and his portfolio also boasts some foreign projects in Ireland and New Zealand. Tom is renowned in Westchester County for his various barn-style farmhouse designs. One of his most celebrated projects, the Bedford Equestrian property, is widely regarded as one of Westchester’s finest places to live. The complex seamlessly merges with the landscape, creating a feeling that the farmhouse was always there. Drawing up his upbringing in a farmhouse, Tom tried to infuse elements of childhood nostalgia into the design. Along with modern features, the house also boasts a traditional Swedish tiled stove, adding a touch of international style.

Peter Pennoyer

Peter Pennoyer, an architect and educator, is the founder of Peter Pennoyer Architects. A team of skilled architects, interior designers, and craftsmen handles all the projects for the firm. In addition to the core team, they collaborate with experts from various fields, like artisans, consultants, landscape architects, builders, and engineers, whenever a project calls for it. They are equally adept at designing new architecture, renovating existing ones, and preserving historical ones. Their in-house interior design team is also adept at creating spaces that meet clients’ expectations.


Peter Pennoyer uses cutting-edge technology and traditional craftsmanship in its projects. Its VR studios create lifelike animations that help clients visualize their future homes. The company’s commitment to upholding traditional craftsmanship is evident in its use of custom-made materials such as Jali screens or parchment panels.

To sum up, New York boasts numerous award-winning architects specializing in residential architecture and interior design, and this list only covers a fraction of them. Their forward-thinking design creates interior spaces that are not only functional but also joyous and livable.

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