Category Archives: Architecture in NJ

Drawing Inspiration from our Emerging Professionals – Matthew Pultorak, Assoc AIA

“Drawing Inspiration from our Emerging Professionals” is an eight-part series that will be published on the AIA NJ blog over the course of the month of October, AIA Emerging Professionals Month. In this series, our young professionals will chronicle the personal stories of how they were attracted to become architects — and how architecture inspires them.EPiC_Pultorak

A day at the beach

I grew up in Canarsie, Brooklyn, so for much of my childhood I played on asphalt and concrete. (There was also an occasional patch of dirt, which was invariably sprouting weeds). Finding refuge from the bustle of the busy city was rare, so my family would take fairly regular trips to the beach to alleviate the stress and wear of the city lifestyle. Although we didn’t frequent it as often as I would have liked, the beach would influence my creative side in a number of ways. As a creative professional, I look back on those trips and wonder if they had an influence on my decision to pursue a career in architecture.

The beach is a place where all five senses can be evoked, which can cause some sensory overload in a young child. All of the new feelings I experienced on the waterfront caused me to see my surroundings differently. What was a nice place for most people to lounge became my new site for childhood  construction as I designed the most intricate sand castles any architect could conjure up.

You learn about everything in life through experience, and anyone who has built a sand castle can tell you about the factors you must take into account: the wetness of the sand, proximity to the water, where the sun is coming from, if there are other people walking on your “site” and how you have to redirect the ocean water as the tide came in.

Dealing with all of these concerns, unbeknownst to me, was my first experience solving an architectural problem. The end goal was always to create the largest, most intricate sand castle, but in order to complete the project, all the other problems had to be addressed. These small details can really help a young mind develop their problem solving abilities, and from it arises a heightened sense of creativity.

While most people see the beach as a relaxing way to spend the day, it can also be used by parents as a means of developing future architects. It worked for me!

Matthew Pultorak, Assoc. AIA

Spiezle Architectural Group Announces its Acquisition of GS Architects

Strategy Strengthens Healthcare and Interior Design Capabilities,

Expands Southeast Pennsylvania Area Presence


Spiezle Architectural Group, Inc., an award-winning, full-service architectural, interior design and planning firm with offices in Trenton, New Jersey and Media, Pennsylvania, is pleased to announce its acquisition if GS Architects of Havertown, Pennsylvania.  The strategic move, leveraging the strengths of GS Architects, will extend Spiezle’s service portfolio by incorporating their impressive healthcare studio and interior design expertise, and enabling them to better serve the southeast Pennsylvania and surrounding area.


Driving the mission and vision of both firms, the acquisition will empower them to significantly enhance the scope, depth and diversity of client capabilities. The combined force offers a team of 60 professionals with extensive architectural, planning, and interior design expertise in sectors including K-12 education, higher education, healthcare, senior care, commercial, non-profit, hospitality, sustainability, and government markets.


“The GS Architects world-class expertise and unparalleled commitment to service were the conclusive factors that enticed us to pursue the acquisition,” stated Thomas Perrino, interim chief executive officer of Spiezle Architectural Group. “The acquisition exemplifies our commitment to sustained growth and allows Spiezle to broaden its service portfolio and geography.”


GS Architects will continue to operate under its current name and will be a division of Spiezle Architectural Group. No financial terms were disclosed.

“Our partnership with Spiezle Architectural Group provides the opportunity for our clients to benefit from our diversified knowledge base and access to greater resources, increasing efficiency, effectiveness and value,” stated Chris Gaumann, founding partner of GS Architects. “The firm’s collective talents bolster their respective abilities allowing them both to grow and prosper.”


GS Architects’ leadership team of Chris Gaumann, Lisa Sheehan and Bill Hendrickson will continue to actively serve their clients as leaders within the Spiezle organization.

Richard Meier: Newark Architect and Artist

2016-meierThe College of Architecture and Design (CoAD) at NJIT is honored to present an exhibition of Newark-born architect and artist Richard Meier to celebrate the 350th anniversary of Newark’s founding.

Works on display highlight Meier’s extensive career in the design disciplines of architecture, painting, collage, sculpture and product design. Central to the exhibition will be Meier’s current Teachers Village project (client: RBH Group, LLC). This mixed-use development is envisioned for downtown Newark south of Market Street and west of Broad Street. It will encompass eight new buildings, including Workforce Housing, Charter Schools and small to midscale retail located along Halsey Street between Branford and Hill Streets. These elements will provide 200 residential units for teachers, three charter schools, a day care center and a variety of retail spaces at street level.

Meier was born in Newark, New Jersey but grew up in nearby Maplewood, New Jersey. After graduating from Cornell University (1957), Meier worked for Skidmore, Owings & Merrill and then Marcel Breuer before starting his own practice in 1963. In 1972, he was identified as one of The New York Five, a group of modernist architects that included Michael Graves, Charles Gwathmey, John Hejduk and Peter Eisenman.

Meier first gained recognition through numerous residential projects, the Atheneum in New Harmony, Indiana (1979) and the High Museum of Art in Atlanta, Georgia (1983). After winning the prestigious Pritzker Architecture Prize, he was commissioned to design the Getty Center, a large museum complex in Los Angeles, California (1997), which catapulted his popularity into the mainstream. Other notable commissions include museums such as the Barcelona Museum of Contemporary Art in Spain (1995) and the Paley Center for Media in Beverly Hills, California (1996); city halls in the Netherlands (1995) and San Jose City Hall (2007); commercial buildings including the reconstruction of City Tower in Prague, Czech Republic (2008); and residential buildings such as the Perry & Charles Street Condominiums in Manhattan’s West Village (2002) and the Rothschild Tower in Tel Aviv, Israel (2016).
Today, Richard Meier & Partners Architects has offices in New York and Los Angeles with current projects ranging from Taiwan and Tel Aviv to Mexico City, Hamburg and Newark, New Jersey. In 2014, Meier opened the Richard Meier Model Museum at Mana Contemporary in Jersey City. The space occupies 15,000-square feet and features architectural projects from the 1960s to the present, sculptures and collages by Richard Meier, and 1,000 books and magazines from Richard Meier’s personal library.

“Richard Meier – Newark Architect and Artist” will be on view to the public from Sept. 29 through Nov. 20, 2016 with special programming to coincide with Newark’s Open Doors Art Festival during the weekend of Oct. 20-23. The exhibition is open from 9:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Monday through Friday or by appointment only. An opening reception will be held Thursday, Sept. 29 from 5-9 p.m. with refreshments and live entertainment. CoAD Gallery is located on the second floor of Weston Hall, NJIT campus (on the corner of MLK Boulevard and Warren Street)njit_coad

KSS Architects Announces 3 New Partners

KSS_new-partners2016KSS Architects, a national design firm focused on architecture, interior design, and planning, is pleased to announce three new partners: Petar Mattioni, Matthew McChesney, and Scot Murdoch. The elevation of Mattioni, McChesney, and Murdoch to Partner reflects their embodiment of KSS’s values—design that inspires, relationships that are lasting, innovation in the intersections, and guidance through the process.


Petar Mattioni, AIA, LEED AP

Petar has a practical design methodology that balances design with client objectives, technical coordination, and effective project execution. His committment to strong client relationships and building consensus consistently result in successful projects, particularly in the field of higher education and the emerging field of innovation. Petar’s leadership on the University of Pennsylvania’s Pennovation Center has contributed to its establishment as a keystone in the emerging Lower Schuylkill Innovation District.


Pamela Rew, FAIA, Partner at KSS, says, “Petar represents the next generation of designers and practitioners of architecture—passionate about place as a contribution to society, enthusiastic about guiding young architects toward new opportunities, and responsive to client needs & values. Petar’s dedication to the Philadelphia community is an example of how his contributions to place achieve more than the design of a building—they achieve a stronger community.”


Matthew McChesney, AIA, LEED AP

Clients know Matt for his ability to listen to their needs, understand their values, and create spaces where they can maximize their potential. His technical understanding of the built environment allows him to design intricate solutions that range from complex renovations and additions to highly specialized laboratory buildings. His work for leading-edge education and community-focused clients such as Uncommon Schools and Civic Builders has contributed to the design and renovation of dozens of charter schools in the New Jersey, Pennsylvania, and New York. Matt’s leadership in design for Pre-K-12 education is providing new opportunities for students and communities alike to reimagine their future.


Merilee Meacock, AIA, PP, LEED AP, Partner at KSS, says, “Matt is a powerful force in the K-12 community—he is a trusted advisor to many, helping to build community and facilitate education pedagogy, thereby empowering students to succeed and neighborhoods to flourish.”


Scot Murdoch, AIA

Scot has supervised the successful transformation of millions of square feet of commercial and industrial development. He excels at developing and implementing solutions to design challenges in both new and existing buildings for many project types. With a deep understanding of the value of sustainable design and the role of cutting-edge facilities in the marketplace, Scot’s work unlocks value and improves performance for clients. His knowledge and commitment to sustainable design have contributed to KSS’ leadership in the development of contaminated sites in New Jersey, and industrial growth along the East Coast from Maine to Georgia.


Ed Klimek, AIA, NCARB, Partner at KSS, says, “Scot has emerged as a respected voice in the commercial marketplace. He is known for his strategic thought and detailed knowledge. Our firm and clients are inspired by his guidance.”

2016 Design Conference – Registration Open



aianj_dc2016at The Palace at Somerset Park

333 Davidson Avenue
Somerset, NJ

Thursday, October 20, 2016

Join AIA New Jersey at the one day conference dedicated to design, technology and tradition.  Take a tour of Rutgers University and see the campus transformation.  View the latest in products and technology at the Expo.  Network at the evening reception where the 2016 Design Award and Service Award Winners will be announced.  

Seminar Topics to Include:

Rutgers Masterplan, Then and Now

Women in Architecture, Diversity is Important to Your Business

Emerging Technologies in Architecture

New Traditional Architecture

Profit…then Art

The Works of Award Winning Architect Rick Joy, AIA

Click on the link to Register

AIA Small Firm Exchange (SFx)

AIAeagle_2016The AIA Small Firm Exchange (SFx – and previously the Small Firm Roundtable SFRT) recently published its inaugural newsletter. Click here for a link to the letter from the Chair. There you will find the first articles and a link to sign up for the Small Firm Exchange (nationally), which will put you on the email list for the newsletter.

As mentioned in previous SFx posts, AIA New Jersey is also interested in organizing local Small Firm Exchanges (Roundtables) throughout the state. Please stay tuned for additional information, but if you have an interest, you can always contact me directly.


Bruce D. Turner, AIA
email: [email protected]

AIA South Jersey & AIA West Jersey Joint Meeting

AIA SJ&WJ Sept 13 2016 invitation

Position Available Architect – North Jersey / New York

Irvington-on-Hudson NY
Paterson Fall NJ

Project Architect

WSA|ModernRuins is seeking highly motivated architects with 5-10 years experience in all stages of project development from conception through construction administration. Applicants must have a deep knowledge of construction assemblies, details and real world conditions for heritage buildings and new construction technologies.

A successful candidate will have the following qualities: positive proactive attitude; honesty and integrity; passionate and dedicated; motivated by a quest for knowledge and innovative solutions; ability to work independently and as a team; solid communication skills; productive use of time; and a commitment to excellence. Proficiency in AutoCad, Revit and other graphic software is required.


Surveys and evaluation of existing buildings & sites Building, zoning and energy code analysis Conceptual drawings, programming & renderings Construction documents & specifications

Field and In-office construction administration

About our Firm

WSA|ModernRuins is an award-winning architectural firm dedicated to sustainable preservation. Deeply engaged in the formation and dissemination of innovations in technology, philosophy, codes and guidelines relating to the marriage of sustainability and heritage buildings. No matter the size or complexity, project goals integrate community and culture, education and training, regionalism and local economy, artisanship and authenticity.

Email cover letter, resume and references to [email protected]

AEC Cares at the 2016 AIA National Convention

In this month’s ARCHITECT Magazine, July 2016, pages 52-53 feature the AEC Cares project from the National Convention in Philadelphia. The project was a “blitz-build” renovation of the Philadelphia Athletic Recreation Center. As described on the AEC Cares website: “In 2016, AEC Cares partnered with the Community Design Collaborative to renovate the Philadelphia Athletic Recreation Center. Used by hundreds of children in the Sharswood neighborhood for after school and sports programs, the center was in desperate need of repair and upgrades.” As their sixth annual blitz build, project Philadelphia, as it was dubbed, took place on May 18th, 2016, the day before the 2016 AIA National Convention in Philadelphia. AIA WJ Emerging Professional, Jeffrey Brummer, AIA, was a member of the design team. Jeffrey is located on the far left side of the design team photograph on page 52 (and below).

Visit for more information. There are videos on the website highlighting the program.

Story submitted by Mark Barone, AIA, President-Elect of AIA West Jersey

AEC Cares at 2016 AIA Convention One Page