2023: Year in Review

2023 was a year of transformation for KSS Architects. In the spring, we kicked off a year-long celebration of our 40th anniversary, which gave us the opportunity to take stock of who we are and what we do. Stewardship, equity, and community are at the heart of our operations, and 2023 was marked by continued dedication to our values, creativity, and resilience.

As we wrap up this year, we are grateful to our employees, collaborators, and clients for the continued opportunities we’ve had to engage, create, and share our knowledge and expertise.

In 2023, KSS…

KSS 40 logo

Rang in KSS’s 40th year
with the #40YearsofKSS campaign, celebrating the past, present, and future of our work. Founded in 1983 by Allen Kehrt, Michael Shatken, and Rafael Sharon, we owe our existence to renowned architect Bob Geddes. 

Added over 90 projects to the boards, including a veterinary school teaching center in the heart of the country, a youth shelter renovation, a modern renovation of a regional theater housed in a former mill, 6 new projects for long-time client McKesson, and a multifamily housing project in Alabama.

Started or continued construction on 24 projects, including Amogy Inc.’s groundbreaking new energy manufacturing facility, Warby Parker’s east coast research and development lab space, The Borden Complex, a revolutionary new industrial building in the heart of Queens, and a forward-thinking new home for the high-performing, career-oriented Comp Sci High School in the Bronx.

Completed 40 projects, including the New Hope-Solebury STEAM Wing, a careful renovation of the historic Whittier campus into KIPP Philadelphia Preparatory Academy, the Nest playful learning installation for the Literacy Rich Neighborhoods initiative in the Mt. Airy neighborhood of Philadelphia, a groundbreaking renovation of the Grand Street Settlement community center on the Lower East Side, the high-end private Prudential Lounge & Foundry Bar at the Prudential Center, and a sustainable and EV-ready distribution center at the foot of the Goethals Bridge.

Celebrated numerous significant project milestones, including …

  • Winning LEED Silver for Brookfield Ridgefield
  • Celebrating the steel topping-off of the highly sustainable, first-of-its-kind Belmont Retail Village
  • Putting up the first mass timber columns at Fossil Park
  • Putting up the first mass timber columns at Amy Gutmann Hall and topping off the building with project partners, taking us one step closer to completing Philadelphia’s first six-story mass timber building.
  • Celebrated 20 years of KIPP Philadelphia at the opening of the newly renovated KIPP Philadelphia Preparatory Academy on the historic John Greenleaf Whittier campus

Spoke at 16 events, including A4LE’s LearningSCAPES, the Advancing Mass Timber Conference, Facades+, and many more about ESG, mass timber, decarbonization, lifecycle analyses, and more human-centric, future-proof strategies.

  • We spoke 3 times about mass timber
  • We spoke 4 times about ESG and the business case for sustainability
  • We spoke 2 times about human-centered modalities of design across typologies and user types
  • We spoke 7 times about future-proofing design with new technologies and modalities

Published a paradigm-shifting research paper for NAIOP Research Foundation on designing for wellness in industrial developments—an essential framework to keep up with shifts in the nature of work and a changing industrial workforce.

Congratulated 7 employees on promotions

  • Tusher Alam, Senior Project Accountant
  • Paige Bradley, Associate
  • Michael Grauer, Associate
  • Kelsey Maher, New York Office Manager
  • Kenneth Miraski, Senior Associate
  • Srinath Nallan, Executive Director of Finance
  • Molly Walker-Grassi, Proposal Manager

Celebrated new certifications for 6 employees

  • Lauren Bellars, Architectural Designer, achieved WELL AP Certification
  • Margaret Gregg, Associate, achieved LEED AP BD+C Certification
  • Ramses Gonzalez, Project Architect, passed his ARE Exams and earned his Registered Architect Licensure for New York State
  • Ray Sova, Associate, achieved LEED Green Certification
  • Avery Vittoria, Interior Designer, is NCIDQ Certification
  • Erik Yepez, Architect, earned his Registered Architect Licensure for New York State

Won six awards: 3 for design, 2 for employees, 1 firm award for project work

  • DESIGN: Bisley & CFI’s Think Green Design Competition, transformation of the Bisley Multidrawer into an objet d’art
  • DESIGN: AIA New Jersey Design Award, Built Interiors Merit Award for Proctor Hall, One Stop Student Services Center at Rutgers University
  • DESIGN: Long Island Business News Real Estate, Architecture & Engineering Award, Top Industrial Project, Rockefeller Group Logistics Park, Bay Shore
  • PERSONNEL: Long Island Business News Real Estate, Architecture & Engineering Award, Top Industrial Project, David von Stappenbeck, Meadowbrook Logistics Center
  • PERSONNEL: Long Island Business News Real Estate, Architecture & Engineering Award, Top Industrial Project, Sean Owen, Meadowbrook Logistics Center, Garden City 
  • FIRM: CREW Greater Philadelphia Member-to-Member Award for Brookfield

Took personal time to get out into the world and make a difference. KSSers organized a massive clothing drive, lent their free time to restoring native plant habitats, participated in yet another PARK(ing) Day in support of creating more equitable public spaces, and even biked 75 miles to raise money for MS research.