Welcome. We are an architecture and interiors studio that believes in the power of thoughtful design to better connect us to the built environment, the landscape, and each other. Our process is equal parts creativity and pragmatism –so that our work draws out the strongest potential of any site, the resources at hand, and ultimately, the experience of our clients. Design is both a process and an adventure; we see ourselves as both your partner and guide. We look forward to hearing from you.

Box on the Rock:
A name helps keep us focused on keeping it simple>

The affectionately named ‘Box on the Rock’ is a response to a difficult site –with shallow underground waterways popping up in unexpected and unwanted locations– which needed relatively expensive pier foundations. Given this challenge, we minimized the number of piers by creating a compact footprint to build a new ‘ground’ / platform perched on the rocks with the home on top. From there, we carved out protected outdoor spaces and customized the home’s overhangs to have outdoor options for sun and shade throughout the day. Viewed from below, the home appears to be a lone outpost settling the higher ground of the undisturbed natural site –a box on the rock.

Noe Valley Home:
: An oversized sculptural stair unlocks potential in a constricted urban home>

The stadium-style staircase at the heart of this home on a tight urban site made clever use of the otherwise unusable space above the ceiling of a new ramp to the garage below. We then took inspiration from this slyly monumental move –in the middle of a narrow home– by allowing the stairwells at each level to take on their own character and shift location as they meander up and down the house. Our goal was for the staircases to unite the home and make it feel far larger than its actual square footage.

Dovecote Details:
A personal space inspires bespoke details>

This highly personal and customized project by the architect-owner became a site for exploration and play. We followed every intuition about details that might contribute to the space, hoping to stay just this side of ‘too-much.’ What unites the disparate details of this addition is a sense of movement, craft, and nature.

Neal J. Z. Schwartz, FAIA:
Founder + Principal

Neal completed Master of Architecture and Master of Public Policy dual degrees at Harvard University’s Graduate School of Design and Kennedy School of Government. He graduated with Distinction in Architecture, received the Thayer Award for Meritorious Scholarship, the Sheldon Traveling Fellowship, as well as national awards from the Urban Land Institute and American Planning Association. His capstone work included a critical look at the design of juvenile detention facilities –“Points are Earned; You Start the Day at Zero”– and a policy manual for a non-profit advocating for affordable housing for people with disabilities in Massachusetts. This unique combination of design and policy is the foundation of Neal’s practice –a commitment to creative excellence combined with a devotion to rigorous management of the entire process through construction.

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