“When you visit DBVW Architects’ office, you immediately get a feel for what the firm is all about – openness, collaboration, family. It’s just a great group of people working together producing thoughtful, quality work.”
People know us for our eagerness to listen, to laugh, to get our hands dirty, and to put our noses to the grindstone. It is not uncommon to find us surveying at the top of scaffolding or measuring in a crawl space, because our approach to design integrates technical knowledge, tactile experience, innovative ideas and clarity of concept. We believe in building strong, livable communities that promote smart growth and preserve cultural and natural resources. We design inspiring and engaging places for people to live, work, learn and play.
Douglas L. Brown, AIA
Doug brings a balanced, contextual perspective to design and project leadership. Since co-founding the firm in 1994, Doug has been working closely with both public and private-sector clients to help create responsible, forward thinking development in cities and towns throughout the Northeast. Doug’s experience with historic, low income, and new market tax credits has helped numerous important projects move forward and has solidified many long-term client relationships. His love of fishing consumes a great deal of his free time, as do his three sons, and you will often find them together on Narragansett Bay chasing striped bass.
Doug makes killer sushi and bluefish pâté
He met his wife in high school
Michael Viveiros, AIA
Michael’s interest in vernacular structures, industrial heritage and rural life has led him to many remote places and foreign countries and informs much of his work. His appreciation for craftsmanship and enthusiasm for making vibrant places fuels his passion for restoring historic buildings and designing new ones. Whether designing a new performance center, an academic space, a church or a community health center, Michael’s aesthetic reflects a commitment to simplicity and restraint that is celebrated through carefully-selected materials and solid details. Michael’s clients know him for his unyielding attention to detail and his overall commitment to their project’s success.
Where you’ll find Michael when he's not at the office:
In his woodshop making furniture and woodturning
Favorite vacation spot:
Martha L. Werenfels AIA, LEED AP
Martha is a nationally-recognized expert in the field of historic preservation. She has directed multiple phases of important preservation projects at some of the region’s most treasured landmark buildings. As an advisor to the National Trust for Historic Preservation, Martha served on a national Sustainability Task Force focused on strengthening the important relationship between sustainability and historic preservation, a cause for which she is a passionate advocate. Martha serves on the Board of GrowSmart RI and Historic Preservation Education Foundation. She is a Governor-appointed member of the Capital Center Commission and a past-President of AIA/Rhode Island. When Martha is not climbing up steeples or through abandoned buildings, she can be found playing tennis or golf with her husband and two sons.
Martha has dual citizenship in the United States and Switzerland
You may or may not be surprised that:
She is a two-time winner of the Women’s Statewide Squash Championship
Virginia L. Branch, AIA
Since joining DBVW Architects in 2001, Virginia has been a firm leader in and out of the office. Her work with non-profit developers and community development corporations has helped create neighborhood-friendly affordable housing and mixed-use buildings in cities throughout the Northeast. Whether she is working with an arts organization, a community health center or a housing developer, Virginia’s direct style of communication and organizational skills are appreciated by her clients and coworkers. An Alabama-native, Virginia brings unparalleled southern charm to DBVW’s staff. Virginia serves on the Board of Crossroads Rhode Island and the Board of Providence Revolving Fund.
Can’t live without:
Sean Redfern, AIA, LEED AP
Sean has been with DBVW Architects for nearly 20 years. His laser-like focus on design detail and solid team management skills make him a natural leader and have earned him success with many of DBVW’s most complex projects. Sean’s experience ranges from higher education to multifamily housing to cultural to commercial design. No matter the project type, Sean’s clients can depend on him to manage the quality, schedule and budget to exacting standards. Sean is on the Board at Trinity Repertory Company and has served on several committees at The Gordon School. He enjoys time outside the office with his wife (who is also an architect) and son.
Underground structure with wall-to-wall carpeting on Cape Cod
Edward S. Cifune, AIA
Ed has over twenty years of experience and is a natural fit for managing large, complex and fast-tracked projects. His clients know him for being highly accessible, knowledgeable, and capable. He dives into projects with a level of energy and enthusiasm that propels them successfully forward. Before coming to DBVW, Ed spent a decade managing large educational and public facilities projects, including both new construction and renovation of existing schools throughout New England. Since joining DBVW Architects in 2007, Ed has been working with municipalities across the Northeast to create schools, town halls, and affordable housing.
View from his childhood home in NJ:
Best surprise of his life:
Ed delivered one of his two children
Pierson W. Booher, AIA
Pierson is a leader in DBVW’s historic preservation practice, and has served as Project Manager on several important projects. He is currently leading multiple preservation projects at Yale University and has also led several phases of restoration work at the New York Yacht Club. Pierson, who holds a Master of Science in Historic Preservation from the University of Pennsylvania, earned his Bachelor of Architecture from Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University and still serves as a columnist for a popular Virginia Tech sports website. Outside the office, you can find him enjoying the outdoors with his wife and young son.
Pierson has been to all 48 states in the continental U.S.
Kristi Gelnett, AIA, LEED AP
Kristi’s ability to focus on detail enriches every stage of the design process, from researching and carefully documenting existing conditions, to developing elegantly detailed drawings, to providing thorough construction administration services. Since joining DBVW Architects in 2001, she has served as Project Manager on some of the firm’s most challenging projects, and her work has helped shape the City of Providence. Outside the office, Kristi chairs the Providence Downtown Design Review Committee and is a member of Sophia Academy’s Building Committee.
When Kristi was 11, her dad took her to a house that he had bought, handed her a sledge hammer, and said, “Take that wall down." And, they renovated the house together.
Karissa E. Kuhns, AIA, LEED AP
Karissa’s ability to work independently, her positive attitude, and her diverse skill set make her a valuable member on a wide variety of project teams. She’s a leader in our multifamily residential practice, with extensive experience working with non-profit housing developers on affordable and market rate residential projects. When she joined the firm in 2006, her first assignment was working on the design of DBVW’s new offices; not an easy task when you consider the “client” was 30 architects and designers. Karissa continues to assist with new tenant fit-outs and interior design projects, with a special expertise in lighting design.
Wanted to be an architect since:
Her first set of Legos...30 years later and she still plays with them
Can recite thousands of movie quotes and song lyrics
Karissa bakes over a thousand cookies each December
Anthia Maniotes, AIA, LEED AP
Anthia’s organizational skills and tech savvy approach to challenges is evident in both her design projects and office-wide initiatives. Her ability to solve complex design challenges, coupled with her careful attention to detail, make her a valued member of DBVW. She has become a leader in the firm’s higher education practice, and has served as Project Manager for many ambitious projects including a campus housing masterplan, student center renovations and library feasibility studies. Recently, she led a study that explored creative ways to renovate and expand the historic Manning Hall at Brown University, and is currently serving as Project Manager for the New Welcome Center at the University of Rhode Island. Anthia was one of DBVW’s earliest adopters of Revit, and continues to serve as a technology and software resource for staff.
Born and raised in:
Athens, Greece....not Georgia
Scott brings an easygoing attitude and over twenty-five years of experience to DBVW project teams. Scott’s experience managing mixed-use adaptive reuse projects, as well as new single family construction projects, is very strong. Scott also has experience designing public and private educational facilities in Massachusetts and Rhode Island. No matter the project type, he is known throughout the office as being a dependable team member and a solid resource. Scott’s attentive nature and ability to manage projects is also appreciated by his clients.
Is saving for:
A trip to the moon (when it's safe for passengers)
Michael L. Swanson, LEED AP
Mike has a thorough understanding of the construction process, with an extensive background in envelope design, detailing, and the development of construction documents. At DBVW, Mike has served as Project Manager for many of the firm’s adaptive reuse and renovation projects. He is a leader in our healthcare practice, and brings a strong work ethic and practical eye to all of his projects. Outside the office, Mike’s love of the outdoors spans the seasons and includes hunting, fishing, paddling, and hiking, all of which he cannot do without a retriever by his side.
Small batch Kentucky Bourbon
To retire comfortably
Since joining DBVW in 2014, Galen has contributed to several project teams, including producing BIM models and construction documents for private single family residences and contributing to the programming and schematic design of a historic building that will be part of a senior living development. Galen was involved with his father’s carpentry business from the early age of seven, and the early lessons he learned help him solve design and construction challenges today. Galen graduated with a Bachelor of Architecture from Syracuse University. Outside the office, Galen spends a lot of time outdoors - sailing, hiking, biking, or skiing - and also loves to cook.
Puts Sriracha on:
An armed bank robbery
Can’t wait for:
Brian joined the DBVW team in 2016. His experience includes mixed-use, multifamily residential, and higher education design. He is interested in smart growth and healthy communities, and his work studying growth centers in Rhode Island has been honored with an APA RI Award. Brian’s Revit skills and knowledge of new construction and renovations have allowed him to make valuable contributions to many of our project teams. As a veteran of the U.S. Army, Brian has extensive experience working in a team environment and meeting deadlines under pressure.
Currently lives in:
A 130 year old mill building in Providence
Formerly stationed in:
Germany for 2.5 years
Eric Chancellor, AIA
Eric earned his Bachelor of Architecture degree from Florida Atlantic University and his Masters degree in Sustainable Architectural Studies from the University of Sheffield in the United Kingdom. Eric is interested in informed, responsible design and his study and travels inform the way he thinks about architecture. Since joining DBVW in 2014, Eric has been helping project teams solve diverse design challenges on healthcare, commercial, academic and multifamily housing projects, to name just a few! Besides architecture, Eric's passions include cars, motorcycles, cooking and craft beer - he even brews his own!
Got engaged in:
(You guessed it!) Scotland
Historic Preservation Specialist
Lauren Drapala is an experienced architectural conservator with a strong background in preservation planning. Since joining DBVW Architects in 2015, Lauren has contributed her expertise to several project teams, ranging from government to academic to healthcare projects. Her past experience includes the survey of historic masonry at Fort Sumter in Charleston and the preparation and administration of construction documents for the exterior masonry restoration at the D.C. Court of Appeals. After working for years as a consulting architectural conservator, Lauren values the opportunity to work alongside designers as part of an interdisciplinary team to integrate an understanding of historic materials with innovative new design.
Part Time Office Dog
Manny is a toy fox terrier rescue dog that weighs 9 pounds, but about half of that weight can be attributed to his ears. With a quiet and introspective nature, you’ll often find Manny burrowed under his favorite red fleece blanket, nestled in a warm lap or following his human, Lauren, around the office. Manny loves sniffing old buildings, getting himself stuck in the crevices of the couch and going for long walks in the woods with his humans.
Favorite historic building to sniff:
Director of Marketing
Jennifer has been working in the architecture industry for over 15 years. She collaborates with DBVW’s firm leaders to develop and refine the firm’s marketing and business development strategies, including identifying target markets and communicating the DBVW brand. Her day to day tasks include responding to requests for proposals, building and maintaining DBVW’s client and consultant relationships and collaborating with the firm’s in-house graphic designer and photographer on marketing and public relations collateral.
The University of Notre Dame
Gardening with her daughters
Can say the alphabet backwards
Director of Graphics | Photography
Heidi joined DBVW in 2008. She serves both as our in-house graphic designer and photographer, and also designs and manages our signage and environmental graphic projects. In her role as graphic designer, Heidi assists our in-house teams with presentation drawings, project boards, reports and marketing collateral. Heidi also provides graphic design services for DBVW’s clients, including logo design, fundraising collateral and commercial and residential leasing brochures. She has designed and managed signage projects for a range of clients, including healthcare, academic, and multifamily housing projects. In her role as in-house photographer, Heidi captures the design details big and small of DBVW's projects. In short, Heidi makes us look good!
Will someday own:
A cottage with a porch overlooking the ocean.
Wednesday night tradition since 2009:
Homemade pizza night with friends
Information Systems Manager
George makes sure all of DBVW’s computer systems and related equipment are secure, updated, and running properly – an important job with a staff of over 30 deadline-focused people running design software and memory intensive graphics applications. George’s background at the US Military Academy at West Point, and as a helicopter pilot and platoon leader in the Army, gives him adequate experience to keep DBVW running smoothly. He studied general Engineering at the US Military Academy and has a M.S. in Foundations of Education from Troy State University.
Little known fact:
George has written three novels about a young woman vigilante who hunts serial killers
Outside the office, George enjoys:
Homesteading with his wife on their five-acre farm
Part Time Office Dog
Ollie has been in the DBVW office since he was 8 weeks old, and is probably the most photographed office dog yet. He loves to fetch balls but isn’t as interested in returning them. However, don’t try to tell him that he’s not a success. He has a diner in Cumberland named after him, two books published about him, and you can even follow him on Instagram!
Follow Ollie on Instagram:
Tami has 15 years of architectural experience and advanced knowledge of Revit. In addition to being a key player on project teams and managing large teams of consultants, Tami is the firm’s Revit Manager. To say that she is a "go-getter" is an understatement! Tami exceeds expectations in and out of the office, and clients appreciate her can-do attitude. Interested in giving back to the community, Tami is involved with ACE RI, a volunteer program geared towards high school students that exposes them to the architecture, construction and engineering fields.
Peruvian born but of Japanese descent
Take away her snacks
Bring snacks before asking for a favor
Part Time Office Dog
Leo, a Blenheim King Charles Cavalier, is the happiest when installed on his mom’s lap. He spends most of the week with friends but sneaks in a visit to the office once a week. Known as the quietest addition to the office pups, if you realize he’s visiting he loves to wiggle out of his bed for pets and snuggles! On the weekends Leo enjoys long walks exploring his new home of Newport, and chasing birds at the beach.
Leo can spot a plane flying thousands of feet up in the sky but won’t be able to find that treat you dropped for him in front of his nose unless you point it out
Megan joined DBVW in 2016, with a strong background in commercial architecture and corporate interiors. Her experience includes participating in visioning and programming sessions with clients, creation of presentation drawings, architectural and interior design, and FF&E and material selection and specifications. Megan earned her architectural degree from Roger Williams and has a Masters degree in Interior Design from Pratt. She grew up in the Vermont backwoods then spent many years in New York City, and finds Providence to be the perfect balance between the two.
To start a farm for rescue animals, from dogs to donkeys
Nealia E. Morrison, LEED AP BD+C
Nealia joined DBVW as a Job Captain at the end of 2014. She earned her Bachelor of Science and Master of Architecture degrees from Northeastern University. Prior to joining DBVW, Nealia worked at Ann Beha Architects and ARC where she gained valuable experience with historic preservation as well as with new construction. Nealia is known throughout the office and to her clients as someone who is highly capable and also a pleasure to work with. At the end of the workday, Nealia goes home to her husband and her pup - a Puerto Rican street dog that they rescued and now can’t imagine life without!
To hike the Appalachian Trail
Robert Peixoto, LEED, AP
Bob is a Job Captain at DBVW, and has over 10 years of experience designing healthcare and academic buildings throughout the Northeast. Whether he’s working on the adaptive reuse of a historic structure for a non-profit community health center, or a highly technical lab space for a public university, Bob is a steady and dependable project team member with the skills and experience to get the job done on time and on schedule. Bob earned his Bachelor of Architecture from Roger Williams University and also studied at the Institute of Fine Arts at Palazzo Rucellai in Florence, Italy.
Watching his son use his imagination to be anything he wants - from a dinosaur to a construction worker
Could eat every day:
Ashley Prester, AIA, MCPPO
Ashley brings a combination of dedication and solid technical expertise to project teams, whether serving as a Project Manager or contributing in the areas of code compliance, zoning regulations, specifications writing, or construction administration. For 12 years prior to joining DBVW, Ashley focused on primary and secondary educational facilities and public buildings in Rhode Island, Connecticut and Massachusetts. He is a Massachusetts Certified Public Procurement Official (“MCPPO”) and advises the DBVW staff on bidding and delivery of public projects in the Commonwealth. Ashley is a project leader in the firm’s senior living practice.
Red Sox season tickets
Well-known within the collector community for:
Star Wars toys and action figures
Kejon came to DBVW after graduating with a Masters in Architecture from Roger Williams University. In addition to the accolades received at RWU, Kejon earned the “Stanley G. Kennedy Architectural Award” from the Institute of Bermuda Architects and the “Best in Technology – Construction Management” honor from New Institute of Technology. Kejon was drawn to DBVW because of the firm’s commitment to preserving cultural and natural resources. Since joining DBVW, Kejon has been contributing to several project teams, including a residential design for a historic Carriage House and a call center for United Natural Foods Inc. His positive attitude and work ethic are appreciated by everyone he works with, and his insight and talent have not gone unnoticed. Kejon originally hails from Bermuda and can be found with his headphones on, listening to Soca and/or Dubstep music when he needs to focus in on a task.
Kejon has been in a bowling league since he was 10 years old
On weekends, you’ll find him:
Watching Barclays Premier League Football, supporting his beloved Manchester United team
Born and Raised:
On the tiny island of Bermuda
Architectural Designer / Illustrator
Matthew brings a keen design eye and technical sophistication to his architectural illustrations. He joined DBVW in 2010 to help our clients and staff visualize projects through 3D computer visualization. These renderings are an invaluable tool for moving projects forward during predevelopment phases, fundraising efforts, and for building community support in public forums. In addition to his advanced digital illustration skills, Matthew has a Bachelor’s Degree in Architecture from the University of Miami and is a LEED Accredited Professional. Matthew is a member of the American Society of Architectural Illustrators and has won awards for his rendering work.
Spends his spare time:
Out by the BBQ pit perfecting his skills for the next local BBQ competition
Three darling little girls
Winning Google’s International Style Builder Competition in 2008 with his "Pencil on Graph Paper" technique
Part Time Office Dog
Coda, a fluffy white Samoyed breed, spends most of his work week resting in the center aisle of our office and waiting for pets. (Which he usually gets because of his irresistible good looks!) Coda's sweet demeanor has earned him lots of treats, ear rubs, and even a gift basket from one of our vendors!
Can howl to the beat of several songs
Melissa joined DBVW in 2016 with a strong resume of residential and commercial projects, many of which included historic preservation components. Her hands-on experience and skill with Revit is an incredible asset to the project teams that Melissa works with. Outside the office, Melissa serves as an ACE Mentor and Coordinator, working with high school students to help them develop an awareness of the architecture, construction and engineering professions. Melissa earned her Bachelor degree from the University of New Hampshire and her Master of Architecture degree from the Rhode Island School of Design.
Likes to invent:
Sara joined DBVW as an Interior Designer in the fall of 2013. She has nearly 20 years of experience in the industry, including several years designing interiors for an internationally recognized hospitality design firm and as a Principal and Owner of her own firm in Chicago. Whether working on a hospital, academic space, senior living development, historic building or single family residence, Sara has the ability to translate the client’s style and unique needs into her design. Sara has a daughter and a cat named Sydney, who all live near the water and spend as much time outside as they can.
To sell everything and travel the country in an RV
Patti is responsible for all of the financial and personnel matters at DBVW, including accounts receivable / payable, payroll, invoicing, and human resources. Additionally, Patti is an amazing baker and could open a very successful bakery if she wanted to… but we are glad to have her here bringing home-baked goods from her kitchen to our DBVW kitchen instead. A native of Chicago, Patti studied accounting at the University of Illinois and has been in Rhode Island since 1983.
In her kitchen with the crockpot going, something on the stove and baked goods in the oven
Proud grandmother of:
Two amazing boys
Our studio is a lively and collaborative environment where we share ideas, cultivate talent and incubate leaders. Over the years, our work and the ideas behind it have attracted a variety of bright minds, energetic designers and seasoned practitioners.
We provide full-service architectural and interior design for projects of all scopes and scales.
Architecture and Interior Design
- Design Services
- Feasibility Studies
- Space Planning
- Tenant Fit Outs
- Sustainable Design
- Construction Administration
- Furniture Selection
- Landmark Restoration
- Adaptive Re-Use Studies
- Historic Tax Credit Projects
- Historic Building Assessments
- Phasing Plans
- Feasibility Studies
- Conceptual Design Studies
- Campus and Facility Planning
- Master Planning
- Zoning Analysis
Graphics and Branding
- Signage and Wayfinding
- Graphic Design
- Marketing and Fundraising Support
- Architectural Rendering
From the start, we help clients make informed decisions at a comfortable pace by communicating as simply, clearly, and effectively as the buildings we design.
"Early on, DBVW took the time to ensure a thorough understanding of our work, our aspirations, concerns and expectations for the new space. They converted this understanding into excellent early designs and then worked diligently and responsively to modify the designs according to new information."
Karen Sibley, Brown University, Vice President for Strategic Initiatives & Dean, School of Professional StudiesSee This Project
"They are loyal and devoted architects, which cannot be undervalued."
Dorcas Grigg-Saito, Former CEO, Lowell Community Health CenterSee This Project
"DBVW Architects is a responsive, dedicated and creative firm that you can count on to stand by their work for years to come. They produce inspiring designs that are also practical and highly functional. And they are a pleasure to work with. Very hard to find a better combination!"
Lucie Searle, Real Estate Development, AS220See This Project
"People are simply blown away by this building - the intentionality and attention to detail in the design and the incredible quality of the construction. The professionalism, talent, and dedication of the DBVW team has played a huge role in the success of this project. We are deeply grateful."
Ron Dalgliesh, Assistant Head of School for Institutional Affairs, Moses Brown SchoolSee This Project
"We could not have chosen a more talented partner for creating a beautiful, functional building that reflects and integrates the historic nature of its surroundings."