“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 modern cities, vernacular structures, industrial heritage and rural life has led him to many foreign countries and remote villages and informs much of his work. His enthusiasm for making vibrant places and appreciation for craftsmanship fuels his passion for designing new buildings and restoring historic ones. Whether designing a new highrise, performance center, academic space, church or 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. Martha serves on the boards of GrowSmart RI and the Historic Preservation Education Foundation. She is a Governor-appointed member of the Capital Center Commission, a member of the RIHPHC review board, 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 kayaking on the Narragansett Bay.
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
Edward S. Cifune, AIA
Ed has over twenty-five 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
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 Downtown Design Review Committee and is a member of the building committee of Sophia Academy.
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.
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.
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
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
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
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
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
Christian joined DBVW after graduating with a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Architecture from UMass Amherst, and a Masters in Architecture from Roger Williams University. While pursuing his Masters, he spent summers working at a high end residential architecture firm in Cape Cod where he gained valuable experience 3D modeling and drafting. He was drawn to DBVW because of the firm’s investment in designing buildings that enrich the community – and because of its proximity to the beach! His first hands-on project here is the Taunton City Hall restoration and addition. A lifelong athlete, Christian enjoys volleyball, basketball, and skiing.
Can’t stop running into:
Next big trip:
Italy with his family
Susan is DBVW’s office coordinator, serving as the first point of contact for visitors to our firm. She implements and tracks office systems, manages correspondence, and keeps the office running smoothly. Susan comes to DBVW with a strong background in office administration, most recently as the Office Administrator and Volunteer Coordinator at the Downtown Providence Parks Conservancy. A former resident of Vermont, she relocated to Providence in 2014 with her husband Michael and quickly became active in serving her community. Susan is currently a Board member for City Arts, Providence and is a regular volunteer with Rhode Island Public Radio. A lifelong advocate of the arts, Susan has a degree in Studio Art and Art History from Connecticut College.
Goals for her garden:
Bountiful, but easy to deal with
Four happy chickens and a weird cat
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
Marketing & Communications Manager
A Rhode Island-native, Susanna comes to DBVW with a strong background in arts marketing & journalism. At DBVW, she works closely with the partners on responding to requests for proposals and building and maintaining DBVW’s client and consultant relationships, as well as collaborating with the firm’s in-house graphic designer and photographer on marketing and public relations collateral. Her tireless networking, thoughtful ideation, and consistently fresh perspectives are a true asset to our firm.
Two things Susanna never forgets when she embarks on an adventure:
Her pups McClane & Gruber #puphard
Grade school job:
Typing up her father’s roofing proposals on the family computer
Will work for:
A history and “old stuff” enthusiast, Miranda is part of DBVW’s Historic Preservation team. Her first day on the job was on-site at Yale University, and she continues to play an integral role on multiple preservation projects for the university. Miranda earned her Bachelor degree in Architectural Studies with a minor in Historic Preservation at Kent State University. A recent transplant from Buffalo, New York, Miranda holds an unpopular opinion in the office that we need more snow.
To see all the National Parks in the United States (she and her fiancé just checked off five in a two-week period!)
Nealia E. Morrison, AIA, 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
Pedro joined DBVW while pursuing his Masters in Architecture at Roger Williams University and upon graduation joined the firm full-time. While enrolled at RWU, Pedro won the 25th Annual ASC Regional design-build competition and the International IFAI Fabric Structures Student Design Competition. At DBVW, Pedro has contributed to several project teams including Yale University’s Bingham Hall. Thoughtful and studious, Pedro finds listening to Spanish music helps when on deadline.
Dedicated fan of:
New Year’s Resolution:
Get back into playing piano
Robert Peixoto, LEED, AP
Bob is a Project Manager at DBVW, and has over 12 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 my children using their imagination and playing well together.
Could eat every day:
Having spent seven years working in construction, followed by eight years at residential-centric firms, Ryan comes to DBVW Architects with a comprehensive knowledge of residential design. Since joining DBVW, he has been contributing to several project teams, including a Little Compton residence and the New York Yacht Club. Ryan holds a Bachelor of Architecture from the New England Institute of Technology and a Master of Architecture from Boston Architectural College. At BAC he was awarded the Peter Woytuk & Elsie Hurst Award and a Thesis Commendation Award. While he also harbors a love for archeoastronomy and ancient cultures, he has been enamored with architecture since he was a child, ever since his father gave him a tour of the log cabin he had just finished building.
Evidence he’s a true New Englander:
Ryan has shucked oysters competitively
Best man at his wedding:
Beacon, the rescue corgi
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
Matthew Valero, LEED AP
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
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:
Senior Interior Designer
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
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:
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
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.
"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
"They are loyal and devoted architects, which cannot be undervalued."
Dorcas Grigg-Saito, Former CEO, Lowell Community Health CenterSee This Project
"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
"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
"... I could not be more pleased with the creativity, effectiveness, and thoughtful design and oversight provided by the firm... They not only respected the historic nature of this Town, they also designed a facility that is a focal point of our downtown area."
Melissa Grabau Arrighi, Town Manager, Plymouth MASee 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."