The Making of a House

Designing Extraordinary Residences

Founded in 1969, Robert A. M. Stern Architects has established a reputation for designing extraordinary houses and apartments, suffused with a deep understanding of traditional architectural values as they accommodate and enhance our clients’ needs and aspirations.

As we’ve grown into an internationally renowned, award-winning firm — adding commercial, institutional and planning projects to our body of work — our dedication to designing timeless and evocative places to live has remained a cornerstone of our practice.

Whether designing a new house or a renovation, each project is guided by our deep understanding of historic precedents, our intuitive sense of the workings of modern life and — most importantly — our close collaboration with our clients.

Dialogue & Vision

From the outset we envision a project in its entirety and custom-build a team of professionals that will be most responsive to our clients’ needs and who share our commitment to delivering the highest level of quality in design and execution. We work with the best interior designers, landscape architects, craftspeople and builders around the world — including our own in-house interior and landscape design teams.

“From the moment we put pencil to paper for a house design, we’re thinking about how the house will actually be lived in — how it’s going to be furnished, how our clients are going to move through the rooms from morning to night, how it will grow and evolve as their lives change over the years.”

Roger Seifter

“What sets our work apart from much of contemporary architecture is our meticulous attention to detail and discriminating focus on craftsmanship and artistry. Our longstanding industry relationships allow us to bring the best craftspeople and tradespeople to every project, no matter where in the country the project is based.”

Gary Brewer

While we’re often sought out on the basis of our experience and the quality of our work, relationships are crucial to the successful design of a house: our dedication to our clients, and our proven ability to balance livability with substance for them, have inspired many to bring us on for multiple projects. In addition, we’ve worked with the sons and daughters of some of our longest-standing clients — confirming that the value of a quality-designed house can last for generations.

“The essential narrative of a house comes from the clients themselves.”

Randy Correll

Style & Context

“Because we work in a range of styles — Georgian to Mediterranean, Shingle Style to Craftsman — each of our houses is distinct in its character and personality. What makes them ‘RAMSA houses’ is their quality and undeniable presence.”

Gary Brewer

Wherever we work, context is paramount: a house should be of its place, rather than simply in its place. Every place has its own character, which we see as a stimulus to creative invention; each project presents a new opportunity to apply time-honored principles to a new situation, with a different form and character.

“Each of our houses, whether large or small, conveys an elegance and dignity. This comes from looking at a project holistically so that the architecture, interiors and landscape are all in conversation rather than competing against each other.”

Randy Correll

Forward design doesn’t mean breaking with the past; it means continuing established traditions in a fresh way. We delve into history and culture to discover the appropriate expression for each project. Our sensitivity to the natural and built surroundings, along with our deep knowledge of historic precedent, underlies our enthusiastic embrace and mastery of different architectural styles.

“Proper proportion and scale — thoughtfully-considered and executed in broad gestures and small details — are essential for creating a house where people feel truly at home.”

Roger Seifter

“The word ‘luxury’ has become overused and misunderstood. True luxury isn’t about grand statements — it’s a sense of understated elegance and comfort.”

Grant Marani

Tradition & Innovation

We supplement traditional hand drawing and model making with the latest technologies in visualization and presentation. In the course of design, both we and our clients have access to the newest innovations in products and engineering. Combined with the creative synergy of our dedicated residential partners and their teams, these resources help to guarantee work that anticipates and accommodates the future as it alludes to the past.

“One of the things that differentiates our work from other architects’ is our knowledge, our familiarity with and confidence in various styles, which enables us to bring a fresh perspective to our work. Tradition without imagination is just convention.”

Grant Marani

Architecture is a vital, living tradition, meant to be experienced. For us, no experience is more important than the one our clients have living everyday in the houses we design.