ARCHITECTUREFIRM is a collaboration of architects and designers in Brooklyn, New York and Richmond, Virginia, led by Danny MacNelly, Katie MacNelly, and Adam Ruffin. We strive to create architecture that is simple, beautiful, and economical of both means and gestures. We believe that architecture should be integral with its place and that the best buildings allow people to fully experience the light and nature of that place. Our chief pursuit is a timeless expression of architecture that is appropriate to its users and their purpose, that blends progressive technology with elemental form.
Katie MacNelly graduated with a Master of Architecture from the University of Virginia School of Architecture in 2002. She joined Gerner, Kronick + Valcarcel Architects in New York upon graduation, working on the design and construction of several new high rise residential buildings in New York City. After moving to Richmond, Virginia, Katie founded ARCHITECTUREFIRM in 2009. In 2017, Katie began teaching as an adjunct professor at the University of Virginia School of Architecture.
Danny MacNelly received a Bachelor of Arts in both Physics and Philosophy from The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill before receiving a Master of Architecture from the University of Virginia School of Architecture in 2002. He worked for Audrey Matlock Architects and FXFOWLE in New York, where he worked on, among other projects, The Lion House Renovation at the Bronx Zoo and The Center for Global Conservation, both at the Bronx Zoo and both LEED accredited (Silver and Gold, respectively). Danny moved to Richmond, Virginia and joined 3North, where he became a Director. He managed the design of many projects there, including The Greater Richmond ARCenter, The Bryan Innovation Lab at The Steward School and The Bon Secours Washington Redskins Training Center. A sampling of his hospitality work includes leading the renovations at the Carolina Inn in Chapel Hill, NC, the Grove Park Inn in Asheville, NC, and The Homestead in Hot Springs, Virginia, as well as a new hotel and new hotel brand at Quirk Hotel in Richmond. Danny joined ARCHITECTUREFIRM as Partner in 2015. He is a licensed architect in the state of Virginia and is a LEED accredited professional in building construction and design (LEED AP BD+C).
Adam Ruffin studied architecture at the Georgia Institute of Technology and the University of Virginia, receiving a Master of Architecture in 2002. For 15 years he worked with Thomas Phifer and Partners in New York City rising to the role of Associate Director. As one of the longest tenured members of that team, he managed and developed some of the firm's most important cultural and residential projects, including the Corning Museum of Glass in Corning, New York, the North Carolina Museum of Art in Raleigh, North Carolina, the Cine Colombia Headquarters in Bogota, Colombia, the Chelsea Arts Studio in New York City, the Dallas Residence and Gallery in Dallas, Texas, the Fishers Island House on Fishers Island, New York, the United States Courthouse in Salt Lake City, Utah, and a Federal Office Building in San Juan, Puerto Rico. Many of these projects garnered AIA National Honor and Merit Awards as well as international recognition for the office. Adam joined ARCHITECTUREFIRM in 2017 and manages the Brooklyn office. He is a licensed architect in the state of New York.