Our practice brings together a diverse group of design professionals from varying backgrounds (and continents), united by a love of cities and urban fabric and committed to contribute our skills and labor to improving and extending the beauty of this place we call home.
Our key people are:
Scott Mahaffey RA | Principal
Andi Ago | Associate
Ralph Shinogle | Associate
Manny Guerrero | Interior Design Manager
Scott Mahaffey Architect is a full service, design-oriented architectural practice in New York City, serving New York, New Jersey, Connecticut and Vermont.
Since 1993 our clients have included business owners, developers and builders, individuals and public institutions. Our completed projects range from mixed use, multifamily residential buildings, apartments and townhouses to offices and showrooms, bars and cafes, retail and public projects.
To each client and new project we bring a fresh sheet of paper and no prior expectation of the final design. We don’t mind budgets, we like challenges, we enjoy the process and working with clients, contractors and craftsmen to create what are still largely handmade works.
We keep one foot in the details, the nitty-gritty, the how-to; and the other in the thinking behind the fundamental human need to build, to shelter, to gather, to create.
We believe in thinking things through, being thoughtful, being present to the world as it is.
We believe that being an Architect is more than just providing a knowledge of codes, CAD programs, materials and methods, drawings or time. While a project always begins with issues to be solved -- a program, a scope, a budget -- in service to the client’s intentions, the design process requires thinking, ideas, creativity: These are the fundamental tools of an Architect.
We believe the process must result in not only fulfilling the client’s intentions, addressing code requirements and construction methods, but transcend them and contribute to the city and it’s inhabitants.
It must fulfill our basic human need to build. From when the earliest humans placed a stone or made a mark to create a memory, their place in the cosmos, we have revered our monuments. The builders of our historic context were looking for an expression of their own time; the builders of Modern Architecture too sought a universal expression to understand their time.
In New York City we live and work every day with, in and around old buildings so most of our projects include relating to an existing urban fabric. Preservation of history is very important to us, but we believe so is creating new fabric that responds to our time and uses while it respects the past -- not a mythic past, but the actual context within which we build.
We believe 21st century buildings should not be an ode nor an apology to history; that “timelessness” is not the same as “classical”, “vernacular” is not the same as “ordinary”, and that the imitation of history is disrespectful to both the past and present. It is not with a blind, naive belief in the future or in progress that we use a modernist vocabulary rather than an imitative one.
We believe, as Lewis Mumford once said, that “...our task is not to imitate the past, but to understand it, so we may face the opportunit(ies) of our own day and deal with them in an equally creative spirit.”
So rather than looking backwards at our ancestor's time and trying to copy it, we are engaged in looking at the existence of our fellow human beings, and making our own marks, our own monuments.