PRZOOM - /newswire/ -
Princeton, NJ, United States, 2008/05/20 - KSS Architects, twice named AIA-New Jersey's Firm of the Year, is proud to celebrate 25 years of designing great places. Starting from an office of just three people, KSS now has 50 team members in offices in Princeton and Philadelphia.
This year, Princeton-based architectural design firm KSS Architects celebrates 25 years of creating exciting and engaging places for more than 100 clients in projects of a wide range of size and scope.
Though KSS has received many national and regional awards, including The American Institute of Architects New Jersey's prestigious Firm of the Year Award both in 2002 and 2005, the firm had modest beginnings, said Allan Kehrt, FAIA, one of KSS' founding partners.
"For a firm that started out in a spare bedroom, we could only dream we would still be here, doing the work we love 25 years later," Kehrt said.
In 1983, Kehrt and architects Michael Shatken and Rafael Sharon started KSS in a single back room on the ground level of 337 Witherspoon, next to Conte's restaurant. Today, Kehrt and Shatken still work in the same building—except now they can enter through the front door instead of the side door. As KSS grew to 50 employees, it took over both floors of the building and, in 2001, opened a second office in the Public Ledger Building in Philadelphia.
Much of KSS' early work was in residential and retail design. After four years, they won their first high-profile project in the higher education market: renovating the Chemistry Library at Princeton University. The project's success solidified the firm's credibility in the industry. KSS' portfolio has since expanded to include projects for K-12, interior design, corporate, commercial/industrial, municipal and government markets. Its long list of impressive clients includes Cornell University, Bryn Mawr College, Rutgers University, Genmab, Inc., AMB Property Corporation, Forsgate Industrial Partners, Teva Pharmaceutical Industries, and BPG Properties.
KSS' completed work includes Princeton Township's municipal complex, Princeton University's Aaron Burr Hall renovation, the Mercedes-Benz Distribution Center in Washington Township, N.J., and the Beck Center at Cornell University, for which the firm is now designing a second addition. Currently, KSS is also designing several campus centers, including one at Lawrence University in Appleton, Wis., New Jersey City University's West Campus master plan and a number of industrial architecture projects along the New Jersey Turnpike. The firm's promotion and practice of sustainable design have garnered national attention for the firm, particularly in the field of industrial architecture, which partner Edmund Klimek, AIA, leads.
To commemorate its 25th anniversary, KSS (kssarchitects.com) is putting its value in community involvement to practice. The firm will be volunteering with Habitat for Humanity-Trenton Area this summer. It also relaunched its redesigned website to showcase the firm's history of successful projects and reputation for its talented, dedicated and caring designers.