Archived Press Releases

January 21, 2014

As pinnacle of its 30th Year, KSS Architects wins Firm of the Year, Intern Architect of the Year, and two Merit Awards
Princeton, NJ – KSS is true. As an architectural firm-as a creative force, a partner and a trusted guide, and as an employer, mentor and advocate, KSS is in its "exact shape, alignment and position required". Leaders in the fields of education, culture, land development, urban development and corporate environments, KSS has spent the past 30 years listening, imagining, and ultimately utilizing architecture as an agent of meaningful change-truly valuing the building of human relationships as much as the building of stone and steel.

"KSS Architects, from its inception, has been true to the principal that great design, in support of our client's missions and goals, leads to massive change. For 30, years in a collaborative way, we have sought design solutions for corporations, learning institutions and all types of clients seeking to create great places that positively affect lives and advance endeavors," Founding Partner Michael Shatken comments. "We are thrilled to find our philosophy affirmed, and our work, our clients and staff recognized."

The New Jersey chapter of the American Institute of Architects presented its annual Awards for Excellence in Design and Service on January 11th, 2014, awarding KSS Firm of the Year in recognition of the firm's major accomplishments in the field of architecture. The award is based on professional, community and technical achievements.

Of equal source of pride for KSS is the award for Intern Architect of the Year, acknowledging the accomplishments of Victoria Pivovarnick that have distinguished her both professionally and personally by not just meeting the requirements of the program, but by surpassing them. KSS was also awarded two Merit Awards for Eden Autism Services Education and Outreach Center and Drew University's Ehinger University Center.

Eden Autism Services addresses the needs of children, young adults and families affected by autism through year-round educational and outreach services. The new Education and Outreach Center encompasses an administrative wing, an early intervention and testing facility and seven highly specialized classrooms with break-out rooms for more personalized sessions. These blocks link together to form a protected courtyard within the complex, providing a safe and secure recreational playground area.

Integrated within the design are project materials which were chosen to relate to the autism spectrum thought process and to create an atmosphere of peace and calm-color palettes are neutral and muted, and visual elements such as the windows, are arranged in orderly, rhythmic patterns. The jury offered its insight as "impressed with the simple materials and simple composition that rises to a very high design level" and "very impressed with the "comfort & calm" of the architecture which they believed to be the right prescription for autistic clients." –AIA New Jersey Design Award Jury 2013

Repurposed and revitalized, the Ehinger University Center provides a strong visual presence in keeping with the rich architectural heritage of Drew University. To accomplish this transformation the design "peeled-off" the existing campus façade and removed a section of building down to the slab. This strategic surgery created an efficient yet transformative aspect to the image and function of the building.

New synergies have been created between student-run organizations and University outreach programs, and additional opportunities provisioned for students to see and be seen for dining, socializing and relaxing. Interior spaces have the ability to overlap, expand and spill-out or contract and formalize depending on event need. But perhaps the greatest benefit of the center's extensive re-programming is the realization of a grounded yet flexible space for a diverse array of students, faculty and alumni to call "home." The jury commented "This building really helps the campus from a place-making perspective." "The building has a timeless quality that is appropriate for a new building on a college campus." –AIA New Jersey Design Award Jury 2013

KSS looks forward to its 31st year of exceeding client's expectations, affecting meaningful change through architecture, and remaining true.

About KSS
KSS Architects LLP is an award-winning architectural design firm with offices in Philadelphia and Princeton, N.J. Founded in 1983, KSS specializes in the design and planning of educational, corporate, commercial and industrial buildings. Named AIA New Jersey's Firm of the Year in 2002, 2005, 2009, and 2013, KSS has a diverse breadth of work that includes the new Corporate Headquarters for Burlington Coat Factory, the new LEED Gold Campus Center at The Richard Stockton College of New Jersey, Teachers Village in Newark, N.J., and the Sustainability Action Plan for the City of Newark. For more information, follow KSS Architects on Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, and Instagram, and visit

Media Contact (for hi-res images and interviews)
Beth Sherby
Marketing Manager, KSS Architects LLP
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