Stephen Varenhorst Architects, (SVA) founded in 1987, is a thriving architectural firm located in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. The firm's growing and diverse design practice includes completed residential, commercial, and institutional projects. SVA is dedicated to meeting its clients' goals through a personalized approach throughout the design and construction process. In addition to traditional architectural design services, SVA offers land planning, feasibility studies, space planning, and facility planning consultation.
Noted for their distinctive style and beauty, SVA's award-winning projects are characterized by clarity of form and space, as well as material refinement.
Summarized in this web site are some of the firm's distinguishing projects, a brief description of the firm, and the variety of services offered by SVA.
tephen Varenhorst founded SVA in 1987 and has since realized numerous noteworthy, award-winning commissions. Single and multi-family residential, non-profit, education, and mixed-use retail projects comprise his extensive portfolio. An exceptional ability to detail as well as intensive client interaction and involvement have encouraged repeat clients, among them Suburban Square and Covenant House. Architecture for Stephen is a creative process to continually seek new and better approaches to design.
Stephen has frequently been recognized for both firm leadership and excellence in design. His award-winning projects include the Silverman Residence, Lee Residence, Balch Institute for Ethnic Studies (now the Constitution Center High School ), Philadelphia Enterprise Center , and the Mixed-Use Train Station Building at Suburban Square . The firm is presently designing three multi-family residential projects. The former Philadelphia Board of Education Building on the Benjamin Franklin Parkway will be converted into 130 condominiums. A building at Fourth and Cherry Streets in Old City will be converted to 55 units. A new, 300-condominium complex is also in design development.
Stephen is a graduate of North Dakota State University where he received a B.A. in Architectural Studies and a Bachelor of Architecture; and North Carolina State University School of Design, where he received a Master of Architecture and the Dietrich Fellowship. Stephen is a member of the American Institute of Architects, Pennsylvania Society of Architects, and National Association of Architectural Registration Boards, and is an adjunct faculty member at Drexel University . H e also sits on the Board of the Boys & Girls Club of Philadelphia.
Neil Garrioch was appointed Studio Director at SVA in 2008. In this role, he is responsible for architectural design and for coordination of design staff, project management and office oversight. Neil works closely with Stephen Varenhorst to execute designs with the same careful attention to detail for which the firm is known. Neil’s strong design and organizational skills will enable SVA to maintain and develop quality and innovation as the firm grows.
Neil has more than 17 years of design experience for firms in New York , Philadelphia and the United Kingdom . Prior to joining SVA, Neil managed design operations, client relations and market development for small multi-disciplinary design studios, a mid sized firm, and latterly, he served as a design principal for a major regional A/E firm. He has designed projects in the US , the UK , the Netherlands , Mexico , Russia , Malaysia , Singapore , Taiwan , and Saudi Arabia . His work has been recognized with the Sapporo Japan 2000 Urban Design Jury Selection Award; 1997 Japan Ceramic Tile Association Award for Innovative Housing Design and Materials Application; and with a Shinkenchiku Japan Architect Residential Design Competition Honorable Mention.
Neil holds a Master of Architecture from Harvard University Graduate School of Design. During his time at Harvard, Neil earned an AIA Merit Scholarship, the Alcalay Prize for Excellence in Studio Arts, and a full NATO Research Scholarship. Following an Honors Bachelor’s degree in Geology with Chemistry from Exeter University in England , Neil took graduate courses in mineral exploration geology and global geochemistry at Harvard. Neil’s interdisciplinary background helps him enrich design relationships between architecture, the environment, materials, emergent technologies, and earth-science related disciplines. He has been a guest juror for graduate and undergraduate courses at the University of Pennsylvania , Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute and Temple University . He also is an active participant in the development and application of new and adaptive materials and technologies to the design professions, including two US patents in his name: one for structural glass; and another for a soft polymer rehabilitation device.