Caples Jefferson Architects

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Caples Jefferson Architects
Founded 1987
Founder Sara Caples and Everardo Jefferson[1]
Headquarters Long Island City, Queens, New York, United States

Caples Jefferson Architects is an American design and architecture firm founded in 1987 in New York City by principal architects Sara Caples and Everardo Jefferson.[1] The firm focuses on architecture in a public, cultural & community context, and is unique for its dedication to designing approximately half of its projects in communities underserved by the design profession.[2]


Sara Caples attended Smith College and received a Master of Architecture from Yale University. She has taught at schools of architecture at CCNY, Syracuse, and University of Miami.[3] Everardo Jefferson attended Pratt Institute and received a Master of Architecture at Yale University. He has taught at schools of architecture at Columbia and Syracuse. Ms. Caples and Mr. Jefferson were invited to teach as the Louis I. Kahn Visiting Assistant Professors at Yale University in Fall 2015.[4]

The firm has garnered numerous awards, including the AIANY President's Award 2017[5], AIA New York State Firm of the Year in 2012,[6] NYC MWBE Firm of the Year in 2009[7] and was a Mies van der Rohe Crown Hall Prize of the Americas nominee.[8]


Caples Jefferson's body of work includes projects: Weeksville Heritage Center, Queens Theater in the Park addition and renovation, Marcus Garvey Community Center, Motion Pictures Editors Guild, Heritage Health & Housing Headquarters, Columbia University's Starr East Asian library renovation.[9]

Weeksville Heritage Center is a cultural center and urban design project that was completed in 2014 in Crown Heights, Brooklyn. The elegant new Modern structure is a two-story, 23,000 sq ft space that includes art exhibition, performance, education facilities, offices and green spaces for staff, visitors and the local community.[10][11][12][13][14][15][16] The L shaped building frames the historic houses that once belonged to 19th African-American freedmen.[17] It is certified LEED Gold, and includes geothermal wells, and storm water gathering and percolation on site. Weeksville Heritage Center has been awarded multiple awards, such as AIA New York State's Design Excellence Award 2014 & Best in New York State 2014, Municipal Art Society's Best New Building 2014, Historic Districts Council’s Design Award 2014, and Chicago Athenaeum's American Architecture Award 2014.[11][18][19][20]

In The Architect Newspaper, Allen Blake notes that "Caples Jefferson has performed an art of architectural archeology, excavating, revealing and framing history through spatial expression. […] [Weeksville] is a visual and sensory interplay between past and present." [10]

In 2010, Caples Jefferson Architects completed a 600 person reception room by the Queens Theatre in the Park, an addition to the 1964 New York World's Fair Site in Queens, New York. The project features a transparent "nebula room" which looks out upon the large observation towers surrounding it. "The 'transparent "nebula room' allows visitors to view the observatory towers...the reception room's festive atmosphere is created by the rich color palette derived from the area's culturally diverse surroundings." [21] This project received several awards including the 2010 New York Construction Cultural Project of the Year,[22] a Queens Chamber of Commerce Award, a National Organization Of Minority Architects (NOMA) National Award of Excellence in Architecture[23] as well as the 2011 MASterworks Award for Best Restoration by the Municipal Art Society.[13][14][15][16][24]

Projects in construction or in design include: The Africa Center, Louis Armstrong House Museum, ongoing Columbia University projects, ongoing New York City School Construction Authority projects, and ongoing US Department of State projects.[9]

Selected design and renovation projects[edit]


  • AIA NY President's Award, 2017 [39]
  • The City of New York City Council Citation Weeksville Heritage Center, 2015
  • Built By Women New York City Award Weeksville Heritage Center, 2015 [40]
  • AIA NY COTE Institutional Award Weeksville Heritage Center, 2015 [41]
  • Chicago Atheneum American Architecture Award, 2014[20]
  • AIA New York State Best in New York State, 2014[42]
  • AIA New York State Design Award of Excellence, 2014[18]
  • MASterworks Award, Best New Building , Municipal Art Society, 2014[43]
  • Historic Districts Council, Design Award, 2014[11]
  • Mies van der Rohe Crown Hall Americas Prize Nominee, 2014[44]
  • Building Brooklyn Awards, Best New Civic/Institutional Building, 2014[45]
  • Architect Magazine Annual Design Review Best Cultural Project Citation, 2013 [44]
  • NOMA Honor Award for Excellence, 2013[46]
  • Architect Magazine Top 50 Sustainable Firms, 2013[44]
  • AIA New York State Firm of the Year, 2012
  • MASterworks Award for Best Restoration, Municipal Art Society, 2011 (Project)[47]
  • AIL Design Award with special citation Best Use of Color, 2011[48]
  • Cultural Project of the Year, New York Construction, 2010[22]
  • CWB Design Portfolio Award, 2010[44]
  • City of New York MWBE of the Year, 2009[49]
  • First Prize Award for Excellence in Design, Queens Chamber of Commerce, 2008[49]
  • NOMA National Awards for Excellence in Architecture, 2004, 2008, and 2009 [23][49]
  • NY Chapter AIA Design Awards Citations, 1995, 1996, 2006 and 2007[23]
  • New York City Art Commission Design Award, 2006[23]
  • NY Chapter AIA Honor Award for Architecture 2004[44]
  • AIA National Honor Award for Architecture, 2003[49]
  • New New York 3, Architectural League of New York, 2002[44]
  • Emerging Voice, Architectural League of New York, 1998[23]


  1. ^ a b Caples, Sara. “Introduction: Mixology.” Architectural Design Archived 2015-05-23 at the Wayback Machine. October 2005: 7.
  2. ^ "As 'Gentrification' Turns 50, Tracing Its Nebulous History". Curbed. November 2014. 
  3. ^ "Artist Architect". University of Miami. May 2014. 
  4. ^
  5. ^
  6. ^
  7. ^
  8. ^
  9. ^ a b "Caples Jefferson Architects: Work". (Official website). Retrieved November 23, 2014. 
  10. ^ a b "Recovering Weeksville". The New Yorker. November 2014. 
  11. ^ a b c "Historic Districts Council Design Awards." Historic Districts Council (2014).
  12. ^ "Nominated Works". Illinois Institute of Technology. May 2014. 
  13. ^ a b Caples Jefferson Architects. “Queens Theatre.” C3 No. 327 November 2011: 124
  14. ^ a b “Queens Theatre.” Design Develop Construct Journal, Winter 2011: 165
  15. ^ a b Nic Lehoux. "Queens Theatre in the Park: Breathing new life into Philip Johnson's World's Fair legacy." Detail July 2011: 358
  16. ^ a b Gutierrez, Leonor. "Renuava Su Estilo Y Crece." Casas y Mas No. 148 September 2011: 60
  17. ^ "Black Radical Weeksville". Urban Omnibus. September 2014. 
  18. ^ a b "AIA New York State Design Awards". American Institute of Architects New York. 2014. 
  19. ^ "Municipal Art Society of New York Honors Architectural Firms". Wall Street Journal. August 2014. 
  20. ^ a b "The 2014 Awards". Chicago Athenaeum. 2014. 
  21. ^ "caples jefferson architects: queens theatre in the park". Design Boom. 2011. 
  22. ^ a b "Queens Theater-in-the-Park, Corona, N.Y.: Project of the Year – Cultural". New York Construction. 1 December 2010. 
  23. ^ a b c d e f g "Awards". Architectural League of New York. 
  24. ^ Hart, Sara. “Queens Theatre.” Architect Magazine April 2012: 98
  25. ^
  26. ^ a b c d e f g h "Architecture Firm Directory - Caples Jefferson Architects". American Institute of Architects. Retrieved 28 April 2012. 
  27. ^ "Louis Armstrong museum getting $15M upgrade". TimesLedger Newspapers. 30 September 2011. 
  28. ^
  29. ^
  30. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l "Caples Jefferson Architects: Home". (Official website). Retrieved April 29, 2012. 
  31. ^ "Caples Jefferson Architects: Cultural". (Official website). Retrieved April 29, 2012. 
  32. ^ a b c d e "Caples Jefferson Architects: Education". (Official website). Retrieved April 29, 2012. 
  33. ^ White, Norval. Willensky, Elliot. Leadon, Fran. American Institute of Architects. New York Chapter. “Queens Theatre.” AIA Guide to New York City 2010: 773
  34. ^ "Big Ideas for Apollo Theater Are Held Up by Internal Squabbles". New York Times. 17 September 2000. 
  35. ^ a b c d e f "Caples Jefferson Architects: Community". (Official website). Retrieved April 29, 2012. 
  36. ^ a b "Caples Jefferson Architects: Workplace". (Official website). Retrieved April 29, 2012. 
  37. ^ "New Home for the Eastern Region". Motion Picture Editors Guild. February 2004. 
  38. ^ "Eastern Region Office Relocates". Motion Picture Editors Guild. February 2004. 
  39. ^
  40. ^
  41. ^
  42. ^ "October 2014 Enews". American Institute of Architects New York. 2014. 
  43. ^ "MASterworks Awards - For Excellence in Architecture and Urban Design". Municipal Art Society. 2014. 
  44. ^ a b c d e f "Caples Jefferson Architects: Awards". (Official website). Retrieved November 9, 2014. 
  45. ^ "Building Brooklyn Awards™ - 2014". Building Brooklyn Awards. 2014. 
  46. ^ "Professional Design Awards". National Organization of Minority Architects. 2013. 
  47. ^ "MASterworks Awards - For Excellence in Architecture and Urban Design". Municipal Art Society. 2012. 
  48. ^
  49. ^ a b c d "Caples Jefferson Architects: Publications". (Official website). Retrieved April 29, 2012. 

External links[edit]