Belmont Freeman

FAIA, Principal
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Yale University: BA 1973, Magna cum laude, Phi Beta Kappa

University of Pennsylvania, Graduate School of Fine Arts: M Arch 1976

Belmont Freeman established his independent architectural practice in 1986, as founding principal of Freeman & Pizer, Architects. In 1994, Mr. Freeman became sole proprietor of the firm, which was renamed Belmont Freeman Architects. Previously, from 1977 to 1986, Mr. Freeman was a senior designer and Associate at Davis, Brody & Associates in New York City.

Belmont Freeman, informally known as Monty, has earned a wide reputation as an innovative designer, a progressive practitioner and a scholar. His work is regularly featured in the architecture and design press, and has received numerous awards from the American Institute of Architects, the American Society of Interior Designers and other professional and civic organizations. His client list includes major universities and cultural institutions, as well as corporations, developers, and private residential clients.

Mr. Freeman was the President of the Board of Directors of Storefront for Art & Architecture, an internationally known not-for-profit design gallery in New York City, from 1998 to 2007. He lectures widely on his work and other areas of architectural and historical research, and is a frequent guest critic at design schools throughout the Northeast. He has served on the board of directors of the Society of Architectural Historians, and on the board of governors of the Association of Yale Alumni. He was elected to the College of Fellows of the American Institute of Architects in 2009.

An American of Cuban descent, Mr. Freeman is regarded as an expert on Cuban architecture, a subject on which he speaks and publishes widely. In 2004, he co-produced the landmark exhibition "Architecture and Revolution in Cuba, 1959-1969," at Storefront for Art and Architecture.

Belmont Freeman is comfortable conducting business in English, Spanish, and French. He is licensed as an architect in New York, New Jersey, Connecticut, Pennsylvania, and Virginia, and holds certification from the National Council of Architectural Registration Boards.

Haan Chau

LEED AP BD+C, Associate Principal
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Southern California Institute of Architecture: Master of Architecture, 2008
SUNY Purchase College: Bachelor of Art History, 1998

Haan Chau is a designer and project architect with over twelve years of experience in architecture and interiors. Prior to joining Belmont Freeman Architects, Ms. Chau worked at firms including Michael Maltzan Architecture, Daly Genik Architects, and REX. In her 9 years at BFA, Ms. Chau has served as lead project architect and designer on a wide variety of institutional, cultural, mixed-use and residential projects including:

• International House of New York: A master plan, zoning analysis, and phased renovation project for a student residence and cultural
institution. BFA designed a new entrance and lobby, renovated resident rooms in two buildings, and selected administrative offices.

• NYU Faculty Housing: Architectural services for over one hundred faculty apartments at New York University that includes work in
the iconic I.M. Pei designed Silver Towers as well as in the university’s pre-war buildings.

• Teachers College: A suite of offices for the International Center for Cooperation and Conflict Resolution.

• Stevens Institute of Technology Provost Office: Full renovation of the 9th floor office suite in Stevens’ Howe Center.

• Freelancers Union Office: 3,000 sf headquarters in Downtown Brooklyn.

Alex Gryger

RA, Senior Associate
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Pratt Institute: Bachelor of Architecture, 2007

Alex Gryger is a New York State Registered Architect with ten years of experience in the field of architecture since graduating Pratt Institute. Prior to joining Belmont Freeman Architects, Mr. Gryger served as Project Manager at Michael Lewis Architects where he directed high-end residential projects throughout the New York region. Working closely with clients, consultants, and contractors, he is well experienced in all phases of the construction process, from schematic design to project completion. Since joining BFA in June 2013, Mr. Gryger has served as lead project architect on commercial and residential projects including:

• Chelsea Art Studio: Renovation of a suite of design studio and gallery spaces totaling 3,500 sf.

• Chelsea Apartment: 2,000 sf private residence featuring technically demanding custom millwork and metal fabrications.

• Sushi Yasuda: 4,500 sf renovation of the Michelin-Starred restaurant, Sushi Yasuda, in New York City. The project entails the construction of an entirely new kitchen (more than quadrupling the back-of-house zone), the addition of two private dining rooms, a new private sushi bar, and the subtle refurbishment of the existing dining room and sushi bar.

• Martha’s Vineyard Residence: A new house on in Chilmark, MA, designed to Passive House standards for optimal sustainability.

• Yale Club: BFA has performed ongoing work for The Yale Club of NYC, which most recently includes renovation of the ground floor retail storefront, the Grand Ballroom and the Main Lounge.

Maya Porath

Project Designer
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Columbia University, Graduate School of Architecture, Planning, Preservation: Master of Architecture, 2014
Brown University: A.B. in Architectural Studies, 2011

Maya Porath is an accomplished designer and intermediate architect with four years of experience in architecture and interiors. Before joining Belmont Freeman Architects, Maya worked on a variety of institutional, civic and mixed use projects in NYC including interior office renovations, supportive housing renovations, and a large scale renovation of a church’s community and Sunday school center. At Belmont Freeman Architects, Maya’ experience and collaborative disposition have made her an asset on a number of projects, including:

• NYU Faculty Housing: Architectural services for over one hundred faculty apartments at New York University that includes work in
the iconic I.M. Pei designed Silver Towers as well as in the university’s pre-war buildings.

• Columbia University Lerner Hall: Renovation of Dining Services kitchens, preparation and storage areas.

• Coney Island Branch Library: Renovation of staff and community meeting rooms.

Keven Melara

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New York Institute of Technology, B.Arch 2014

Keven Melara is a Junior Architect with years of experience in high end residential projects in New York, New Jersey and Florida. Prior to working at Belmont Freeman Architects he worked at an interior design firm as a designer, working alongside the Principal designing homes and using 3D programs to model the apartments, homes and furniture for clients. He is currently working to acquire his architectural license.

Laura Schmitt-Hall

Project Designer
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Temple University, Tyler School of Art: Master of Architecture, 2016
Temple University, Tyler School of Art: BA Art History, 2011

Laura is a architectural designer whose experience in high-end residential architecture has allowed her to work closely with a variety of contractors, consultants, and builders in New York City. Laura has been involved in a diverse mix of project types in all phases, from initial master planning through construction administration. Prior to Belmont Freeman Architects, Laura worked at Peter Marino Architect where she gained experience in interior design, working on hospitality and apartment renovations that called for custom details, millwork, and finishes. With degrees in both Architecture and Art History, Laura has a keen eye for contemporary and inventive design, and views both architecture and art as one holistic experience.