Renan Pierre, Partner

Pierre received a B.A. in Art History from Columbia College in 1986 and a B.S. in Mechanical Engineering from Columbia’s School of Engineering in 1987. After a short-lived career in investment banking, he returned to school and received his Masters in Architecture from Harvard University in 1995. Mr. Pierre’s professional experience includes work as a junior designer for ARQ Architects in Maine (1995-1996), and Robert A.M. Stern Architects in New York (1996-1999). In 1999 he left Stern’s office to go into private practice, eventually to be joined by Casey Sherman in 2000 to form Sherman Pierre Architects in Manhattan.

Renan X. Pierre

Casey Sherman, Partner

Casey Sherman received a B.S. in Architecture from The University of Virginia in 1989, and a Masters in Architecture from Harvard University in 1995. He teamed with Mr. Pierre and taught design studios at The Boston Architectural Center in 1994 & 1995. Mr. Sherman’s professional experience includes work as a junior designer at the residential architectural firm of Design Associates Inc. in Cambridge, MA (1995-1998), and at Gwathmey Siegel and Associates Architects (1998-2001) in New York.

Casey S. Sherman

The Partnership

Since its founding in 2000, Sherman Pierre Architects (SPA), has established a practice in which the design partners Casey Sherman and Renan Pierre actively pursue opportunities for architectural intervention and invention. Their “architectural activism” has been lauded widely in design magazines and national publications such as the New York Times.

SPA often employs alternative uses for primary and interstitial spaces, and utilizes materials and technologies uniquely for small- and medium-sized projects in the public and private spheres. In so doing, SPA has created a provocative body of work that upholds the firm’s philosophy:

  • Employ materials and methods of connection in an honest manner to reveal their fundamental nature in order to make an architecture that is accessible to all.
  • Create innovative spaces that are warm and inviting by using familiar materials and methods.
  • Seek out and study innate solutions, such as man’s natural adaptation of space, in order to avoid solutions that are imposing and ill-contrived.
  • Create spaces or objects that, by their actions orplacement, offer flexibility and multi-functionality.
  • Identify and celebrate communal interests and activities through built form of all sizes and scales.

Until recently, the majority of SPA’s work has been in the residential market. Cultivation of this sector has allowed them to become experts in apartment design, renovation and space planning in the New York metropolitan area while gaining valuable experience working on additions and new construction in a variety of residential neighborhoods including historic and landmark districts. Furthermore, the budgets for these projects, which ranged from small to moderate, have made the firm especially sensitive to budget constraints and mindful of the importance of working creatively to do more with less and seeking novel ways of accomplishing this. Through all of these projects, they’ve gained an appreciation for the art of listening, which helps them to respond to the client’s needs.

In addition to their talent for listening, SPA is very comfortable working in the public realm. Whether it is in the additions that they’ve designed for historic homes, the apartments they’ve remodeled in New York City, or the community-based projects that they have proposed or executed, dealing with multiple stakeholders has always been a key issue. In each of these cases, they’ve reconciled the goals of our clients with the goals of the community as represented, respectively, by a historic district commission, a co-op/condo board or a community board. SPA routinely and successfully responded to this challenge in all cases. Currently, the firm is successfully managing this challenge in its design of a Community Recreation Center for Prince George’s County, Maryland as well as its proposed designs for renovation and addition to a firestation in Montclair, New Jersey. In both cases SPA has been able to transform this contentious process into an inclusive, collaborative effort by refocusing all stakeholders on shared objectives and mutual benefits. This is the firm’s passion and they do it well.

Because of SPA’s size, the firm will occasionally collaborate with larger architectural firms for their particular technical expertise and production capabilities. Through these informal partnerships, SPA is able to provide clients with the extraordinary combination of a large firm’s full range of professional services with the responsiveness and the personal design attention of a small firm.