Her passion for design and culture is what initiated Studio 397 Architecture in The Capital of the World, or also known as New York City, United States. The brilliant mind behind this architectural firm is Samantha Josaphat, a licensed architect, and owner of Studio 397. After five years of practice, Samantha felt that she was missing something about the profession; the routine was consuming her creativity. Therefore, she decided to start her own journey by funding Studio 397 Architecture PLLC. Since then, Samantha has explored architecture’s practice from another perspective. After a few years, Studio 397 Architecture has innovated New York’s architectural approach and the firm has created a social impact on inclusion through design.
What makes Studio 397 Architecture unique? Is 397 someone’s lucky number?
Since 2018, Studio 397 Architecture has been working on accessible architectural solutions, healthy environments, and ingenious designs. Samantha Josaphat, Studio 397 Architecture’s owner, retook what makes The Big Apple unique by its diversity. This same city where Samantha was born, taught her the philosophy that leads the firm which stills goes on, is about social inclusion and educating the community through architecture. As a result, Studio 397 has been the connecting bridge of multiple backgrounds. For example, Studio 397 Architecture is one in a few architectural firms directed by a woman in the United States; being the 397th African-American woman registered in the United States is what inspired Samantha Josaphat to name her firm, like Studio 397. From that moment, Samantha has been passionately designing in New York City and she has highlighted the importance of social diversity in the professional field. Samantha Josaphat has been also actively involved in other activities other than Studio 397 Architecture, Samantha is the current president of the National Organization of Minority Architects (NOMA), and she has been an exceptional professor at Bernard and Anne Spitzer School of Architecture in New York City. This talented woman has shown leadership in different areas and her firm has demonstrated the world her determination and leadership skills in the architectural area.
Now, here are some examples of Studio 397 Architecture’s projects, mentorship program, and interior design intervention which the firm has done in the United States and Canada in the past years:
1. Beach Restoration in New York, New York
Studio 397 Architecture has been committed to New York’s community since the firm was created. Samantha Josaphat has demonstrated that determination and responsibility is what is going to define the future of architecture, as well as, the upcoming social condition for humanity. For that reason, New York’s restoration was an opportunity for an architectural intervention. The project with the NYC Parks Department was officially completed in 2013, since then the recreational and conservational space has served its community.
2. Condo Owner’s Project in New York, New York
This project is a clear example of one of the firm’s philosophies “Less is More” by Mies Van Der Rohe. The interior spaces explore the difference between materials, and they integrate a few artistic details that create a Minimalistic interior style for the residential project. Moreover, this project was completed in 2018 and it has been nationally recognized for its interior design and brilliant use of materials and Modern furniture.
3. Corporate Interiors in New York, New York
In the Past, the founder of Studio 397 Architecture, Samantha Josaphat, worked for a half of a decade for architectural firms. During these years, she worked on completing projects related to designing Corporate Interiors, retailing stores, and airports. When this new Corporate Interior project was presented to Studio 397 Architecture, Samantha Josaphat retook her previous experience and designed one of the firm’s renowned projects for its interior design. The Corporate Interiors were completed in 2017, and its design creates a unique balanced composition between light, color, and minimalistic patrons. Modern design highlights the importance of place and the furniture’s direction in order to achieve the best architectural experience.
4. COS’ Retail Store in Atlanta, Georgia
This project was one of the numerous collaborations with the COS and it was completed in 2016. The retail store offers a palette of neutral colors that amplify the COS store’s space. This is another example of “Less is More” By Mies Van Der Rohe. For Studio 397, architecture manifests curiosity by composition and this firm creates harmony through architectural elements’ juxtaposition.
5. COS’ Retail Store in Boston, Massachusetts
Studio 397 Architecture’s director, Samantha Josaphat, who has a strong interest in fashion and working with Cos retailing has been a remarkable opportunity to expand the architectural firm’s vision for product design and retailing. COS’ Boston store, the palette varied from the grey tones toward warm wood colors; this decision invites the costumers to explore what COS’ store offers in a pleasing, and healthy interior design environment.
6. COS’ Retail Store in Toronto, Canada
Studio 397 doesn’t work only in residential projects; this firm has been also involved with retail projects around the United States and Canada. Studio 397 architecture enlightens the use of interior lighting and over the years has studied the different possibilities with textured materials, in order to create remarkable architectural moments.
7. Fordham University’s Hall in New York, New York
Studio 397 Architecture was commissioned for the interior renovation of Fordham University’s Hall in the building’s sixth floor, the firm explored the possibilities of producing academic spaces to encourage diversity. The commission was finally completed in 2017 and since then this project has been highly recognized for its high academic performance, creative design, and aesthetics.
8. Hair Salon in New York, New York
New York has been recognized for its authentic street styles, what a better opportunity to create and encourage diversity other than designing a Hair Salon in the Big Apple. Studio 397 Architecture recently completed its architectural and interior design for the commercial project, the deep study of the unit’s distribution has determined the Hair Salon’s efficiency and exceptional layout. Last year, The Hair Salon opened its doors to the public and it has been proportioning its services to the community in a professional environment.
9. Interior Design intervention for Urbane Development in Brooklyn, New York
Urbane Development is an organization that looks to encourage healthy neighborhoods in Brooklyn, New York. In the present, Studio 397 is developing a project for Urban Development, the firm has contributed to the design of commercial interior spaces. In addition, Studio 397 Architecture’s proposal demonstrates a sophisticated gathering space for the community. Its rendering demonstrates the firm’s skills to redesign interior spaces and integrate vegetation into its architecture.
10. Mi Casa Cantina Restaurant in Queens, New York.
This hospitality project is in John F. John Kennedy International Airport, New York. The Studio 397’s project was completed last year, 2019; and since its opening, the cantina has been a perfect eating station for numerous tourists before starting a new adventure. Mi Casa Cantinas’ vivid wall invites customers to enjoy the extraordinary gastronomic experience.
11. Project Pipeline by National Organization of Minority Architect
Studio 397 Architecture’s founder, Samantha Josaphat, has not only dedicated her time to the architecture’s practice; but also, she is the president of NOMA in New York City, in which she has led an exceptional program named Projects Pipeline. This program gives the students the chance to analyze the possible impacts of creativity and design in real-world situations. Its mission is to create innovative architectural approaches to encourage healthy and sustainable environments in the field. In addition, Project Pipeline’s work strengthens student’s teamwork and leadership skills.
12. Residential Building for Hello Living in Brooklyn New York
The two-buildings residential complex has been designed for Hello Living, a real estate developer group based in Brooklyn, New York. This residential building exemplifies one of Studio 397 Architecture’s philosophies known as “Brick by Brick”, by this it means the architecture firm’s trajectory in the profession; Studio 397 Architecture’s versatility has shown the importance of consistency in their work and evolution of their architectural ideas.
13. Residential Project in Brooklyn, New York
The large residential project has proved Studio 397 Architecture’s practical solutions for interesting architectural spaces and completion of legal documents; Studio 397 Architecture’s intervention for this project was as a Construction Document Consultant. The asymmetrical six-story building explores architecture’s complexity for its interior and exterior spaces. Numerous apartments, from the Modern building in construction, include outdoor spaces which views are directed to the most prevalent existing views.
14. Residential project in Dutchess County, New York
In the present, Studio 397 has been developing a residential project in Dutchess County which is two hours away from New York City. Studio 397 Architecture has designed a three-story modern house; it focusses on vertical Architectural elements and great open spaces. Also, Dutchess County’s stunning landscapes surround the property creating comfortable interior spaces for its future occupants.
15. 2019 Times Square Valentine Heart Design Competition in New York City, New York
The playful design proposes love as an abstract topic that varies on depending to the recipient’s point of view, and it is open to interpretation. Studio 397 Architecture PLLC named their proposal as The Ambiguous Heart, its genuine design is composed of a shaped LED ribbon that forms a heart. The occupiable Ambiguous Heart classified as one of the finalist designs in 2019’s Times Square Valentine Heart Design Competition.
- Beyond the Built Environment. Accessed on July 16th, ,2020. https://www.beyondthebuilt.com/samantha-josaphat
- Design Now! The Magazine of Influential Designers. Madison Macha. Accessed on July 16th, 2020. https://issuu.com/madison.macha/docs/final_mmacha_322_magazine_complete
- Dwell Life, Accessed on July 18th, 2020. https://www.dwell.com/article/top-black-designers-architects-df6781bd
- Less is More: Samantha Josaphat on Focus, Determination, and Relationship Building. Madame Architect. Accessed on July 17th , 2020. https://www.madamearchitect.org/interviews/2018/8/17/less-is-more-samantha-josaphat-on-focus-determination-and-relationship-building
- Mi Casa bar and Restaurant. Holt Construction. Accessed on July 16th, 2020. https://holtcc.com/portfolio/mi-casa/
- The Pipeline Program. I Noma. Accessed July 17th ,2020. https://www.i-noma.org/the-pipeline
- Studio 397 Website. Accessed on July 15th , 2020. https://www.studio397architecture.com/projects