Downtown Designworks Architecture was originally founded as Downtown Group Architects in 1984. Our name derives from our “downtown” sensibility—the lively mix of business, art, passion and fun that finds its way into all our projects.
We are best known for our work in media facilities and schools. We’ve also designed a significant number of residences, commercial spaces and corporate interiors. In every case, we design specialized environments to function at a high level of effectiveness.
Through years of creating complex, high-tech media facilities, we discovered that visually imaginative interiors improved our clients’ performance as much as new technical systems. Our recording studios and post-production facilities are more than just technically correct. They’re fun, imaginative environments that inspire great work. As such, they provide a significant return on an investment in innovative architectural design.
Downtown Group has earned national recognition for our media facilities work for Sony Music,New York’s Metropolitan Opera, GE’s Network Operations Center, WNET-TV, Manhattan Transfer, Broadway Video and MGM Studios.
In school design,our design process results from a clear focus on how a specific project will address a school’s educational objectives. Downtown Group has years of experience helping parents, faculty and administrators define their objectives, and then reach them through cost-effective design solutions.
The success of our approach can be seen in our projects for the Dalton School, The Convent of the Sacred Heart, The New School, Brookdale Community College and the Fairlawn Children’s Therapy Center.
Peter Willcox, co-founded Downtown Group Architects in 1984 with Syracuse Architecture classmate Mark Winkelman. With over 40 years of experience, Peter is primarily responsible for the firm’s school design practice and is a master at building consensus in those communities. He developed his project management and community relations expertise at the firm of Hellmuth, Obata and Kassabaum, where he served as architect on major facilities for La Guardia Airport, Sing Sing Prison and People Express Airlines. Peter’s commitment to architecture, much like his personal life, derives from his integration of passion, precision and balance. An avid rower, he is also family man and a leader in his church and civic community. For many years he has served as a Chairman of the Montclair NJ Joint Capital Improvement Advisory Committee, leading an ongoing dialogue regarding long-range capital planning for the community. He is a Registered Architect in New York, New Jersey, Connecticut, and Massachusetts.
Peter Holtzman, RA / NCARB / CPHD, is DDA’s Senior Associate and resident technical expert. In addition to his architectural responsibilities including design, working drawings, detailing and construction management, Peter rounds out DDA’s services with his talents in subjects as varied as building codes and zoning issues, product research and specifications, and technical support. He has over 20 years of experience in the New York City architecture field.
Peter received his Master’s of Architecture from the University of Oregon in 1998, and his Bachelor of Arts degree with Honors in Urban Planning from the University of California, Santa Cruz in 1992. His primary areas of focus were architectural composition, detailing, and urban design. Mr. Holtzman was awarded a Graduate Teaching Fellowship in 1997, and taught courses in Urban Design Principles. During and after his graduate education, Mr. Holtzman assisted in teaching Design Studios and was a frequent reviewer for Design Studios. Through the end of 1999, he worked as a Designer and Project Manager on a number of award winning high-end residential and commercial projects at James Givens Design in Oregon.
Peter is a Registered Architect in New York State, NCARB Certified, and is a Certified Passive House Designer. Peter has particular expertise in Design, Architectural Detailing, Construction Management, as well as a comprehensive knowledge of NYC building and zoning codes.
Peter lives in Harlem, where he makes overly elaborate meals for his kids, and designs and builds furniture rather slowly.
Carrie Rothfeld is an architectural designer who works at the intersection of Architecture and Interior Design. Her focus is on creating environments that sensitively reflect the needs of its occupants, utilizing context and materiality in tandem with functionality to elevate spaces beyond the ordinary.
Past work has included full apartment, loft and townhouse renovations, kitchen and bath renovations, landscapes as well as houses. In addition, she has worked on projects with an historic focus including the adaptive reuse of the Richmond Old Library and exterior restoration of several New York City public schools.
Ms. Rothfeld earned her Bachelor of Science in Applied Economics from Cornell University and worked In the retail apparel industry before embarking her design career, first earning an Associate’s Degree in Interior Design from Parsons School of Design and then completing an internship in Architecture. Following the internship, She entered what was then called the Graduate School of Fine Arts at the University of Pennsylvania, earning an March Degree and the Will M. Mehlhorn scholarship in History and Theory.
Having the opportunity to participate in a semester long exchange with the Architectural Association in London and travel to Goiania, Brazil to work on a housing project with Habitat for Humanity were deeply meaningful experiences that helped round out her understanding of the role of Architectural Design.
Ms. Rothfeld resides in Manhattan with her husband and two daughters and dream of future adventures in more distant lands.