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. 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.
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. 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.
The firm has garnered numerous awards, including AIA New York State Firm of the Year in 2012, NYC MWBE Firm of the Year in 2009 and was a Mies van der Rohe Crown Hall Prize of the Americas nominee.
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.
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. The L shaped building frames the historic houses that once belonged to 19th African-American freedmen. 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.
In The Architect Newspaper's, 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."
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." This project received several awards including the 2010 New York Construction Cultural Project of the Year, a Queens Chamber of Commerce Award, a National Organization Of Minority Architects (NOMA) National Award of Excellence in Architecture as well as the 2011 MASterworks Award for Best Restoration by the Municipal Art Society.
Projects in construction or in design include: Louis Armstrong House Museum, Neighborhood Charter School of Harlem, Bronx Academy of Promise, on-going Columbia University projects.