Rob is a Canadian born architect and is licensed in both the United States and Canada. Prior to studying architecture, he received a bachelor’s degree in business and computer science at Concordia University in 1987. Graduating with Distinction. He went on to receive his Bachelor’s of Architecture degree from McGill University in 1992, having been awarded the Faculty Scholar, J.W. McConnel prize.
Robert has practiced architecture since 1992. Upon graduation, he worked in Paris for 3 years, most notably with Francis Soler and Rem Koolhaus. In conjunction with work experience in Indonesia, Chine and international lectures and exhibitions. He has developed an invaluable perspective on design, culture and business practices.
In 1995, he moved to Boston and spent 10 years working as a Project Architect/Project Manager at Kallmann McKinnell and Wood, Carlson Associates, CBT Architect and Moshe Safdie & Associates. In this period, he worked on a wide variety of project types. Including federal courthouses, labs, data center, museums, concert halls, a variety of commercial interior projects and a 30-story mixed used development in Boston.
Robert is a founding partner in oceanUS Design, which merged firms with Michael Samra of studioTROIKA in 2008. Robert is also a Co-Director of the trans-national design collaborative oceanD, a joint effort of oceanUK and oceanUS. oceanD is a dynamic network of designers collaborations in practice, research and education. oceanD’s work includes multi-disciplinary projects in urban design, infrastructure, landscapes, interiors, furniture, objects, graphics, public art installations, digital-space and electronic collaborative structures. The work of oceanD has been published extensively in international design books and journals and has exhibited in galleries such as the Venicce Biennale in Italy, the Victoria and Albert in London, Artists Space in NYC, FRAC in France and the Latent Utopias in Austria.
As a partner of the firm, Jonathan works to uphold studioTROIKA’s high level of client satisfaction and design excellence. Throughout his 35 years of practice he has been involved with corporate, academic, life-style and private residential clients throughout New England. Jonathan has led teams through the planning, design and construction phases on projects ranging in scale and complexity.
University of Pennsylvania, Master of Architecture
University of Massachusetts, Bachelor of Science in Landscape Architecture
US Green Building Council, LEED Accredited Professional
Licensed Architect in MA, ME, NH, CT, NY
Van Allen Travelling Fellowship
E.Lewis Dales Prize in Design
Charles Dubose Scholarship
ILAUD Program - Venice Italy
Boston Architectural College - Thesis Advisor
Northeastern University - Guest Design Critic
Michael received his Bachelors of Arts in Selected Studies from Syracuse University in 1992. He majored in the History of Architecture and Art and minored in Studio Art with an emphasis on sculpture. Upon graduation Michael was accepted to participate in Atelier Italia, and archaeological mapping of Hadrian’s Villa in Tivoli, Italy. Using a combination of modern equipment and traditional surveying techniques, buildings were measured and drawn to the accuracy of the one millimeter. Upon completion of this program he returned to Florence and worked for a local architect, enabling him to expand his professional skills while maintaining his Italian language skills.
After returning to the United States, Michael worked at Gwathmey Siegel & Associates Architects in Manhattan prior to entering Harvard University Graduate School Of Design (GSD) in 1994. As a student and later a T.A. for Kimo Griggs, he learned the importance of construction and how it informs the design process. While at the GSD, Michael was awarded the Synder Prize for Excellence and Innovation in Design & Technology for designing a cast glass window frame system. He received his Master Degree in 1999 and was awarded the James Templetion Kelly Prize (honoring best thesis) for his exploration of glass in architecture. The project, entitled Spatial Transparency, blurred the boundary between window and wall. The investigation culminated in the construction of a full scale model that incorporated over 1,200 pounds of glass.
During his studies, Michael began working for TriPyramid Structures, a stainless steel component design and fabrication company. Michael specialized in bridging the gap between the architects’ aesthetic and the engineers\ requirements as he collaborated on the development of customizing fittings for buildings such as, the Experience Music Project in Seattle and the Regional Performing Arts Center in Philadelphia.
Michael began practicing as an architectural designer in 1998 as m.samra design and worked on a number of small residential projects. As his client list began to grow, he started to take on increasingly diverse projects ranging from residential renovations and commercial development to ecclesiastical masterplans. m.samra design grew into studioTROIKA in 2001. In 2008, studioTROIKA merged firms with Rob Elfer of oceanUS. Now, studioTROIKA operates a full service practice with the resources to provide a wide range of architectural, interior and graphic design services.