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Jul 26, 2022

Amir Kripper AIA


Photo by Allana Taranto

Founding Principal, Kripper Studio


Master of Architecture from Columbia University

Professional interests:

Adaptive reuse, historic preservation

When did you first become interested in architecture as a possible career?

Being born and raised in South America, I lived in Brazil, Argentina, and Uruguay. From a young age I was exposed to the incredible contrast between Spanish Colonial architecture, modernism, and the Bauhaus style, which sparked my interest in architecture.

How do (or how did) you explain to your parents what you do for a living?

Good question. I’m an architect who practices architecture that happens at the intersection of craftsmanship and art.

If you could give the you of 10 years ago advice, what would it be?

Architecture is realized slowly. Be more patient!

Who or what deserves credit for your success?

First of all, it is critical to note that architecture is a team effort, so my team at Kripper Studio deserves tremendous credit. Second, I consider my vocation a journey without a finish line, so I’m a bit reluctant to use the term success. I’m grateful of where I am now, but even more excited for the next chapters of this journey.

Who do you think is the most underappreciated architect and why?

I am not sure about a single underappreciated architect. I certainly think the contributions of the Latinx community, and the community itself, are underappreciated and underrepresented in the design and architecture world.


Webster Street: This residential project reflects the desire for renovated rental units within the charm of older buildings that are located in established residential neighborhoods.

Photo courtesy John Horner Photography.

What is your favorite Boston-area building or structure?

The Museum of Fine Arts. It is a beautiful Beaux Arts building designed by Boston architect Guy Lowell, and has been reinvented over the years and found new vitality through modern architectural additions from I.M. Pei and Norman Foster.

Has your career taken you anywhere you didn’t expect?

Growing up in South America, going to graduate school at Columbia University and subsequently working in New York City was something I could only dream of. Later on, while working at Machado Silvetti in 2007, I lead the design for a large social housing project in Pamplona, Spain.

Which one of your current projects excites you the most?

I’m extremely excited about a number of adaptive reuse projects that involve historical structures, from small scale residential buildings to large mixed-use ones.

If you could collaborate with anyone in the profession, who would it be and why?

I’d love to collaborate with Vitra or Herman Miller to design furniture. Both companies have been champions of modern design and created iconic pieces for modern living.

What does equity mean to you?

To me, a commitment to equity is the tool to achieve equality. It is a key concept as the goal is to reach both fairness and justice. As a Latino and an immigrant, I advocate for removing obstacles to create more opportunities because I’m concerned with the lack of diverse representation in our profession.

Tell us about your path to architecture and how it has impacted your career.

My path to architecture started super early. Interestingly enough, in Uruguay, where I went to high school, at age 16 I had to declare my “major.” Let me explain. All students are encouraged to pick an area of concentration between three different and separate paths: Sciences, Biology or Letters. Based on your choice and successful grades, you can enroll in a professional school right after high school. I selected Sciences, and then in my senior year of high school I further specialized and selected architecture. I was pretty sure of my career choice so it wasn’t a real struggle for me.

At the same time, music has always been part of my life. I started to play classical piano at age of seven and kept studying until I was 17, when I switched to jazz piano. Looking back and connecting the dots, as Steve Jobs famously said, learning music from a young age played an important role in my career, as I believe music and architecture are deeply intertwined. It gave me an understanding of the importance of history, continuity and innovation.

What is the most effective step you’ve taken in your work toward a more sustainable built environment?

For every single project in which there is an existing structure, we try to include, preserve, and restore. Sustainability starts by preserving and renewing existing building stock. The greenest building is the one already built!

What architectural buzzword would you kill?

“Holistic approach.” Architecture is by definition already holistic.


Cultivate Framingham: This view highlights the continuous open layout of product display, client services, and consultation area with a comfortable seating area. The client services area features natural materials used for the custom wood counters. A preserved moss wall alcove enhances the branded logo.

Photo courtesy John Horner Photography.

Where do you find inspiration?

I play piano every day early in the morning before heading to the office. It's an activity which I cherish and which brings me a lot of calm and inspiration.

What are you reading right now?

Calypso by David Sedaris. I read late at night after putting our three kids to bed. Like the cartoons of Saul Steinberg, Sedaris’ writing is poignant, sharp and humorous and makes me smile.

If you could redesign anything, what would it be?

The subway stations in Boston. I believe there is a lot of potential to design infrastructure, buildings, and other structures that traditionally have been overlooked by the profession.