primitive huts

About Helen:

Born in Brooklyn

Parsons School of Design

The New School For Social Research

Princeton University

Registered Architect

LEED Sustainable Professional

With 30 years of experience in the architectural profession, Helen is an award-winning architect, designer, construction expert, and visual artist.

Inspired by a love of her grandfather’s construction company, as well as Sunday afternoons at her family’s brownstones near Downtown Brooklyn, Helen spent her childhood, teens, and twenties exploring the buildings, streets, spaces, and waterways of New York City. In high school she took weekend classes at The Fashion Institute of Technology in graphic design and collage. She worked in architectural firms during the summers of high school, and later she apprenticed in artist’s studios and wood shops while in college.

After 20 years as a leader in the design of large commercial and university projects, Helen launched Primitive Huts in 2017. Primitive Huts is based upon a philosophy of dwelling that focuses on place, time, and healthy spaces. Design is the art of living, and small, simple interventions can increase joy and well-being. She often makes house calls that include: curb appeal projects, house well-checks, existing structure assessments, design consultations, garden design, masterplanning, and more.

In addition, she helps her clients organize projects and create a plan of action to follow over time. Helen also provides full-service architectural design, including ground-up construction, and renovation. Her clients are homeowners, developers, and contractors. She is a registered architect in Georgia, and a LEED Sustainable Professional.

Known for her intricate drawings, layered paintings, and collages about environmental arts, landscapes, and spatial musings, in 1994 Helen was named one of 30 artists under 30 in The New York Times Magazine by preeminent architectural critic Herbert Muschamp. She received a full-fellowship to Princeton University in 1993, where she completed her Master of Architecture in 1996. Throughout her career, in various outlets of the visual arts and built environment, Helen has provided written and spoken commentary about art, space, perception, visual education, and architecture for NPR, Metropolis Magazine, The New York Times, and The Carnegie Foundation.

Helen has taught visual design studios and art/architectural theory seminars at Georgia Institute of Technology and Princeton University. As a practicing architect, she has designed large, complex buildings, including skyscrapers and university research buildings across the country and overseas while she worked at prestigious firms, such as Lord Aeck Sargent, Diller Scofidio + Renfro, and Skidmore, Owings and Merrill.  

Helen lives and practices in Atlanta, where she enjoys exploring the city with her family, gardening, walking, reading, writing, painting, biking, and roller skating. She is also a visual artist and painter.

check out our reviews on our page.

read our interview in Canvas Rebel here.

read our interview in Voyage ATL here.

see helen’s previous large scale architectural work.

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