At Island Architects, we are a company connected to the vision of designing our clients’ dreams - their islands, and we believe that a good working relationship begins with a proper introduction to the people behind the design process. Over the years, Island Architects has grown into an enthusiastic and dedicated team of professionals who truly have a passion for what they do and for who we serve. Our team combines the best creative, technical, and strategic talents, and we’d invite you to learn a little more about us.
Mesmerized by design as a child and inspired by the memories of walking the golf courses designed by his great-grandfather, Skip Wallace believes in timeless designs that blend with the beauty of natural surroundings. He values listening to his clients and creating responsive designs that flow with their lifestyles. He designs with the personal philosophy that great architecture facilitates life and great residential design positively impacts his clients.
Recognizing that creativity can spark at unexpected times, Skip carries a notebook at all times to sketch at the moment of inspiration. After many years as an architect, he continues to find that the art of impactful and thoughtful design can still take his breath away. His creations can be found in the coastal communities up and down the Eastern Seaboard, Gulf Coast, Virgin Islands and the Bahamas.
As a younger man growing up in New York Chuck Carbonaro worked in demolition, carpentry, roofing, electrical, landscaping and grounds management. By an early age he had done it all. Chance led him to discover architecture, and he began a journey that cultivated a Bachelor of Architecture, and eventually to a Master of Architecture program in Florence, Italy. Post academia he gained multifaceted experience in both commercial, and custom residential architecture, bringing an extensive wealth of experience and expertise to Island Architects. Chuck understands with special specificity how our work as architects becomes the backdrop for people’s lives and he is deliberate in translating that into his work. Chuck is a well-rounded, family man that appreciates experiences, so he loves to travel extensively with his wife and two girls. He also likes to draw, read, write, perform on stage and raise his flock chickens.
Beginning with doodling her dream home as a child, Emely Taveras, is a passionate architect who believes in designing with grace and intention to see others’ dreams come to life. She enjoys solving the puzzles which present when creating designs. Emely is a trilingual world traveler and a yoga teacher who brings her daily practice and the lessons yoga has taught her beyond the mat and into her work.
A Junior Designer, Patrick Wyton, assists with the production and construction documents for the team. Influenced by the small ranch in Colorado where he grew up, he holds the virtues of hard work and the love of nature. He views design as a poetic expression of the language of brick and mortar. When he’s not pursuing his love of architecture, he enjoys reading 20th century British literature, having a drink with friends, and playing the mandolin and guitar.
Problem-solving can be a thrill. Project manager Michael Way, Jr. cannot seem to get enough. He’s never been able to get enough of the harmony one finds in really effective problem-solving; the delicate balance between the illusion of easy design and the reality of easy use. The hunt for harmony is a thrill. The same thrill drives him in his other pursuits; in writing, in photography, in cooking. Michael loves taking on a challenge, figuring out how to make something work, and making it look easy. A D.C. native who’s been practicing architecture since 2004, Michael enjoys having something tangible and reliably excellent to show for his labor. One of these days he hopes to travel to Berlin, to hear the reliably excellent Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra live. Until then he contents himself with absurdly devoted love for other forms of excellence: Formula 1 racing, quality meats, and soft chocolate chip cookies.
Sometimes we start out in one direction, with one destination in mind, only to realize the whole exercise was a steppingstone; a necessary detour to send us on our way somewhere else. Architectural and interior designer J.B. Elko started studying sculpture in college. One day he found himself captivated. Not by a sculpture. By the environment built around it. Since 2003 J.B. has been working in Architecture and High-end Construction putting his talents to work along the Eastern Seaboard. J. B. is driven by creativity and passion for unique solutions that satisfy the beholder and the intention behind the design itself. At play, J.B. enjoys cooking, boating, fishing, and the prospect of getting lost traveling some far-off coastline. One could say he’s a man who doesn’t mind a few detours; they’re all just steppingstones along the way.
Heather Cusic is a junior designer and photographer whose love for design was inspired by watching her father design their family home, and later bring the home magically to life, when he and her uncles built it. Capturing the design lines in her lens, Heather appreciates seeing the beauty of a physical structure resulting from the collaboration of creative efforts. She enjoys an active lifestyle hiking with her dog and lifting weights but also relishes in some crab dip and a crime podcast.
Moved by the beauty of the residences in the small Iowa town where he grew up, Kelly Ludwig, a project manager and senior designer, drew his first home at 19 years old. He views architecture as a story to be told and the massing, order and materials as the vocabulary to rearrange to create new narratives. One day Kelly hopes to live in Costa Rica chasing rooster fish and peacock bass, but for now he soaks up the outdoor adventures around him, makes a to-die-for mushroom strudel, and relishes time with his fellow humans on this beautiful planet.
Matt Sargent doesn’t remember a time when architecture and design weren’t flowing through his veins. For over two decades Matt has designed custom homes and renovated historic properties throughout the East Coast with a special focus on Greater Boston, Virginia and South Carolina. It’s in the process of getting to know new clients and connecting to their desires, and the way they live, that Matt finds the greatest pleasure in his work. He believes design can only be beautiful if it is also appropriate and responds to the client’s lifestyle, taste, budget, and the home’s natural setting. Above all else Matt strives to listen and make the process both an enjoyable and educational one for his clients. In his downtime, he enjoys spending days with his family and sketching designs. On his still to-do list is to one day throw time to the wayside and very slowly travel through Italy and France.
Originally from Huntsville, Alabama, Maria Short is a Junior Designer who has always loved the built environment and rich stories. Residential architecture speaks to her, as she appreciates the idea of contributing to the spaces people call home and is motivated by the processes which transform drawings into real-world spaces. A lefty in everything she does, she plans to start working on her pilot’s license and enjoys a dark park for a view of the Milky Way.