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.
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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.
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.
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.
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.
Evan Smithers brings an appreciation and passion for architectural design to his work as a Junior Designer. Originally from Cincinnati, Ohio, he holds a Master of Architecture with a concentration in Classical Architecture and Urbanism. Evan began pursuing a degree in mechanical engineering but changed course when he found himself drawn to architectural design while sketching detailed bridges in a statistics course. As Evan works, it’s the moment when a design first begins coming together that ignites his desire to work towards a final product that reveals concinnity and refinement. Being a creative, Evan is also an avid watercolor renderer, an aquarist, and a casual pianist.
Stephen Hershey is a Project Manager and Project Architect at Island Architects. Raised and educated in Virginia, Stephen learned the value of timeless design early in his career renovating and remodeling historic Virginia estates. He enjoys traveling and visiting family, often taking detours to see buildings designed by his favorite architects. Today, Stephen focuses on designing beautiful homes that take advantage of their sites and meet the diverse programmatic requirements of his clients and their families. His creative design and careful detailing contribute to the elegant spaces for living, relaxing, and entertaining that are a hallmark of Island’s work.
I have always been fascinated with exploring houses and buildings, experiencing the design, and wondering what makes these structures stand. Seeing a project under construction never fails to pique my interest and curiosity. I knew I needed to be part of this industry and becoming a NYS licensed architect has allowed me to get a front seat on many incredible projects. Growing up and living on the “Gold Coast” of Long Island, NY, there was never a shortage of beautiful estates and waterfront properties to visit. Having worked on high end residential projects for almost 2 decades on Long Island’s east end, I’m proud to have joined Island Architects this year. As a Project Architect I constantly strive to achieve excellence with integrity, ingenuity and collaboration with clients, the design team, and other industry professionals.