Fox Chapel is a completely residential area with several wooded areas and parks that give the city its unique, calming ambiance. Its residential developments average one acre or greater even in the middle of these wooded areas. The city is a great example of preserving a rural atmosphere by allowing nature to persevere in the middle of urbanization.

On this list of the best residential architects in Fox Chapel, architects have been included for crafting highly detailed homes that are designed to embrace the outdoors and provide a setting that encourages humans to peacefully mix with their surroundings. Aside from recognitions given by industry publications, these firms’ professional histories are also supported by associations with the American Institute of Architects (AIA).


Cruze Architects

5654 Butler Street, Pittsburgh, PA 15201

Since its establishment in 2012, Cruze Architects has mainly focused on urban projects that include both in-house construction and development capabilities. At first, Cruze Architects only focused on one ambitious house renovation project at a time. Today, the firm has become flexible in completing projects and keeps special track of materials, details, and site responsiveness. Among its most notable projects is the Indian Hill House in Fox Chapel. Originally built in 1967, this 4,500-square-foot home features an articulated cathedral-ceilinged living room. It’s a relaxing space that highlights views of the nearby pond. Its dramatic ridge skylight also makes the kitchen lighter and airier. Alongside these features, it should be noted that the Indian Hill House was completed in just six months. This time frame includes the initial conception and completion.


Cullen & Associates

4012 Liberty Avenue, Pittsburgh, PA 15224

A firm that has been featured in Remodeling Magazine and Pittsburgh-Post Magazine, Cullen & Associates is a small architecture firm that John Cullen started in 1994. During this time, the firm’s portfolio has included commercial, institutional, and residential projects. From powder rooms to multi-million-dollar homes, the time this firm has dedicated to its craft has created flexibility that allows for a variety of projects. So far, it has also built new banks, renovated existing banks, restaurants, offices, and churches, and provided master planning for facilities. When it comes to the residential work that is its specialty, the firm has provided several traditional-style homes. This Italianate house, with an eclectic interior, is a magnificent highlight in the firm’s history.


MCAI

7430 Ben Hur Street, Pittsburgh PA 15208

When integrating art and practicality into one form, MCAI is a well-respected name. The firm’s portfolio of residential projects emphasizes the harmonious use of natural light, uncluttered spaces, durable materials, and practical details.

The Cabin House renovation in Fox Chapel demonstrates many of these qualities. The original design of this 1955 mid-century modern house featured three wings that pinwheeled off a four-level open stair.  Two of the three wings had flat roofs. The walls were constructed in a cabin-like manner, with a frame and panel assembly that was exposed both inside and out, with no insulation or thermal separation.

To make the house more cohesive and functional, the main living areas were reconfigured and updated, including removing and replacing all the windows and doors, and retrofitting the wall assemblies  A master bedroom suite was added over the bedroom wing of the house to capture views and, in the process, eliminate one of the flat roofs.


DeNinno Architects

5655 Stanton Ave., Pittsburgh, PA 15206

DeNinno Architects was launched when the opportunity to build a large residence for a previous client appeared. Ever since then, the firm has been recognized for the flexibility that is the result of over 25 years of work in the architectural industry. Its portfolio currently has a plethora of projects that include commercial interiors, adaptive reuse, senior living, historic preservation, and residentials. The Lawrenceville House best demonstrates the firm’s abilities. A three-story infill townhouse in a historic Lawrenceville neighborhood, the house fits in with the site by showing a façade that balances the vernacular and the historical. For contextual materials, bricks and metal siding were used while its interiors are covered with locally sourced ash and re-claimed American chestnut.


Gaskill Architecture

310 Reichert Road, Portersville, PA 16051

When it comes to residential design, Gaskill Architecture is a boutique firm that can create projects of every scale. Since its establishment in 2013, the firm has been offering a holistic design approach thanks to its expertise in various services. Alongside architecture, Gaskill Architecture offers interior design, landscape design, sustainable design, and even historic preservation. The modern Fox Chapel residence in Pennsylvania is a great example of its expertise. A sleek home that blends into the wooded area of its lot, it has an open design, vaulted ceilings, and a roof designed to take in optimal daylight and provide scenic views, allowing the owners to connect with the outdoors. The house also has many sustainable features that include geothermal heating, reclaimed exterior sidings, and a rainwater collection system. The project also milled wood from a number of onsite trees and reused them as furniture and accent walls. Pittsburgh Magazine, The Wall Street Journal, Kitchen Bath & Design News, and House Trends all noticed the firm’s work and showcased its engaging, collaborative design process.


Wildman Chalmers Design

1600 Lowrie Street, Pittsburgh, PA 15212

Being an intimately small yet collaborative firm has allowed Wildman Chalmers Design to craft projects of high quality since 2014. During this time, the firm has completed new homes, renovations, additions, and even historic renovations in the shingle, modern, and traditional styles. The Fox Chapel home is an example of its fine craftsmanship. It involves an addition that features rustic and locally spruced log timbers. The outdoor patio incorporated new stonework and has seating near a roaring fireplace. Over time, projects like these have brought the firm recognition from publications like Pittsburgh Business Times, WPXI Pittsburgh, and Pittsburgh Magazine. The firm has also been given awards like Pittsburgh Magazine’s 2020 Best of Design award for a renovated home and AIA Pittsburgh’s 2018 small project award.


DLA+ Architecture & Interior Design

Foster Plaza 10, Ste. #500, #680 Andersen Drive, Pittsburgh, PA 15220

Made up of talented architects and interior designers, DLA+ Architecture & Interior Design combines both a broad and deep well of industry knowledge. That knowledge base has helped it foster long-term connections with its clients. These clients have witnessed firsthand the firm’s abilities to craft vast ranges of home styles including the farmhouse, traditional, shingle, and mountain lodge styles. The South Hills Home addition, in particular, is a sound example of the team’s capabilities. It was a 1,276-square-foot home addition that included a basement and first-floor additions. The master suite and lounge feature cathedral ceilings and exposed timber trusses. Overall, the new structure transformed into an emulation of the original brick Tudor-style home with clerestories and stained glass artwork. Projects like these have made the firm a central topic in Pittsburgh Business Times, Tribune-Review, and Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. In 2020, the firm was included in BD+C’s list of the top 155 architecture firms.


mossArchitects

5122 Penn Avenue, Pittsburgh, PA 15224

mossArchitects serves a wide array of clientele. Thanks to this mix, the firm has become one that specializes in crafting unique projects like restaurants, offices, retail, residential, and adaptive reuse. The firm’s projects have been recognized by a plethora of publications. These include Martha Stewart Living, Dwell, Architectural Digest, and The Wall Street Journal— just some of the familiar names that have featured the firm alongside many other magazines. Pittsburgh Magazine also gave it the 2014 and 2017 Home Awards and AIA Pittsburgh gave it the 2019 Honor award. Such honors are quite justified based on the firm’s portfolio of modern projects. Among these projects is the Edge Wood House, snug in the middle of Fox chapel’s wooded area. Originally built in 1952, it has undergone a huge amount of change over the years. It became the firm’s exercise in selective removal and careful additions. The result is a home that unites clarity, light, and connects the interior spaces with the surrounding landscape. In 2021, this home was awarded Pittsburgh Magazine’s Best Renovated Home, Home of the Year Awards.


Fisher ARCHitecture

928 S Aiken Avenue, Pittsburgh, PA 15232

Fisher ARCHitecture is a thoughtful, progressive, and contextual advocate for healthy and sustainable projects. Their contemporary designs can be seen in a wide range of projects that include commercial and institutional structures alongside their residential efforts. The “Lake House” is a Fisher ARCHitecture home designed for Lake Macleod in Pine Township. Living in this “Casa Malaparte” inspired home will be living on a pier! Floor-to-ceiling windows fill one entire side of the house and reveal panoramic views of the lake. Over Fisher ARCHitecture’s seventeen years, the firm has built several other projects that have solidified its reputation. The firm was awarded AIA awards in 2009, 2012, 2014, and from 2016 to 2019. They have recently been featured in The New York Times, the Wall Street Journal, and Dwell Magazine. As well, they were published by Taschen in a hardcover collection of the world’s most extraordinary homes called, “Architecture Now – Houses”.