Stephen Varenhorst founded Varenhorst in 1987 and has since realized numerous noteworthy, award-winning commissions. Single and multi-family residential, non-profit, education, and mixed-use retail projects comprise his extensive portfolio. An exceptional attention to detail as well as intensive client interaction and involvement have encouraged repeat clients. For Stephen, architecture is a creative process to continually seek new and better approaches to design.
Stephen is a graduate of North Dakota State University where he received a B.A. in Architectural Studies and a Bachelor of Architecture; and North Carolina State University School of Design, where he received a Master of Architecture and the Dietrich Fellowship. Stephen is a member of the American Institute of Architects, Pennsylvania Society of Architects, and National Association of Architectural Registration Boards, and is an adjunct faculty member at Drexel University . He also sits on the boards of a number of non-profit institutions.
Phone: 215 940 1128
Neil Garrioch became Studio Director in 2008. He is responsible for design and for coordination of staff, project management, and office oversight. Neil works closely with Stephen Varenhorst to execute designs with the careful attention to detail for which the firm is known. His strong design and analytical skills continue to foster quality and innovation as the firm grows. Neil has more than 20 years of experience and has designed projects in the US, the UK, the Netherlands, Mexico, Russia, Malaysia, Singapore, Taiwan, and Saudi Arabia. Neil’s work has been recognized with several international awards.
Neil holds a Master of Architecture degree from Harvard University Graduate School of Design and a Bachelor’s degree in Geology with Chemistry from Exeter University in the UK. Neil’s interdisciplinary background helps him enrich design relationships between architecture, the environment, materials, and emergent technologies (in which he holds two patents). He is also a practicing artist.
Phone: 215 940 1111
Thomas Bisignaro is a project manager at Varenhorst with over 20 years of architectural experience. He earned Bachelor of Science and Bachelor of Architecture degrees from Spring Garden College in 1991, and another Bachelor of Architecture Degree from Drexel University in 1999, where he was a finalist for the Michael Pearson Architecture Prize, and was awarded with the Henry Adams Award and Senior Second Honors in Architecture. Thomas has significant experience in project coordination and documentation, as well as with lab and pharmaceutical design for companies like Johnson & Johnson, Merck, and Bayer, in technical, design and project management capacities.
Phone: 215 940 1151
Britt joined Varenhorst in 2017. She is a registered architect and LEED Accredited Professional with over 5 years of experience in design and construction. Her work to date has been for institutional clients on large scale residential, mixed-use, and museum buildings. Britt earned a Bachelor of Architecture from Philadelphia University where she spent a semester abroad at Oxford Brookes University.
Phone: 215 940 1143
Hasina joined Varenhorst in 2014 and is currently a Senior Project Manager. She received a Bachelor of Architecture from the University of Engineering and Technology in Bangladesh in 1983, subsequently studied at Harvard University Extension School, and earned a Master of Architecture from the Pratt Institute in 1991. Hasina has been a LEED Accredited Professional since 2009 and has been involved in both new construction and adaptive reuse projects throughout her career. She was previously an Adjunct Instructor at Temple University and currently also teaches at ITT Technical Institute. Hasina is fluent in English, Bengali and Hindi.
Phone: 215 940 1019
Cathie Dopkin has been with Varenhorst since 1996. She has more than two decades of diverse project experience including large-scale buildings, community planning, and interior design. She earned a Bachelor of Science in Architecture from Pennsylvania State University in 1983, and a Bachelor of Architecture and Henry Adams Certificate of Merit from Temple University in 1990. In addition, she studied sculpture at the Bottega Palmatten Studio in Florence, Italy. Cathie is a member of the Horticultural Society of Philadelphia and obtained the Series One Certificate in Ornamental Plants from Longwood Gardens. She also studies and teaches glass blowing at East Falls Glassworks, and is a LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) Accredited Professional.
Phone: 215 940 1130
John Edwards joined the firm in 2006. He is a graduate of Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute where he earned his Bachelor of Architecture. He spent a semester in Shanghai at Tongji University, where he focused on urban planning, specifically in the field of high density housing. John’s skills include project management, space planning, multi-family housing, zoning analysis, and institutional work.
Phone: 215 940 1066
Carla Hopkins joined the firm in 2002. She is responsible for accounts payable and receivable, payroll, invoicing, and general accounting. She handles project administration and serves as the Varenhorst vendor and supplier point-of-contact.
Carla earned her Bachelor of Science degree in Accounting from Widener University in 1994.
Phone: 215 940 1110
Paige Neill joined Varenhorst as an architectural intern in 2016. She earned her Bachelor of Architecture degree from The Pennsylvania State University, along with minors in Architectural History and International Studies. She spent a semester studying abroad in Rome at the Pantheon Institute, and traveled to various countries across Europe before returning back home to Philadelphia to begin her professional career. Paige is currently working to complete the Intern Development Program and accomplish her goal of becoming a licensed architect.
Phone: 215 940 1021
Elin joined Varenhorst as a project manager in 2018. Her work includes office, multi-family housing, mixed-used, and community buildings. Elin earned a Bachelor of Architecture from the University of Houston and a Master of Design and Construction from Auburn University. Her focuses include project coordination, design materiality, and fabrication.
Phone: 215 940 1064
Nushi joined Varenhorst in 2017. She has a Bachelor of Architecture from Pratt Institute in New York. As an architectural intern, she has worked on a large variety of multi-unit and single family residential projects. She has experience with many different modes of fabrication, including wood work, metal work, CNC, and large scale 3D printing. She also is skilled in parametric design using the Grasshopper plug-in to Rhinoceros, among other applications.
Phone: 215 940 1067
Javier joined Varenhorst in 2017. He is a graduate of Philadelphia University where he earned his Bachelor of Architecture and minor in Digital Design and Fabrication. Javier spent a semester in Rome, where he focused on urban design and contextual impact on contemporary design.
Javier previously worked as a research assistant focusing on Philadelphia University’s NCARB grant awarded 3D Textiles Program, developing methods of digital generation and representation of textiles for design research. He was featured in ACM:XRDS for involvement in Philadelphia University’s Design Informatics Lab and had work featured in the 2016 International Contemporary Furniture Fair, and the Philadelphia Science Festival.
Phone: 215 940 1023
Mirai came to VARENHORST in 2014 after gaining diverse experience at other acclaimed architecture firms in the Philadelphia area. She designed and oversaw construction services for high-profile cultural and academic construction projects. She has completed two LEED Platinum buildings.
Mirai has seamlessly merged into the VARENHORST studio and currently develops large-scale residential and mixed-use projects, emphasizing the multidisciplinary collaboration within the project team to facilitate a unified deliverable.
Mirai has served as a guest juror on architectural critiques in the US and in Japan. She is fluent in both written and conversational Japanese, and serves as a board member for the Shofuso Japanese House and Garden in Philadelphia, PA.
Phone: 215 940 1141