152 Madison Ave
New York, NY 10016 USA

Founded in 1986 by Howard Spivak, Spivak Architects operates on the model of a design studio. We are a firm where the exchange of ideas is encouraged, and our clients become an integral part of the team and the architectural process.


We’re driven by exploration and satisfy our curiosity by working across fields of the industry, taking on everything from real estate development to designing and fabricating the smallest details of our spaces, such as furniture, lighting fixtures and door handles. Every aspect of a project is important to us and each gets individualized attention from the skilled members of our team.


Spivak Architects was founded in New York City and reflects a particular New York experience, at the busy intersection of cultures and industries. Our portfolio covers the range of renovation, restoration, new construction, private residential, multi-family residential, medical facilities, hotels, schools, and dance studios. We move easily between intimate residential projects and large-scale commercial buildings.


We work within constraints and create unexpected solutions while pursuing the spirit of each space. We don’t settle into a single style; rather, we are inspired by the pursuit of what is both modern and timeless.

Howard Spivak


Successful architecture always serves multiple roles at once, providing places to work, to study, and to celebrate. We work to create spaces that are alive, transforming and surprising their occupants over stretches of years and decades. The full extent of our design is revealed slowly, as when a client notices the joinery of a chair or a ray of light at a particular time of year.


We adopt the latest technology and software in order to communicate and collaborate. Our tools help us work efficiently, managing the design and construction process. We constantly pursue new materials and techniques, especially in the realm of sustainability. Architecture should help rather than hurt the natural environment.

Our Services

Concept design
Budget Opinions

Construction Documents
Building Information Modeling
City Filing Drawings
Construction Detailing

Construction Administration
Bidding Coordination
Contract Negotiations
Construction Review
Project Sign offs

Architectual Design
Schematic layouts
Design development
3D Models

Interior Design
Concept development
Furniture specification
Signage & way-finding
Procurement assistance
Installation coordination

Owner Development Services
Building standards
Test fits
Probable cost statements
Capital campaign support
Marketing plans for retail spaces


Our design process starts with formulating questions, both for the client and about the space. What will the architecture be required to do? For a private residence, where does the client want to read, meditate, or have their morning coffee? Rather than mapping out a plan in advance, a solution emerges out of ideas and feelings, one that adapts to how the client lives or works, as in our design for Upper West Side townhouse.


Once a space starts to evolve, we delve into its details, carefully evaluating each element so that it reflects a larger whole. That might require designing a hand-blown pendant light or a cabinet system that becomes the wall, which we created for a luxury Central Park West apartment. We look for honesty in our materials, allowing each element of wood, ceramic, or metal to express itself and lend an overall sense of authenticity.


Working in New York, we’ve become expert at adapting historical buildings, building dialogues between old and new.. We see architecture as a process of solving problems, responding to an original space and letting it inform our design without being limited by it. This also extends to urban design, zoning analysis, and landmarks preservation.


Architecture is a beginning rather than an end. Our projects grow as we do. Without losing sight of design details, we help clients with branding and business planning. With projects like the Spear Physical Therapy facilities, the identity of the business is reflected consistently throughout the spaces.


Alongside the skills of our staff, we enjoy connecting with talent in fields such as lighting and graphic design, branding, engineering, and fabrication. These relationships are ongoing; they have developed and deepened over the course of our practice. The same goes for our clients, like our decades’ long relationships with Dia foundation and Spear Physical Therapy. Each project builds on future possibilities and helps us respond to new needs.



Our studio is a family, with all that entails. We celebrate birthdays and take field trips together, from the Flavor Paper wallpaper factory to the Noguchi museum and Storm King. Each of our staff members has their own backgrounds, interests, and skill sets that inspire new directions for the studio as well as bring us together outside the office.

Meet our Team

Howard Spivak, AIA, LEED
Howard Spivak, AIA, LEED Principal
Sam Landon
Sam Landon Designer
Elizabeth Mickey, AIA
Elizabeth Mickey, AIA Architect
Ottavia Messori
Ottavia Messori Designer