We are an architectural design firm based in NYC, founded in 1987.
We focus on design for the public, with an emphasis on cultural, educational and institutional projects.

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Photography by Samuel Lahoz 

Photography by Samuel Lahoz 

October 2017

Our Principals Sara Caples & Everardo Jefferson joyfully accepted the 2017 AIA NY President's Award at the annual Heritage Ball on October 26, 2017.  

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September 2017

We are honored to be awarded the 2017 AIA NY President's Award, which will be bestowed at the annual AIA NY Heritage Ball. We are particularly delighted to be in the company of such distinguished fellow honoree: Type A Projects, Claudia Gould of The Jewish Museum, and Jeffrey Sachs of The Earth Institute at Columbia University. See the official announcement here: https://cfa.aiany.org/index.php?section=heritageball 

Rendering of the exterior façade of the museum

Rendering of the exterior façade of the museum

July 2017

The Louis Armstrong House Museum held it's Groundbreaking Ceremony on 17 July 2017. We are excited to move ahead with the construction of this cultural & education center honoring the life & legacy of the great Louis Armstrong, the one and only Satchmo. 

The Africa Center Atrium, rendering by Cicada Design

The Africa Center Atrium, rendering by Cicada Design

March 2017

The Africa Center project, located at 1 Museum Mile on Fifth Avenue NYC, is nearing completion of Design Development phase. This winter, we have been hard at work refining the concept for the main lobby Atrium space, with Bridges that connect the upper floors to the façade looking onto Central Park. In addition to the main Atrium, the designs for the Theatre, Galleries, Central Park Terrace, Business Lounge and other programming spaces are nearing completion. In addition to design, we produced visuals, including VR 360 video experience and a Flythrough video of the space, to support our client in their fundraising endeavors. 




February 2017

Caples Jefferson Architects has been selected by the U.S. Department of State’s Bureau of Overseas Buildings Operations (OBO) as one of the contracted design firms to support the department’s planning, construction and facility rehabilitation efforts at U.S. missions worldwide. Our year is starting off with lots of travel: CJA staff have already traveled to Western Europe, Eastern Europe, South America, and Africa. We are excited to be on these journeys! 


November 2016

We were at Weeksville Heritage Center with the Urban Green Council (USGBC-NY) last week to give a tour on the design process in relation to sustainability. Anita Romero Warren taught us so much about the history of the site, and how important landownership was to the original African-American settlers of Weeksville in terms of social equity (especially in relation to voting rights). It was a special treat to see the current exhibition curated by BRIC Arts, and to see the landscape in full autumnal colors.


October 2016

We are delighted to announce our newest cultural project: The Africa Center. The Center is located on One Museum Mile on Fifth Avenue in Manhattan, New York. CJA is the architect for this 70,000 square foot facility.  The Africa Center will serve as a hub dedicated to policy, culture and business. The Center will include galleries, a 140-seat theater, event space, offices & meeting rooms, cafe & an outdoor terrace. www.theafricacenter.org


"The Africa Center, a nonprofit, nonpartisan, multidisciplinary institution, provides a gateway for engagement with contemporary Africa. The Center’s work is premised on the idea that this emerging market of one billion people, characterized by extraordinary diversity and complexity, is inescapably relevant to building a prosperous, secure, and desirable future. Minutes from the United Nations and located at One Museum Mile on Fifth Avenue adjoining Harlem in New York City, The Africa Center will operate locally and globally to transform our understanding of the world’s oldest continent, which also boasts its youngest population. Encompassing culture, policy, and business, The Africa Center promotes partnership, collaboration, dialogue and understanding between African artists, business leaders and civil society and their counterparts in the United States and beyond. The Africa Center will host visual, performing, and digital arts presentations; develop and disseminate innovative educational tools; convene focused, thoughtful peer-to-peer exchanges; and sponsor results-oriented policy research." (text from The Africa Center website


August 2016

Our latest project, a Pre-K in Gravesend Brooklyn, is undergoing construction. 


We were inspired by the poem The Rose That Grew from Concrete by Tupac Shakur:
“Did you hear about the rose that grew
from a crack in the concrete? 
Proving nature's laws wrong, 
it learned to walk without having feet. 
Funny, it seems to by keeping it's dreams; 
it learned to breathe fresh air. 
Long live the rose that grew from concrete
when no one else even cared.” 


The Rose that grew from Concrete
A school renovation for Pre-K. 
A community of children and teachers located across the street from an elevated train line and a sanitation industrial garbage dumping ground. 

An opportunity to create for young bodies and minds. 
A place of natural light. 
A place of magic, serenity and fantasy. 
A place for the young to imagine. 
A place of rooms and meeting spaces scaled for intimacy with light and its ever changing patterns, delight, dark, soft, hard and shadows. 

The forecourt - a garden in the concrete - begins the architectural sequence. A metaphor for the potential of all young bodies and minds.