About THE FIRM
CAPLES JEFFERSON ARCHITECTS is a design and architecture firm founded in 1987, in New York City, by principals Everardo Jefferson and Sara Caples. The firm designs architecture that is engaged with social, cultural, and community concerns. The firm builds sustainably for the long term and for a broad public.
The philosophy of the practice is rooted in three main tenets:
• Architecture must communicate
• Architecture must deal with social issues & cultural context
• Architecture must have formal coherence
Whether designing a room, building, or campus, CJA creates architecture that speaks emotionally to the spirit, aspirations, and history of the people who inhabit the space. The firm designs buildings that serve as civic anchors in the public realm—buildings that culturally broaden modern architecture through the exploration of materials, form, movement, transparency, light, and color.
CJA offers architecture and interior design services, as well as master planning, urban design, research, and programming. The firm has completed over 200 projects for civic, corporate, educational, cultural, public, and private clients in the United States and abroad. Sustainability is crucial to the firm’s design philosophy. Projects are built to last, with materials and renewable energy options carefully chosen to consider their long-term footprint. Efficient construction, and the use of natural light, air, color, materials, and transparency are key functional and aesthetic elements.
In 2017, the firm was honored with AIANY’s President’s Award. CJA was awarded the AIA’s New York State Firm of the Year in 2012. With work widely published from Architect Magazine and Domus to The New York Times and The Wall Street Journal, the firm was listed among the ‘Top 50 Sustainable Firms in the United States’ in Architect 50, a nationwide ranking by Architect Magazine, in 2013.
The firm is a Minority and Women Business Enterprise (MWBE) certified in New York City, State, and federal levels. In 2009, the firm was designated New York City’s MWBE of the Year.
DOWNLOAD CJA BOOK as PDF
A collection of essays and photographs highlighting the best projects of our firm over the last 30 years
The photo to the right shows Weeksville Heritage Center, which was awarded the 2014 MASterworks Best New Building, AIA NYS’ Best in New York State, and a Historic Districts Council Design Award, among others. The design exploration of African architectural form with Modernist ideas, and the sensitive reading of the African-American experience is acclaimed by the international architecture community, and the local Brooklyn community alike.