Mary Burnham brings highly regarded expertise to cultural, educational, commercial, and residential projects. She views architecture as a multi-disciplinary process that blurs the lines between context, buildings, landscapes, and interiors. With a perceptive ability to grasp a project’s big picture, she is also highly skilled in designing at all scales large and small, and attending to its smallest details.
Mary brings an acute experiential and humanistic perspective to design. As leader of the multi-phased St. Hilda’s and St. Hugh’s School project, the school transformed from a conventional mid-20th century model to a progressive 21st century school paradigm. In a project for New York University, Mary’s design of the Abu Dhabi Institute provides a remote academic and cultural portal for the new NYU campus in the United Arab Emirates. The design created a nexus of high-tech, flexible communal spaces with a design vocabulary that evokes the desert environment of Abu Dhabi. Mary has created technology-savvy workspaces across the city. Her design of new offices for Union Square Ventures as an “ideas incubator” expressed the firm’s edgy profile.
Mary graduated magna cum laude from the University of Pennsylvania with a Bachelor of Arts in Art & Architectural History, and received a Master of Architecture from Yale University School of Architecture, where she received the Robert Allen Ward Award. She has served as a critic on design juries at Pratt, Parsons, and Yale. Mary currently serves on the Board of the Architectural League of New York, has served on the Honors Committee of the New York Chapter of the AIA and is the Founding Board Chair of Lighthouse Works, an artists’ resident fellowship program.
Jeffrey Murphy has practiced architecture for nearly three decades, developing recognized expertise in the design of civic, cultural, and educational institutions. Integral to Jeffrey’s approach is a belief that architects have a social responsibility to address a broad urban context, inclusive of a diverse community of users. As a LEED-accredited professional, Jeffrey believes that sustainability is an essential component of architecture, which should extend beyond environmental considerations to address social conditions.
Jeffrey employs creative solutions to achieve optimal design results, as evidenced in his work at PS330 and PS19 in Queens for the New York City School Construction Authority, where his successful petition for transparency between building and urban context resulted in a heightened sense of community pride. While his approach is humanistic and contextual, Jeffrey’s expertise in utilizing 21st century technology innovations is demonstrated in his leadership of MBB’s St. Patrick’s Cathedral Restoration Project, where time-honored restoration techniques merged with sustainable state-of-the-art technologies.
Jeffrey holds a Bachelor of Science from the University of Virginia and a Master of Architecture from the Harvard Graduate School of Design. Jeffrey has taught at City College of New York, and serves numerous civic and educational boards, including the Harvard Graduate School of Design Alumni Council. An active member of the AIA New York Chapter, holding Board, Secretary, and several committee positions, Jeffrey was elected to the College of Fellows of the American Institute of Architects in 2016, and will serve on the 2018 AIANY Fellows Committee.
Sara Grant is highly regarded for her expertise in the design and management of complex educational and institutional projects. As a LEED Accredited Professional who focuses on daylight as a critical component of wellbeing, Sara informs her deep knowledge of educational philosophies with her belief that sustainability, in both its environmental and social impact, is an essential component of architecture.
Sara has emerged as an expert on design responses to diverse and emergent pedagogical philosophies and methodologies, and serves as a consultant on school projects in addition to her projects at MBB. She has managed education projects as diverse as the Rodeph Sholom School in New York, the Brooklyn Heights Montessori School, and Appalachian State University House in Washington, DC. Among her current projects are Meeting Street, a school for students of all abilities in Providence, and the Center for Lifelong Learning at Park Avenue Synagogue in New York City.
Sara graduated from Washington University in St. Louis, and received a Master in Architecture from Columbia University, where she received the Building Technologies Honor Award. She joined MBB in 2004, was appointed Associate in 2009, and named Partner in 2015. She has served as critic at the University of Pennsylvania, and published in periodicals including Structural Engineering and Design and School Planning + Management. A believer that collaborative design can transform cities, Sara co-chairs on the Van Alen Program Leadership Council. She is also a co-chair of the AIANY Committee on Architecture for Education, and is an active advocate for improved public schools.