Helpern Architects

David Helpern, FAIA

Both architect and planner, David Helpern founded Helpern Architects in 1971 to provide educational institutions at all levels with exceptional campuses and buildings. Over the years, the practice grew to serve a long list of prominent educational and faith-based organizations as well as a range of hospitality and corporate clients. With David’s leadership, Helpern Architects has executed over 4,300 projects.

At the beginning of his career, David served as one of I.M. Pei & Partners’ youngest project leaders with a mega-project in Paris as his last assignment. Today, he enjoys a reputation as a “professional’s professional” – someone with exceptional standards for his own work and that of his experienced staff. A hands-on principal, David cultivates close relationships with his clients – many for decades.

David was one of the first architects in New York to promote building technology alongside building design and master planning – a critical grouping of services for new structures, restorations, and additions. He has given public presentations and written articles on various subjects, including ways to transform historic or merely older structures for new use, deferred maintenance, and sustainability master planning.

In 1993, David was named a Fellow of the American Institute of Architects on the strength of his work on existing structures. He had surveyed the deterioration of America’s college and university buildings and advocated ways to restore, revitalize, and use them for new purposes. Conducted under the auspices of the Society for College & University Planning, his pioneering research earned front-page coverage in the Wall Street Journal and USA Today and brought him an invitation to testify before a Congressional Committee.

In recognition of his understanding of building design and building conditions, the US General Services Administration appointed David to the National Register of Peer Professionals in its Design Excellence Program.

David has served since 2006 on the Brown University President’s Leadership Council, a select international advisory group. He has held three appointments on Community Board 8 (on the Upper East Side of New York City, where he has designed and renovated many buildings). He co-chairs the Landmarks Committee and serves on both the Land-Use Committee and was one of the founding members of the Roosevelt Island special task force regarding Cornell NYC Tech.

David holds a BA from Brown University and a Masters of Architecture from Harvard University’s Graduate School of Design. Accredited as LEED AP BD+C by the Green Building Certification Institute of the US Green Building Council, he is licensed to practice architecture in eleven states.

If you want to hear David Helpern speak about hotel design, click here for a very short video. The story of how this video came about – including how Marriott developed its campaign to use cap-D Design to brand its new AC flag – is here.