Richard Vitto, Partner
A native New Yorker, Richard Vitto has been unwaveringly dedicated to designing innovative, sustainable multifamily housing of both new construction and rehabilitation for over 30 years. This passion dates back to 1986 when as a young architect he was a member of the first-prize winning design team of the Inner City Infill Housing Competition sponsored by the Harlem Center for the Arts. Richard’s current work focuses on new construction and adaptive reuse that brings green, supportive housing to the numerous communities in need across New York. He has designed and executed various housing rehabs that include tenant-in-occupancy projects and large scale homeless housing for nonprofits in NYC and upstate NY.
As part of his housing work, Richard has designed numerous community and social service facilities and parks. He is responsible for the design and implementation of the first green roof associated with a publicly funded supportive housing facility in NYC and has received numerous awards for his work in Historic Preservation. He is a registered architect in the states of NY and NJ, as well as being a LEED AP BD+C.
John R. Coogan, Partner
John R. Coogan, aka Jack, is a founding partner of OCV Architects with over 35 years of experience designing, renovating and rehabilitating projects of varying sizes and types throughout New York City and State. Jack shares in the deep interest in housing that defines OCV as a leader in the design of supportive, low-income and multi-family dwellings. He specializes in government assisted housing, residential rehabilitations and Landmarks Preservation work and is also greatly involved in fostering the innovative design of community and scholastic buildings.
Jack has been Project Architect for numerous housing developments, single-family homes, corporate offices, restaurants, educational facilities and co mmunity centers for a variety of private, corporate, non-profit and government clients. Over the years, he has overseen the construction, rehabilitation and retrofitting of more than 30 schools and community centers for clients ranging from the NYC Board of Education, the Archdiocese of NY and private institutions. Jack is a registered architect in the state of NY.
Sara Arnold, Partner
With a background in both the arts and architecture, Sara brings a unique skill set to the firm. In both new construction and rehabilitation work, she consistently brings design precision to projects ranging from high end residential to retail and commercial work to corporate offices. Her work elegantly folds together contemporary design within historic buildings, placing an emphasis on light, clean lines. Her Warren Street project, an elegant penthouse featuring a landscaped roof garden, was published in the book Masterpieces: Roof Architecture + Design.
During her time before joining OCV as a partner, Sara built an expertise in housing, corporate interiors and retail stores, including managing and designed several award-winning stores including the Casual Corner prototype. Ms. Arnold has been a guest critic in the Architecture Department of Bennington College and a guest lecturer at the Conference for the National Association of Women In Construction (NAWIC). Sara is a registered architect in the state of NY.
Mary Ellen Cooper, Associate
Mary Ellen Cooper is an Associate at OCV and has been with the firm since 2003. In addition to managing large projects from initial scoping phases through to construction administration, Mary Ellen is a LEED and Passive House certified consultant with extensive experience in energy modeling and sustainable design. She was Project Manager and executed the LEED certification process of several projects, including the award winning Fox Point supportive housing new construction and The Knick Condominiums rehabilitation and historic preservation.
Before joining OCV Mary Ellen’s experience includes working for firms such as Asymptote Architecture, Hammel Associates Architects, LLC, and OMA: Office for Metropolitan Architecture. She is a registered architect in New York State.
Carla Fuquene-Pena, Associate
As part of OCV’s team for more than 14 years, Carla has extensive experience in the design of new construction and rehabilitation of affordable, supportive and multi-family housing projects. Part of her responsibilities include working with clients, city agencies and consultants to coordinate all phases of project from design development to completed construction. Carla is passionate about mission-driven projects that utilize design as an instrument to strengthen and to provide opportunities to our communities and people’s livelihood.
Carla received her Bachelor of Architecture from Pratt Institute in Brooklyn, New York and is currently pursuing a Master of Science in Urban Policy and Leadership at Hunter College. She is a New York State registered architect.
Luis Paz, Associate
With over 10 years of experience at OCV, Luis Paz has developed an expertise in housing rehabilitations and new constructions. He has managed rehabilitation work from initial inspections and scoping through to construction management on over 100 buildings and 3,000 apartment units in the five boroughs and Westchester County. Additionally, he has managed several large, new construction projects, working closely with Partners and a production team to bring market rate, affordable and supportive housing to New York City and the surrounding area.
Luis received his Bachelor of Architecture and Arts from Piloto University of Colombia in 2003. Prior to joining OCV in 2007, Mr. Paz worked in retail architecture and in the design and development of institutional, commercial and residential projects.
Barbara Wuehrer, Associate
In the nearly two decades of experience Barbara Wuehrer has working for OCV, she has managed a range of projects and serviced a broad array of clients and their individual needs. Among the projects she has overseen are extensive renovations and adaptations of Landmarked buildings, new construction towers of both affordable and supportive housing, and small boutique bars and luxury apartments.
As an Associate Barbara oversees all aspects of a project’s development from Schematic Design to Construction Documentation and Supervision.
Barbara received her Masters of Architecture from the Technical School of Architecture in Vienna, Austria and shortly afterwards moved to New York where she started with OCV in 2002.