People

Square Feet Studio is an award-winning architecture, planning and design firm based in Atlanta. We make every square foot of our designs smart, simple and sustainable by using resources that minimize the impact of our work on the environment and maximize its benefit for future generations. We create beautiful spaces that last a long time. Our team members come from a variety of backgrounds in architecture, interior design, fine arts and urban planning. We work collaboratively, matching our unique skills and experience to every project. We strive to make the design and construction process a rewarding experience for our clients. We love learning about what inspires them and watching our shared visions come to life.

JOHN BENCICH

John is the founding principal of Square Feet Studio and an architect with over 20 years of experience designing new uses for old buildings. He has been an adjunct faculty member at his alma mater, Georgia Tech, as well as Southern Polytechnic State University. His commitment to the profession is highlighted by his years of volunteer work with the American Institute of Architects, serving as the Atlanta chapter President in 2012. His work has been recognized for design excellence by the Atlanta Urban Design Commission, Urban Land Institute, International Interior Design Association and the AIA. John’s an avid baseball fan, and enjoys camping, hiking and kayaking. If he weren’t an architect, he’d be a park ranger.

john@squarefeetstudio.com

VIVIAN BENCICH

Vivian and her husband John founded Square Feet Studio in 2001, with the desire to seamlessly combine interior design and architecture in one distinctive practice. As a registered interior designer with a background in architecture, her work strives to honor the relationship between interior design and the larger context of a building’s history and urban environment. Vivian received a Masters of Architecture from Georgia Tech and a bachelor’s degree in Fine Arts and French from Vanderbilt University. A skilled list maker and confirmed luddite, she enjoys guiding clients through the design process with determination, passion, and humor.

vivian@squarefeetstudio.com

BLAKE BURTON

Blake is a licensed architect who has been with Square Feet Studio since 2011. Blake earned his master’s from Georgia Tech in 2009, where he won first prize in an international student design competition. He was also a finalist for the Masters Prize competition for his thesis on the relationship between architecture and photography. When not practicing architecture, he pursues his other passion, photography. His multi-year project documenting the renovation of Ponce City Market was published in June 2018. Blake earned his undergraduate degree in business administration from Birmingham-Southern College, where he was also a member of their Division I baseball team.  Blake and his wife Tessa love to travel to far flung destinations, and enjoy spoiling their dogs.

blake@squarefeetstudio.com

MAGGIE JONES

Maggie, a Nashville native, graduated from The University of the South (Sewanee) with a degree in International and Global Studies. Her myriad experiences and interests range from teaching students in Monte Verde, Costa Rica to managing SoulCycle Studios in Manhattan and the Hamptons, to interior design and conceptual development for numerous projects here in Atlanta. She has worked in Washington and New York as an event coordinator and client services professional for an international firm, and locally as Director of Operations for an eclectic design shop and service. Maggie moved to Atlanta in 2016 from NYC and quickly fell in love with the city. She settled down in a historic Art Deco condo and spends her weekend hiking, antiquing, and volunteering at Angels Among Us, a non-profit dog rescue organization.

maggie@squarefeetstudio.com

 

HOLDEN SPAHT

Holden is an architect and urban designer who has worked on a variety of project types and scales throughout his career – from a master planned resort in Mexico while working at EDAW to a 3,600-unit residential complex in Istanbul with Perkins+Will to a restaurant patio on the Atlanta Beltline. His background and interests span the disciplines of landscape, architecture, and interiors, with a special focus on adaptive reuse.  He holds a BA in History from the University of Georgia and Master’s degrees in both Architecture and City and Regional Planning from Georgia Tech.  His design approach is rooted in a human-scaled experience of place and in a belief that the best opportunities to make architecture are discovered in the found conditions of a project’s physical, cultural, and historical context. Holden’s actively involved in his East Atlanta neighborhood, enjoys traveling with his wife, Christa, and their son, Julian, and making up silly songs about their short-legged possum dog, Nellie.

holden@squarefeetstudio.com

JENNIFER MARTIN

Jennifer is a Georgia-native and long-time Atlanta resident. She developed a deep connection to the city while earning a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree with a concentration in Interior Design from Georgia State University and a Master of Architecture degree from Georgia Tech. Jennifer’s backgrounds in art, interior design, and architecture inform her approach to every project, no matter the type or scale. Her portfolio includes large scale public art installations, award-winning residences, custom light fixtures, and hospitality interior design and architecture. Jennifer lives in an old shotgun house in South Atlanta where she dreams about desert road trips, basset hounds, the Georgia coast, and pinch pots.

jennifer@squarefeetstudio.com

EMILY MASTROPIERO

Emily is a licensed Architect and received her Bachelor degree in Architecture from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, in Troy, NY. Throughout her education her curiosities were within parametric design coupled with explorations of unconventional material uses. Emily’s background is in hospitality design–ranging from working on a 5,000 room hotel in Saudi Arabia, to designing a feature ceiling in the Mercedes-Benz Stadium during her time at tvsdesign. Upon moving to Atlanta, Emily was immediately intrigued by the diversity of styles between the neighborhoods of the city. Finding her home in a historic quadplex south of Piedmont Park, you can find her at the dog park on the weekends chasing around her doodle mix puppy, Harper.

emily@squarefeetstudio.com

SEAN FOWLER

Sean is an architectural designer with a degree in architecture from Georgia Tech and a long history in Atlanta. His background includes a variety of design and construction projects across the country, from adaptive reuse, multi-family and mixed-use developments, and hotel design competitions to urban-scale programming, laboratory systems and architectural stonework. He is interested in digital tools, traditional crafts and democratic spaces, with particular focus on using existing tools in a responsive manner. Sean is also involved with AIA Atlanta and design advocacy throughout Atlanta, the local cycling community, and is slowly learning woodworking.

sean@squarefeetstudio.com

MORGAN STRICKLAND

Morgan is a Georgia-native and an architectural designer. She received her Bachelor degree from the College of Architecture at Georgia Tech in 2014, and began her career in Washington DC designing mixed use developments and hospitals at HKS Inc. Upon returning to Atlanta, she worked as a freelance designer for Lightroom LLC, Dashboard Co-op, The Goat Farm Arts Center, Grafite Ink, and Mammal Gallery to create a wide range of innovative architectural spaces, art installations, and 3D visualizations. In February 2017, she joined forces with Square Feet Studio, where she has found that God is in the details. She enjoys frequenting art events, making chalk drawings, urban exploring and eating her weight in chocolate.

morgan@squarefeetstudio.com

CAROLYN BALFOUR

Carolyn is an interior designer who recently came to us from Chicago where she worked for high-end residential and boutique hospitality firm, Nate Berkus Associates. After receiving her Master’s in Interior Design from Florida State University, she started her career in furniture design for the mass market. This allowed her to travel the world while digging into the details to learn and understand materials and fabrication at an elemental level. She has a passion to make the spaces she designs have meaning, character, and depth by focusing on everything from space planning through accessories to bring joy to the people who use them. She moved home to Atlanta for many reasons, the main one being so her Rhodesian Ridgeback, Dixon, could grow up with a yard to play in. She lives in East Atlanta and on weekends you can find her outside – running all over the city with Dixon, biking, or exploring new places with her husband, Brett.

carolyn@squarefeetstudio.com

SEAN FLAHARTY

Sean was born and raised in Houston, Texas and received his Bachelor of Architecture degree from Auburn University. He participated in a study abroad program in Rome and completed his thesis, designing and building a two-bedroom ‘20K Home’ for a family in need, at Auburn’s Rural Studio in Newbern, AL. From there, he moved to New York City where he worked at MNA (Michael Neumann Architecture), designing retail and hospitality environments across the country, and at Resolution: 4 Architecture, designing custom, high-end, modular homes throughout the Northeast. His cumulative experiences and interests have led him to value architecture that is rooted in its place, truthful in its use of materials, & thoughtfully resolved down to the smallest details. When not in service of architecture, Sean enjoys mixing cocktails, making excessive travel itineraries, and watching Auburn football in the fall.

sean.flaharty@squarefeetstudio.com

 

EMILY WIRT

Emily received her Bachelor of Fine Arts degree in Interior Design from the University of Georgia and a Master of Architecture degree from Georgia Tech. As a designer, she has worked in public art commissions, fabrication, corporate interiors, healthcare design, and hospitality. She strives to instill equity within the architecture and design profession and continues to find ways to promote diversity and creativity within the field through participation in multiple professional organizations, conferences, and local outreach. Emily believes in an honest approach to progress through architecture, and she finds meaning within every project through its history, community, and context, weaving a unique narrative for every site. When not at the drafting table, Emily can be found hiking through forests, searching for constellations in the night sky, or swimming in a body of water.

emily.wirt@squarefeetstudio.com