Awards

Northampton Historical Commission, Historic Preservation Awards 2013
Smith College’s Dewey House

American Institute of Architects New England, Design Awards 2011
People’s Choice Award for Two Pond Farm

Pioneer Valley Planning Commission Smart Growth Ideas Competition 2010
First Place for the Southampton Larrabee School site

Boston Society of Architects Sustainable Design Awards 2009
Citation for “Social Sustainability” to Jamaica Plain Cohousing Community

Pioneer Valley Planning Commission Smart Growth Awards 2007
Category: Traditional Neighborhood Development
Award of Excellence to Pioneer Valley Cohousing Community
Certificate of Merit to Pomeroy Commons
Certificate of Merit to Pathways Cohousing Community

The 2006 Boston Architectural College Distinguished Alumni Award in Practice
To Laura Fitch, Class of 1991
“Architect, Facilitator, Visionary. You have been an essential force in forming dynamic, new communities. Your exceptional skill as a mediator has earned you the respect and admiration of your clients and colleagues. Because of you, Laura, many people have found more neighborly and sustainable ways to live. Through your work, our world is a better place.”

“Top 10 Green Architects ”, Kraus Fitch Architects listed in Natural Home and Garden magazine 2005

Massachusetts School Building Authority, School Building Design Award 2006
Crocker Farm Elementary School
Laura Fitch as Project Architect for Margo Jones, Architects

Northeast Sustainable Energy Association (NESEA)
Quality Building Council Award 2000, to Pathways Cohousing Community for New Multifamily Residential Category

Northeast Green Building Award 2001, to Sanderson Academy | the Ashfield-Plainfield Elementary School
Laura Fitch as Project Architect for Margo Jones, Architects; with Mary Kraus as materials consultant
Judges’ Comments: “A successful, healthy building. It includes a remarkable collection of green attributes given the budget realities of small-town public school financing. The building teaches its inhabitants about the region and history through its form and materials.”

Western Massachusetts AIA (WMAIA), Excellence in Design 1998
Sanderson Academy | the Ashfield-Plainfield Elementary School
Laura Fitch as Project Architect for Margo Jones, Architects; with Mary Kraus as materials consultant

Testimonials

“I think your facilitation is excellent. You guide, take charge as needed without being heavy handed, really hear and feed back what the group is saying, are flexible on your feet, and blend respect, humor, process, and task. The process is resulting in our growing sense of relationship as a community as well as accomplishing work together. I have some experience on the facilitator end in my work and really appreciate what you’re doing and what I’m learning from being part of this process.”
– Member, Village Hill Cohousing

“Because of you and your active, engaging community-minded support, we were able to provide the children a space of beauty and warmth in which to learn for generations to come. And, even more, because of your ingenuity and expertise, we were able to create an environmentally sensitive building, emphasizing natural materials, complete with a large front porch that welcomes and shelters children and their parents.”
– Karen Bates, Director of Development at the Hartsbrook School

“…the collaborative design process they used with our group was very clear and supportive. We always felt we were equal partners in the final outcome and that our ideas were taken into consideration every step of the way. Their understanding of the way cohousing works and their ideas about designing space to bring out the best of a communtiy were excellent…I have to say that designing and building a community of this size with this much homeowner involvement was an extraordinary feat. It took patience, skill, long hours in meetings and constant consultation with many different stakeholders. Laura and Mary did all this and more to assure that we had the community we all envisioned. I highly recommend them to anyone designing a cohousing community.”
– Marie Silver, resident at Pathways Cohousing

“Every once in a while I get an opportunity to praise the work of people who have made our cohousing design and development process work more easily. I’m delighted to do this for you because your work on Takoma Village was a life saver! I’m still counting my blessings.”
– Ann Zabaldo, cohousing consultant and resident of Takoma Village

“Mary Kraus and Laura Fitch did an outstanding job on the programming for our site, common house, and individual units. They skillfully facilitated the design meetings, giving everyone a chance to be heard, but not allowing one voice to dominate. They gave us their opinions when we requested them, but did not try to unduly influence the group. They also successfully collaborated with another architectural firm in order to pull together the design for our common house kitchen. Because of this collaboration I feel we will have one of the most beautiful and functional common house kitchens in the country. I would recommend them without hesitation to work with other cohousing or nonprofit groups on programming, site, and unit design.”
– Diane Simpson, resident at Jamaica Plain Cohousing

“Two Echo’s successful working relationship with Mary and Laura is founded on their deep knowledge of and direct experience with cohousing and cohousing design, and their ability to lead a group through a process involving many design decisions…The two Echo common house design is practical and efficent; it is sensitive to both the design progam and to our tight budget…When I review the design process for the Two Echo common house in my mind, I am especially pleased that we made the choice to work with architects as well versed in cohousing as Kraus-Fitch Architects.”
– Rob Wiener, resident at Two Echo Cohousing

“I have to tell you that I am impressed with your work…the refinement, and quality of both the experience and product you create.”
– Chris ScottHansen, Cohousing dvelopment consultant, Cohousing Resources

“Here’s our thoughts after six months in our new house: It packs a lot of living into less than 1400 energy-efficient square feet. We love the old farmhouse look outside and the spacious, daylit, functional spaces inside. We got four bedrooms and a finishable basement in an affordably-priced house. The input of Kraus Fitch Architects in the community’s site design ensured that we had a cohousing community that had an intimate, neighborhood feel and aesthetic appeal, and functioned efficiently. We got all the spaces we wanted within a compact footprint and maintained substantial open space on the land.”
—Bill Farkas, a founding member of Pathways Cohousing & Design Committee Chair

“These skilled professionals go well beyond what’s required of the design process for cohousing groups – they care about and respect group members’ ideas and contributions, they lend creative thinking, and offer endless enthusiasm throughout the project – much needed qualities when the going gets tough!”
—Dyan Wiley, Pioneer Valley CoHousing