We are SimpleTwig Architecture.llc
25+ years strong!
Residential, Office, Mixed-Use, Historical Architect
SimpleTwig Architecture.llc is a powerhouse of architectural design, with experience on most public types of buildings, from houses, to high-rise office towers, to urban residential complexes so large they have their own roads, to art museums and performance theaters. This is due to the strength and drive of Architect Nic Buccalo, who decided that he would be an Architect at the age of 6, and with that decision began his journey towards building his skills and absorbing the knowledge to be the award winning architect he is today. (See SERVICES)
2018 Award for ‘Best Residential Projects Architecture Practice - New York’, 2016 BUILD award for 'Best Adaptive Reuse Project', and many other awards, Mr. Buccalo’s works have been featured on the PBS Newshour and in many publications including Life, Nest, Archaeology, The New York Times, Architectural Record, Architecture, U+A and others, and, has his work archived in the Library of Congress, Ohio State University, Harvard University and as part of the White House Museum. (See PRESS)
Partner in charge of design, Mr. Nicholas Buccalo is an expert in architectural design, bringing to bear his experience and skills from scores of projects around the world, ranging from tiny renovations to multi-billion dollar mixed-use urban developments, to every project he accepts. His goal is to bring his skills to bear on projects through direct retention by clients, and if the scale of the project demands, hiring associate architectural firms to handle Construction Documents and Administration, as done in the past projects in China and here in the US. (See PORTFOLIO)
BUILDING TYPE EXPERIENCE: Residential (including kitchen/bath renovations, additions, new houses and residential buildings, rental & coop apartments, and, other related components like roof terraces, hard-scapes, lobbies, amenities, etc.), Office high-rise buildings, Hotels, Resorts, Luxury Living, Mixed-use complexes, Theaters, Museums, Cultural Centers, Landmarked Renovations, Shopping Malls, Urban Design, and, Transportation related. Just perusing our varied portfolio should instill the confidence one needs to hire SimpleTwig Architecture for most any project, as so many other Architects, Homeowners and Developers have in the past.
"To create something beautiful, allowing this process to happen while integrating the varying layers of a program and it's circulatory, structural, mechanical and plumbing systems is to strive for perfection." Whether designing a bathroom addition, or MacArthur Center Tower in Brisbane, a new academic/business center in Beijing, or even working with software engineers at IBM, Mr. Buccalo is sought out by those who recognize his abilities, expertise and experience.
We’re not about hype, we are about reality, taking in each step of the process with the care this profession of Architecture deserves and demands. "Every nest starts with a simple twig…" is our motto, leaving the selection of the first twig to you, and that is who you choose as your Architect, a twig that will bring dreams beyond your comprehension into reality, and understanding that behind every great work of Architecture is the client who was open minded enough to make it happen.
that we provide
Single Family Homes, New, Renovations & Additions
Multiple Family Townhouses & Buildings
Rental, Coop & Condo Apartment Renovations
Patios, Decks and Yard Design
Luxury Living Dwellings
Experience with Wood, Masonry, and Steel Structures
Experience with Single & Multiple Family Buildings, Mixed-Use & Mid-rise Projects
Experience with Hotels, Resorts & Retirement Living Buildings
Decks, Patios, Landscape Layouts, Trellises and other outdoor components.
No matter the size of your project, we will guide you through the process step by step.
We ensure the best design gets built by exploring many more options than we show our clients. From addressing Department of Buildings concerns, to coordinating with consultants, we make sure your hopes fit within your budget, setting priorities and phasing if necessary.
For the Homeowner, hiring an Architect for the first time can be exciting and challenging. Whether you hire us or not, we will outline the process for you, usually over the phone, so you can have a general feel for the process, time and expenses involved.
If you are a landowner and want to maximize rental income, we have the insight in this area as well, understanding the basics of unit size to floor plate, or how to fit another unit in an existing dwelling.
For the Developer, our mission is to utilize your budget in a way that maximizes impact, so that your residents want to stay in your building longer, so you have fewer maintenance issues, so that the success of your investment stays secure for decades to come. Our first step is to understand the neighborhood and what needs it requires, whether it leans towards individuals, or families, we will help you create a distribution of unit sizes that maximizes income and becomes a positive urban-scape contributor to the community.
NOTE: OUR PRICING APPROACHE: The first pricing approach for Architectural Services is for full service including all architectural phases, design visualizations, construction administration, including Engineers and other consultants and is typically used for high-end clients and developers. As such, it is significantly more expensive. Our other pricing approach is about 4 times less expensive, but helps Homeowners afford the services of an Architect in order to achieve drawings to submit to the DOB and Contractor, and, to achieve their design goals within their budget. This process does not represent full architectural services, but does provide enough direction to allow for a successful project while keeping the cost of hiring an Architect at a minimum. In this respect we will use Pinterest to review client selections for materials, colors, appliances and other components they want. This allows the client to take control of this aspect of the project while having access to an Architect’s opinion.
Low, Mid and High Rise Office Buildings
Shopping Malls and Centers
Theaters, Cinemas & Performance Halls
Museums, Galleries and Exhibition Projects
Club and Resort Projects
Landmark Restoration Projects
Retail & Commercial Projects
Medical, Health & Dental Offices
(Projects this size involve local associate firm)
Architectural Concept, Design & Visualization
Programming, Planning and Hierarchical Relationships
Preliminary, Schematic, Design Development, Code and Zoning Integration
Construction Documents, Administration, Site Inspections for Quality Control
Creating iconic architecture that stands the test of time.
To design a symbol of a place is to create a icon that gives definition to a city’s identity. It also ensures for the developer that their property will stay fully occupied even during downturns in the economy. Above is our design for Sacramento, CA mixed-use office/hotel/residential complex, where we incorporate public spaces partially covered by a trellis structure, and retail at the ground level to ensure there is always pedestrian activity and that it becomes a magnet for public use. This reinforces the public’s opinion that this complex is an important ingredient of the city and ‘what makes it a great place to live in’.
We have worked on a variety of project sizes around the world, like Check Point Charlie in Berlin, to St. Petersburg Airport in Russia, to Abha and Shamasan Citadel in Saudi Arabia, to Prague Center Master Plan in the Czech Republic, to an Academic Business Hub in Beijing, to a small house addition in Massachusetts, to a new house at the Jack Nicolas Golf Course in Columbus, Ohio reflecting that people seek Mr. Buccalo’s expertise in design for their project.
Urban Master Plans (see below)
General Programmatic Planning and Three-dimensional Impact
Urban integration and Contextual References
Small or large urban areas, including office parks, shopping centers, resorts, etc.
Integration of Transportation including Rail, Bus, Trolly, Waterways, Highways, Boulevards, Avenues, Roads, Service Integration.
Master Planning for many program building types, including Residential, Office, Commercial, Transportation, Services, Recreation, Government, Institutional and Academic, including infrastructure planning, road and rail systems, parking and parks, plazas and the elements required to create a successful community.
Master Planning must bring a balance between unique identity and urban integration, between background program elements and public focal areas, between city-wide circulation patterns and the needs of local traffic. It also incorporates efficiency of services and maintenance. For very large urban master plans, the breakdown of components increases hierarchically, for instance, large boulevards and public spaces, to medium sized public parks, to intimate residential corridors, provides the variety of human experiences we expect. Like any composition, one must be aware of a composition’s focal point, and that which reinforces the focal areas, in both usability and sustainability, as well as city-wide iconic impact.
Browser-based Interactive 3d Models
Real-time Walk-throughs, Interactive with Programmable Bots (Humans)
We bath each project in the warm glow of light. Above: ‘Architecture in Perspective’ Excellence in Rendering Award.
From being President of the New York Society of Renderers, to running a successful highly awarded and recognized rendering company, Mr. Buccalo has also worked with IBM on their VR Technology and helped usher in the ground breaking of many projects, including AirTrain, Jefferson Hall and many other projects at the United States Military Academy and many other projects around the world. Highlights include being hired by Archaeology for several reconstructions, work is archived in the Library of Congress, on display at the White House Museum.
Adaptive-Reuse: Programming, Expression and Character
Landmarks Investigations and Surveying
Carnegie Hall, Lincoln Center and many other existing structures, some landmarked. We can do yours.
Whether your existing building is Landmarked or not, we will treat it with care. First stabilizing the structure, then ensuring it holds up against the weather in an enduring sustainable way. All the while we are programming for its use, to take advantage of its character, a thing people seek out, to clean its image and bring it into the world of vibrancy and vitality, making it an attractive part of its setting and a focal point that allows other structures to be more financially viable. Its team work on an urban scale, a community of healthy structures each contributing an essential component to the overall success of everyone else.
P O R T F O L I O
From the ordinary, to the extraordinary!
Being a true Architect, Mr. Buccalo’s work spans the spectrum, including small renovations with modest budgets, to major urban projects that span multiple city blocks. When it comes to hiring the best, one need look no further than SimpleTwig Architecture.
Keita Turner, President, KT Design Solutions, LLC
"I recommend working with Mr. Buccalo, who is a very practical and fantastic architect. He’s extremely professional and has worked on many projects around the country. He has a wonderful ability to listen and understand the needs and desires of the client. His imagination and flexibility added greatly to the overall success of the exterior and interior architecture of a recently completed project.
His precise specifications and management added significant value to the bidding process and allowed the client to do the project at a reasonable cost with competent contractors. All in all, Mr. Buccalo’s ability to provide not only an aesthetically pleasing product, but also a very functional one, added to the ease in which our team was able to deliver a well-managed and stellar finished product to the client."
Lynn & Michael Lawrence; 320 East 57th Street, Penthouse; New York, NY
"It was the story of Chicken Little and the sky was truly falling. Papers to get the job going had not been filed by the people who told me" not to worry", and we had to sign a surrender agreement to vacate our current rental. Clearly this job was going nowhere and "end time" was not in the forecast. And then came Nic Buccalo SimpleTwig Architecture.llc. He should have been the first person we hired, instead of the last, but that is my caveat to all of you out there considering a renovation. Do not pass go until Nic has seen the project."
"It is a pleasure to work with Nic. To me it is like buying insurance which allows me to sleep at night. From the beginning when he came on board, he "got the job done". Plans were drawn up, submitted, and building permits obtained within ten days. He knows what he is doing and he is good at it. Nick has a very calming manner. He doesn't get ruffled. His low-keyed approach helped turn the volume down on my own distress. I was able to call him with questions, and he would calmly solve each problem. He was there. I can't stress how important this is. The ultimate proof of how I felt about Nic was that I hired him to oversee the rest of the job."
"So, if you see an apartment, penthouse or house you like , but it needs work, bring Nic before you even bid. It will be the best decision in the entire process. As you can tell, it is my pleasure to recommend him, without reservation."
Hassan Alfaoieh, 106 Pioneer Street, Brooklyn, NY.
"Kindness is very hard to find but I was lucky to find a very kind Architect who knows how to make you live nightmare free. Nick Buccalo showed me step by step how to legalize my one family house into a two family house which was completed by a previous contractor. I was living with nightmares until I talked with Gamill Engineering who recommended me to a very kind Architect, Nicholas J. Buccalo.
Nic guided me through the process of getting a new certificate of occupancy by drawing up plans, compiling a simple list of corrections, getting a work permit, reviewing construction progress and answering questions from the New York City Building Inspector which help secured our approval. I feel that Nick was more of a partner to me than an Architect. I recommend Nick to anyone who wants to sleep at night."
BILL E., IRVINE, CA
"What an honest company!!! I called and asked for advice about an ECB violation and he took the time to explain to me what to do and told me how to take care of it, without any benefit to himself. Very considerate of him. It's so rare to find someone so helpful and honest."
DON D., BROOKLYN, NY
"When buying our house in Brooklyn, Nic Buccalo was an invaluable help. As as Architect, Mr. Buccalo was able to guide us through the process of our Townhouse "gut" renovation. We, as a family of four, have been living happily in the house for the last five years. During the renovation, not only was he able to provide us with an outstanding design, he was always there to help keep the costs down and the project moving forward. He was always committed to the best possible outcome and never settled for anything less. He also had fantastic contacts in building industry.
Whenever I meet someone who is thinking about using an architect, I always describe the great experience we had with Nick and send them directly to his office."
KARA L., HOBOKEN, NJ
"I have been searching for an architect for quite some time and have called numerous places around the NYC area. Nic was by far the kindest, most helpful architect/interior designer I have come across. He offered to go above and beyond for me and that made all the difference. You can tell he is a trustworthy, genuine man. If you are looking for an architect, or a second opinion on ideas/renovations for your home, I would highly recommend speaking with Nic."
LENITA H., BROOKLYN, NY
"My experience was awesome from start to finish. If you're looking for an honest and experienced architect that has a genuine desire, to not only make a living, but also to be fair, look no further. I spoke to him after receiving VERY high quotes by other architects on this site, regarding some violations which where in my two family home. Many of the quotes were given without a walk thru of my home. Nicholas refused to even give me an estimate until he had done a complete walk thru of my property ( for a very reasonable price).
After the walk thru, he gave me SEVERAL options to remedy my problem! He also gave me wonderful suggestion as well, completely free of charge.
Nicholas even spoke to some expeditors before coming out to inquire if he even needed to come out and make me waste my money because I am on a fixed budget. Very professional. I highly recommend. My experience was more than refreshing considering the fact that many of the architects that I had called prior to Nicholas, just threw out ridiculous quotes without even properly accessing my issues."
TINA S. BROOKLYN, NY
"Nic is extremely thorough beginning with the first initial email all the way to communicating with expediter, engineer, and Department of Buildings. He walked us step-by-step in each phase of the renovation process. His drawings are precise and he takes great care to be as accurate as possible. I'll update again after we hear back from the DoB, but so far, I'd HIGHLY recommend SimpleTwig!"
MARIANNE S., SAN FRANCISCO, CA
"Nic is a consummate professional. Knows his business, compassionate and gets satisfaction, and is honest and fair. Not too many people let alone professionals would put your interest above theirs if that's what's right. He has a wide net of people that can help through all the phases of a project who are also very competent. Can't recommend him highly enough." Note some Yelp reviews are not public.
KAT M., NEW YORK, NY
"I'm currently working with Nic on planning a project to convert my single family home to a two family. We're still in the process but the process so far couldn't be any better. As nerve racking and intimidating as remodeling can be taking on a big project such as a conversion is daunting but Nick has definitely helped me to feel more confident with handling a project of this magnitude. First he has done more than most architects I've contacted to quote this project by just taking the time to thoroughly discuss the full aspect of what a project like this will need and how I can make sure I make the right decisions. Just for that I was confident in choosing him as the architect. He's simplified the process by referring necessary vendors in key steps in prepping for this project.
Nic has really assured our budget takes precedence and make sure we don't go bankrupt working on this project and he has provided knowledge and education on the whole project raising my awareness. He has really taken time to make sure we are able to afford what we want instead of making the mistake of over promising only to find out we can't afford to do as planned. Looking forward with the next steps of the project. I highly recommend if you're looking for someone you can trust." Note some reviews on Yelp are not public.
NATASHA A., Brownsville, Brooklyn, NY
"What a great experience I've had working with Nic. He takes his time to explain what is needed and the safe way of completing your desired project. I was scared of what to expect from an architect, since it appears that woman are often over charged and mislead. However, Nic took his time to explain ideas for the construction project to provide height to my two family home cellar. If you are looking for someone that have your best interest in hand, contact Nic! You will not go wrong." Note some Yelp reviews are not public.
EVITA Z., Midwood, Brooklyn, NY
"My husband and I met with Nic because we wanted some ideas on how to make small changes to a newly bought property, we were very impressed by the unique ideas as well as the professionalism. I'd strongly recommend Nic to my friends and family." Note some reviews are not public on Yelp.
VINNY D., Carroll Gardens, Brooklyn, NY
I am in the midst of renovating my home and will be converting it to a three-family dwelling, as well. Mr. Nic Buccalo is my architect. In retrospect, I can truthfully say how delighted I am to have finally found (and I interviewed/consulted with about a half dozen architects before selecting Nic) such an exceptional professional and fine human being in Nic Buccalo.
In addition, I have found him to not only be absolutely brilliant in his area of expertise, but humble, genuine and not lacking in the common touch. Nic is truly an answer to prayer and I sometimes kiddingly ask him where he's hiding his wings and that I know he's really an angel in man's clothing. In my book, Mr. Nic Buccalo is not the best architect... he's the only architect!" Note some reviews on Yelp are not public.
ERNEST F., San Francisco, CA
"Nic explained situation and options to remedy an ECB violation thoroughly! Thank you!" Note some reviews on Yelp are not public.
KRISTEN L, Brooklyn, NY
"Excellent experience. Nic was quick, efficient, and extremely honest. I will definitely recommend him and use him again." Note some reviews on Yelp are not public.
LISA L., WASHINGTON, DC
"Nic is a fountain of talent and intellect. Combined with his dedication to his profession as an architect, Nic's collective skills, particularly his specialized talent in architectural illustration, are a unique combination of abilities which consistently yield outstanding results. Nic is also very service oriented and a pleasure to work with. His passion for his profession is evident with every facet of his work."
THOMAS W. S., LOS ANGELES, CA
"Nicholas and I have been colleagues for many years and while I've always admired his work; my admiration has only grown over time. His professionalism and skill are at a very high level. As president of the New York Society of Renderers, Nic managed the organization with extreme deftness, while simultaneously continuing to produce his beautiful artwork and successfully run his own business; not an easy thing to do."
HARVEY KEITEL, ACTOR, TRIBECCA, NEW YORK, NY
"You've done a fine job considering the situation I found myself in. We couldn't of made it through the tangled legal mess without you and yet end up with something so beautiful for me and my daughter. Thanks for all your help."
CHARLES GWATHMEY, ARCHITECT, NEW YORK, NY
"Mr. Buccalo delivered such well executed and accurate drawings of Carnegie Hall that we were able to hand them directly to the manufacturer for production, which resulted in a significant savings of time, money and effort." Regarding Carnegie Hall Landmarks Window Renovation and Replacement.
"Nicholas Buccalo capitalized on modeling and rendering power of ArchiCAD for a presentation of Lujazui-Shanghai Office. Architecture Magazine now called Architect."
GILBERT RETREY, ARCHITECT, KINGSBORO COMMUNITY COLLEGE, QUEENS, NY
"I am writing this letter to commend you on the quality of your product and service...you were kind enough to furnish additional versions of our site rendering which allowed us the latitude to utilize this drawing in many ways...It has been a pleasure."
Dan O., Architect, Bauer & Wiley Architects
"I am writing to say that I was very impressed by the quality of work in your portfolio. I have your website bookmarked so that I can visit it for inspiration."
P R E S SExamples include our Cabrini-Green Housing competition entry being featured in the PBS McNeil Lehrer NewsHour to other projects gracing the cover of the New York Times Real Estate section, SimpleTwig has received a fair amount of coverage, including being hired directly by publications like Archaeology Magazine, Nest Magazine and others for imagery and reconstruction works.
S T A F F
Our teamThe SimpleTwig Team brings together Architects, Interior Designers, Building Preservationists, Zoning Experts and other professionals to bear their expertise for every project as needed. We sponsor and train architectural interns to improve their ability to obtain work. We’ve directly worked with associate Architectural firms as far away as China.
STAFF & ASSOCIATIONS:
Nic Buccalo, Principal
G. Ray, Architect Intern
B Mielaczarek , Interior Designer
J. Robinson, Architect Intern
C. Buhneing, IT, CSR Computers
M. Hernandez, Office Manager
L. Bryan, Accounting Consultant
Filing: S&M Expediting, Consultant
Zoning: East/West Architects, Consultant
Surveying: Boro Land Surveying, Consultant
Landmarks: Cardinal Conservation, Consultant
Interiors: KT Design, Consultant
Asbestos: Antonio Cinquepalmi, Consultant
Kwami Avity, PE, Keyowner Engineering
PAST CREDITS AND ASSOCIATIONS:
L Greer, Architect
L. Sun, Architect Intern
K. Philippidou, Interior Designer & Graphics
F. Gomez, Architect
A. Sanchez, Architect
L. Li, Architect
E. Petit, Graphics Consultant
D. Green, General Office
A. Dubinski, Graphics
D. Aligood, Architect
S. Conti, Software Specialist
All 3d digital Imaging created by SimpleTwig u.n.o.
Photography by SimpleTwig u.n.o.
SimpleTwig past Employees & Consultants
Our team grows as required
Nic Buccalo, Architect
Principal, Chief Designer & CEO
Interior Designer Consultant
Take the first step
When Contacting US
CLIENTS: contact us directly by telephone for our free initial consultation. We respond to all calls immediately, but you will have to leave an initial message because we get too many unknown ‘phone number’ calls.
EMAIL: put the project address in the subject line! Include complete contact information in body including email, phone, zip, etc. Attach survey, floor plan(s), etc. if available.
JOB APPLICATIONS: By email only providing links to portfolio and resume.
SOLICITATIONS: With email only. Follow us to get noticed. No solicitations by phone.
NOTE: Due to Robocalls, we do not pick up unknown phone calls. Please leave a quick message and we’ll call you right back, usually in a few minutes.