Step into the 450-square-foot office of Synthesis Architects
and you will immediately see some Cincinnati history, in the form dozens of rolled up blueprints.
The blueprints are those of Carl Strauss, a Cincinnati-based architect who become known for his modern residential designs. Alexander Christoforidis, who worked under Strauss for five years, formed Synthesis after Strauss retired in 2001.
"I committed to staying in Cincinnati, and I had a great opportunity to create my own firm," Christoforidis says.
Christoforidis and his partner, Nodas Papadimas, along with two employees, renovated their office, the same Mt. Adams office Strauss occupied, and are in the process of launching a new website. Synthesis works mostly on residential design, as well as Byzantine-style churches.
Christoforidis had a specialty in Byzantine church design and began to search for work from local churches. After finding new clients and doubling business each of the first two years, Synthesis was off the ground and has continued to design churches, as well as more than 100 private residences.
In 2005, Christoforidis was hired by the University of Cincinnati and helped develop the Master of Architecture and Urban Planning program, which was the first Masters course at UC with a mandatory co-op. Two students who took the course, and then co-opped for Christoforidis are now full-time employees at Synthesis. Steve Stidham and Trang Vo have had big roles in the formation of the company, Christoforidis says.
Christoforidis and Papadimas are both Greek and named the business Synthesis because of the Greek roots of the word and its meaning.
"We try to blend the environment around a project with out experience and the needs of the client," Christoforidis says. "The word [Synthesis] really describes how we work and the work we produce. We try to take everything we can into account."
Papadimas says he begins every project with sketches, but by the end of the design process, there are complete 3D renderings of the project so both clients and builders can envision the end product.
"Just like our office blends the old work of Strauss and our new renovations," Papadimas says. "Our work does the same. We always blend the old with the new."
By Evan Wallis