Sara Elizabeth Caples
Early Life and Education
Sara Caples was born in Virginia and attended Smith College, where she graduated with a B.A. in Art History in 1970. She continued her education at Yale University, where, in 1974, she earned a M.Arch.
Career in Architecture
Shortly after earning her Master’s degree, Caples began her career at Harry Weese & Associates, where she worked from 1974 to 1977, until becoming a project manager at HOK. In 1981, she left HOK to join Polshek Partnership as an associate, where she stayed for eight years until, in 1989, she established her own firm with partner Everardo Jefferson, Caples Jefferson Architects, PC.
The New York-based firm is devoted to providing architectural solutions that strengthen communities through functional and aesthetic excellence. Caples Jefferson Architects is unique in its commitment to designing approximately half of its projects in communities that are generally underserved by the profession. Requiring rigorous research and understanding of a specific place and community, this approach demonstrates Caples Jefferson Architects’ belief in architecture as a mean to shape and increase the potential of a specific location through design.
In addition to her work as an architect, Caples has served in various teaching positions throughout her career. She has twice been a visiting critic at the University of Miami, in 2011 and 2013, as well as once at Syracuse University. She has also served as a visiting distinguished professor at the City College of New York from 2008 to 2012.
Her design work has been featured in a wide range of publications including Architect, Architecture, Architectural Record, The Architect’s Newspaper, ArchDaily, Architizer, C3, Competitions, Detail, Fast Company Design, Tatlin, and The New York Times. Ms. Caples has served as Visiting Critic at Syracuse University and the University of Miami and three times as Visiting Distinguished Professor at CCNY, the City College of New York. With Everardo Jefferson, she co-edited the New Mix issue of AD in 2005.
Her public service includes acting as a juror for the National AIA Interior Awards, the National AIA Housing Awards, and for the ENYA, Emerging New York Architects, South Street Seaport Competition and serving on the board of the AIA New York Chapter, the Dalton Council, and as President of l’Ecole Tenant Association. Ms. Caples is a Certified Construction Specifier and an NCARB certified architect, licensed in the state of New York.
Major Buildings and Projects
- Queens Theater in the Park, Queens, NY (2009)
- Marcus Garvey Community Center, Brooklyn, NY (2011)
- Weeksville Heritage Center, Brooklyn, NY (2012)
- Starr East Asian Library Renovation, New York, NY (2009)
- Heritage Health and Housing HQ, New York, NY (2002)
- Neighborhood Charter School of Harlem, New York, NY (2012)
Awards and Press
- Historic Districts Council Design Award, 2014
- Annual Design Review Award for Weeksville, Architect Magazine, 2013
- Honor Award for Weeksville, National Organization of Minority Architects, 2013
- AIA New York State Firm of the Year, 2012
- NYC Neighborhood Achievement Cultural Award, 2012