A lifelong resident of Westchester County, New York, Tom O’Brien, AIA has developed a vast portfolio of country home and barn designs that reflect his sense of place. Commissions from as far away as Dublin, Ireland and Christ Church, New Zealand illustrate his ability to blend traditional American aesthetics with contemporary international lifestyles.
Tom started working with the Bedford firm Elder and Angell as a 14-year-old architect’s apprentice. After earning degrees in construction technology at Alfred State University, he went on to receive his Bachelor of Architecture degree from the University of Toronto. Upon graduation, he returned home to Westchester to start his practice in 1980.
Tom draws inspiration from the designs of world-renowned architects, as well as the centuries-old structures he finds along country roads throughout North America and Europe. A perennial student of world architecture, he always has a sketchpad on hand while international motorcycle touring. Applying the detail of an 18th-century French barn to a 21st-century Westchester home is one of the many ways Tom brings a global perspective to residential design.
Having worked as a carpenter and contractor early in his career, Tom understands the complexities involved in construction. His reputation in the trades is as a collaborative team member whose priority is the success of the project. Three decades of satisfied clients and colleagues have helped to build a practice that thrives on referral. While O'Brien Architecture, LLC has long standing relationships with local contractors, new partners are always welcome.
With over 35 years of professional experience, Tom knows that communication is the foundation of an enduring partnership. “Hiring O’Brien Architecture means hiring me. Our firm is small which maximizes personal service,” Tom explains. Clients enthusiastically endorse his ability to listen and translate their wishes into inspiring, buildable plans. “This is the house we dreamed of but could not have imagined without Tom,” one Bedford client says of his recently completed home.
Although his designs run the full spectrum of style, Tom’s clients often hire him to bring 21st-century solutions to the challenges of traditional layouts and facades. The resulting aesthetic is seamless, timeless and nostalgic. The goal, of course, is for a client’s home or equestrian property to appear and feel as if it has always been right where it is.