Team

I BELIEVE EVERY HOME CAN REFLECT WHAT IS UNIQUE ABOUT THE FAMILY THAT LIVES WITHIN IT. IT IS HUMBLING TO BE ENTRUSTED WITH THEIR DAY-TO-DAY EXPERIENCE.

Cathy Purple Cherry

GROUNDED IN HER FAITH and driven by a passion for art and architectural design, Cathy Purple Cherry has been honing her craft since early childhood. Painting lessons at a young age led inevitably to her later studies at the Corcoran School of Art, University of Colorado, Boulder, and at the University of Maryland. Since graduating with her architecture degree in 1989, Cathy is resolute in her quest for excellence in residential design.

Purple Cherry Architects, Cathy’s namesake firm, embraces advanced technologies and new materials in their custom designs for luxury residential architecture. Energetic and creative, Cathy is a natural leader and she relishes the problem solving inherent in architectural design. Warm and thoughtful, she gathers and processes information that informs the big picture as well as all the subtleties. She considers lifestyle as much as aesthetics. A wife and mother of three—her eldest is a special needs child—Cathy deeply understands the desire for a dream home that is not only beautiful, but which also supports the values and needs of her clients. A visionary and three-dimensional thinker, she is able to turn aspirations into built reality.

While she revels in the intricate design opportunities presented by high-end residential architecture, Cathy is equally passionate about her philanthropic efforts. She and her firm offer their design knowledge and sensitivity to the special needs community via the Purple Cherry Purposeful Architecture Studio. A true creative servant, Cathy Purple Cherry is unfailing in her efforts to positively impact all those around her and those in need.

Leadership

PETER GUIDETTI, LEAD DESIGN ARCHITECT & ASSOCIATE

For more than 25 years, Peter has passionately been dedicated to the study and practice of traditional architecture and design. Prior to joining the firm, he worked in the offices of several leading residential practices in New York City. Peter is devoted to studying and pursing the “art” of architecture and is an enthusiast of traditional pencil rendering, pen and ink illustration, and watercolor painting. He loves to sketch concepts by hand in client meetings to communicate design ideas quickly and uses more formal renderings to further develop his architectural designs. Peter loves talking with clients, colleagues, and craftspeople who bring architecture into the built environment and believes that the formations of those special bonds are as important as the architecture he helps to create.

ALAN COOK, ASSOCIATE, LEED AP

Alan’s architectural designs are infused with an interdisciplinary perspective gained over two decades in the field. His broad experience and passion for environmental design, historic preservation, adaptive reuse, and commercial projects enhance every residential commission. To help clients create beautiful homes that exceed expectations, Alan relishes the complexities that translate aspirations and vision into a unified result. A graduate of the University of Colorado, Alan also holds a Master of Architecture from Syracuse University School of Architecture. He has worked with Purple Cherry since 2014. Outside of the office, Alan serves on the board of Girls on The Run Greater Chesapeake.

ASHLEY BABAIAN, ASSOCIATE

A graduate of The Catholic University of America School of Architecture and Planning, Ashley concentrated her studies on Sacred Architecture. In addition to her love for residential architecture work, she also focuses on Purposeful Architecture, Purple Cherry’s non-profit division, where she specializes in designing environments for individuals with special needs. Passionate and energetic, Ashley is also committed to her community, serving as a board member of the Hospice of the Chesapeake’s Chesapeake Kids program. She actively volunteers with Habitat for Humanity of the Chesapeake, Ronald McDonald House Charities, Habitat for Humanity Choptank, and the Anne Arundel County SPCA.

DOUG KUCHTA, ASSOCIATE

With an architect father and a childhood home often under construction, Doug has always been intrigued by the technical aspects of how structures are built. A graduate of Morgan State University School of Architecture, Doug’s experience includes both commercial and residential projects. Always ready to roll up his sleeves, Doug finds it gratifying to utilize architectural concepts that solve challenging design situations and result in something beautiful, balanced, and purposeful.

CARMINE CAFIERO, ASSOCIATE

Carmine believes that good design and successful projects are the result of effective listening and solid collaboration. He combines lessons learned from the University of Virginia School of Architecture and Virginia Tech School of Architecture + Design with expertise in and passion for sketching, virtual reality, and BIM. Carmine’s multifaceted approach skillfully translates a client’s vision into clear, inclusive designs that are supported by comprehensive construction documents.

Architecture

BENAISSA DEHACHE

Motivated by the creative challenges brought forth by residential design, Benaissa brings more than two decades of architectural design experience to the firm. A graduate of the University Saad Dahlab Blida – Algeria with a degree in Architecture, he thrives while collaborating with other disciplines throughout the design process. When outside of the office, Benaissa is passionate about the sport of soccer – both playing and coaching youth teams.

BRIAN BASSINDALE

For nearly 30 years, Brian’s career has been primarily focused on high-end custom residential architecture. A graduate of the Washington University School of Architecture and a former President of the AIA Chesapeake Bay Chapter, Brian thrives on taking a great design concept and turning it into a set of expertly crafted drawings that faithfully describe the myriad ideas and complex details necessary to produce great buildings.

KELLEN AUGUST

A graduate of the Virginia Tech School of Architecture + Design, Kellen has an advanced understanding of 2D and 3D architectural design software. She has a deep interest in high-end custom residential architecture and designing for the special needs community. With a curious mind regarding how buildings and objects are created and built, Kellen believes that when every single design decision has a clear purpose and reason behind it, architecture will influence humans in ways they never imagined.

MITCHELL AUGUST

From small scale model building at a young age, to furniture building later in life, most of Mitchell’s life has revolved around design. A graduate of Virginia Tech School of Architecture + Design, he has a strong background in BIM and commercial architecture but has a true passion for custom residential projects. Mitchell, who also serves as the firm’s BIM Manager, strongly believes that the built environment plays a crucial role in an individual’s well-being. As an architect with a particular eye for detail, he loves being able to affect people’s lives in a positive way.

TAKSIT DHANAGOM

Taksit, a graduate of the Notre Dame School of Architecture, employs a considered, holistic approach to residential architecture. His prolific sketching, sculpture, and watercolor artistry is matched by his proficiency with advanced technologies. Taksit believes that architecture is a sublime art form that can profoundly affect our lives and behavior. Taksit’s optimism is evident is his designs; enduring spaces that he hopes will inspire clients, their families, and future generations to live well.

Tatiana Castano

A graduate of the New York Institute of Technology’s School of Architecture and Design, Tatiana is passionate about design that promotes a natural connection to materials, views, light, and nature. She enjoys studying Biophilic design and its applications in architecture, and finds it rewarding to implement design features that have a positive impact on everyday activities. Tatiana is driven to partner with clients so that their style and preferences are accurately reflected through the form and function of their home.

MARIA STEPHENSON

Maria earned a degree in Architecture and Architectural History from the Savannah College of Art and Design’s School of Building Arts. Her passion for residential design and a love for details that reward a second glace only grew by being surrounded by Savannah’s historic homes. Maria loves incorporating small but meaningful elements into a design and finds it thrilling how they can harmonize a space and lend cohesion to a home.

Savannah Mills

Savannah was exposed to architecture at a young age by her grandfather, an architect who designed projects throughout her hometown.  A graduate of Virginia Tech with a degree in Interior Design and an NCIDQ Certified professional, she strives to improve the human experience in every project she undertakes. Savannah’s passion lies in creating spaces that clients revel in and find effortless to use.

KATHRYN DAY

A graduate of the School of Architecture at the University of North Carolina at Charlotte and a LEED Green Associate, Kathryn is passionate about designing spaces that respect the natural environment and connect individuals to their surrounding landscape. Her passion lies in utilizing a keen eye for detail and strong representation skills to meet the individual needs of each client.

BAILEY GENT

After receiving a dual-major degree in Design and Art History from Radford University, Bailey received a Master of Architecture degree from Virginia Tech’s school of Architecture + Design. While passionate about all facets of design, her interest in architecture was cultivated through travels across the United States and Europe. She is motivated by architecture’s influence on our everyday lives and its identity as both an art and a science.

COREY DAY

At a young age, Corey was introduced to sketching and painting. His talents were nurtured and today allow him to create and illustrate unique spaces and ideas. Corey holds a bachelor’s degree from Clemson University’s School of Architecture and he is pursuing a Master of Architecture degree at the University of Virginia. His determined pursuit of architectural excellence, combined with his commitment to best practices for documentation and design, are at the core of his diverse skillset.

Interior Design

ANNIE KERSEY, Lead Interior Designer

Annie Kersey, a graduate of Syracuse University’s School of Architecture, is passionate about interior architecture and interior design and is well-versed in 3D software. With a background that allows her to excel in millwork design, scale and space planning, Annie’s portfolio shows her ability to appeal to a variety of clients, while carefully layering elements of color, texture, and pattern. She believes every client should have a space that is functional, inviting, and a curated reflection of their personality.

ALEXANDRA EPSTEIN, Lead Interior Designer

Alexandra grew up surrounded by family heirlooms and her mother’s exuberant flair for maximalism. A graduate of The Art Institute — where Alexandra deepened her innately instilled appreciation for beautiful things, art, and composition—she has gone on to create a diverse portfolio of projects. Whether contemporary or traditional in style, Alexandra’s ability to create well-curated spaces to be lived in and enjoyed is evident.

KIRSTIE JENKINS

Kirstie’s passion for interior and architectural design began through her love of history and historic house tours growing up. She pursued her interests at the Savannah College of Art and Design where she earned a BFA in Interior Design with a minor in Architectural History. While her work is informed by history, she loves being exposed to new ideas and her clients’ vision and is always moved by the beautiful results they achieve together.

SYDNEY YOUNG

Sydney, a graduate of the University of Kentucky’s College of Design, believes that beautiful and functional interior design centers around people and how each individual uniquely lives, grows, and evolves. She derives joy in crafting spaces that are authentic and empower her clients to live exactly as they wish. Sydney is also passionate about involvement – when not designing, she spends time volunteering at the Baltimore Humane Society.

Hayley Caswell

Hayley, a graduate of Western Carolina University with a degree in Interior Design, enjoys the functionality of residential design and exploring how simple design elements can create spaces in which clients thrive. She has been passionate about art from a very young age and enjoys traveling to see her favorite pieces, whether a fresco or stunning architecture.

VIVIAN HYDE

Vivian, a graduate of West Virginia University with a degree in Interior Design, excels in creating 3D models that help clients envision their custom designs. She is driven to create spaces for her clients that are not only beautiful, but also purposeful and functional. Originally from Zimbabwe, Vivian is passionate about exploring other countries and regions to better understand, and to be inspired by, a range of unique design aesthetics.

Marketing & Operations

CATHERINE LUDWIG

Catherine grew up in a home filled with her mother’s passion for the arts alongside her father’s need to understand everything scientifically and mathematically.  While she did not inherit the artistic genes, she has always had a deep love for all artistic endeavors. Working as an accounting professional while being immersed in a creative space is where she truly feels comfortable. When Catherine had to become a special needs child advocate eight years ago, she found it was an opportunity to find beauty and blessings in all situations – and that is how she lives her life today.

JOANNE HANDLER

Joanne brings to the firm more than 22 years of experience in accounting and human resource management in the architectural field.  A graduate of the University of Wisconsin, she holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in Accounting and believes that partnership is the key to success. “We’re all individuals that offer special talents to a team—however, we don’t need to work alone to shine. Collaboration is our true strength.”

LAUREN NEUVEL

Lauren brings nearly 20 years of marketing, communications, and business development experience to Purple Cherry Architects. A strategic writer with an ardent understanding of data-driven marketing, Lauren leads the firm’s branding and identity efforts while building relationships with clients and industry colleagues.  She believes the most important aspect of her role is to forge the genuine relationships that result in the creation of extraordinary, thoughtful design.

TORI WOLFGANG

While pursuing a degree in Journalism and New Media at Towson University, Tori discovered a passion for writing about design. At Purple Cherry, Tori dedicates her talent and interest toward creating social media marketing content that articulates the firm’s work and engages a wide audience. Inspired by the design talents of her colleagues and their relationships with the firm’s clients, Tori writes compellingly and loves what she does.

Architecture & Interiors