The firm was founded in 1976 by Architect Peter Kramer and named The Design Collective. Now it’s the name of a dress shop on 26th Street. Our purpose was to provide experienced architectural services to community development corporations and non-profit neighborhood organizations doing housing rehabilitation, educational facilities, and health care projects.
In 1978 Robert Roscoe joined the firm and in 1983 Steve Kosowski added his special skills to our group. From 1979 to 1981 Susan Armstrong, Landscape Horticulturist, was a partner in the firm.
Over the years a number of young architects and designers have worked with us, the best of them includes Karen Gjerstead, Jody Keppers, Dave Flashenriem, Julie Newman-Rokke, Pam Burns, Steve Schlotthauer, Kath Oska, Vickie Hopper, Cindy Burns, Marnie Potempa, Don Myers, Michael Gustafson, Jonathan Vandervelde, Dennis Kroll, Lee Wolfson, Charlene Newmann and Jim Powell, all very talented KIDS.
In 1985 we named Howard Roark, hero of the ‘Fountainhead’ (played by Gary Cooper in the 1949 Movie), our Senior Partner. The name of the firm was changed to Roark, Kramer, Roscoe/DESIGN.
In 1996 Robert Roscoe left the firm to pursue his individual interests in historic preservation and residential design. We got to keep Howard Roark while Bob got an architect to be named later. The firm then became Roark-Kramer-Kosowski/DESIGN.
Our practice continues to focus on non-profit, community based projects including housing, health care clinics, educational facilities and child care centers, with an occasional unique single-family home or commercial project.
Peter Kramer and Steve Kosowski are general practitioners within the architectural industrial complex. Our Senior Partner Howard Roark does our marketing. We do everything from a two hour consult with Building and Fire officials to save the license of a small non-profit childcare operation; to five years of grunt work, political maneuvering and design to build two hundred units of housing for homeless veterans.
Most of our clients, wonderful people each and every one, are community based non-profits. They represent health clinics, child care centers, supportive housing, charter schools, community centers, and lots and lots of rehabilitated and new housing for neighborhood development corporations serving low and moderate income folks.
We also do some single family houses for people we meet through our contacts with these non-profit agencies. Most of them are in our regional area, but then some are as far away as New York, Florida, Santa Fe, Rio La Plata Argentina, Hawaii, Mexico, and Madagascar.
We have also collaborated with artists on public art projects, and have designed and produced public art for our own projects. Peter serves as Chairman of Public Art Saint Paul where artists and community work together to shape our public places as vessels of public life.
Our professional objectives are quite simple: to serve our clients, their purpose, their needs and their objectives. To this effort we bring a wealth of experience and a willingness to listen and apply what we have learned to the work at hand.*
Included in this brochure are photos representing a wide range of building types and uses. The pictures only tell you how they look; our clients can tell you how they work; ask us about references.
Roark Kramer Kosowski/DESIGN
Born in the last century, we still draw by hand