FOR THE PAST 23 YEARS, Michael Franck and Art Lohsen have worked together with a dedicated and talented team of professionals as Franck & Lohsen Architects Inc. creating architecture in the realms of ecclesiastical, residential, university, and urban design.

It has been a source of great joy to have created timeless buildings enjoyed by a wide-range of people — from students to homeowners to worshippers; and fortunate to have wonderful clients who placed their trust and vision in our hands — including the peer recognition of the Arthur Ross Award for our body of work.

This September, Franck & Lohsen Architects, Inc. will transform into two new entities. Michael will assume the helm of residential, hospitality and university commissions with Michael M. Franck Architect LLC. Art will assume the helm of ecclesiastical commissions with Bella Chiesa LLC. and, as always, Michael and Art will continue to work in a collaborative spirit which has been a hallmark of their firm.

We are excited about this next chapter as we continue to create enduring architecture.

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Wolfe Street Residence

Alexandria, VA

Rarely is one able to build a new house in the core of an established historic district, particularly in Old Town Alexandria, Virginia. This project was achieved by the savvy of a local real estate development couple who needed an “in town” house. Not being able to find a house they liked, the couple purchased a large property which previously had been approved for 5 townhouses and with an existing home. They divided the property maintaining the existing older home and created a single “new” lot for a new house.

Having raised their family in Alexandria, the couple wanted the home to contribute to the historic fabric of this important town.

As a prior client, we were quickly able to develop a design that met their needs as well as fit within the historic core. A well-known local precedent, Woodlawn Plantation, served as inspiration.

Rather than building on the entire site, the house was located on the corner to “hold the edge” of the street of the historic town. With the use of an existing brick garden wall, the entry to the house is through an expansive garden that also looks on to the adjacent historic dependencies.

Exterior materials include handmade brick, custom mahogany millwork and windows, limestone and custom ironwork. Interior detail was also inspired by the interior of Woodlawn.

The approval process was quite vigorous and in the end the only request was for the addition of a cornerstone to ensure the new house would never be seen as an “older/historic house so as not to confuse”. There was no better compliment we could have asked for!