WELCOME TO RACo.
We are the Raleigh Architecture Company based in North Carolina.
The Raleigh Architecture Company and The Raleigh Construction Company are two separate companies bound by a passion for modern architecture and high-quality production. Our constant collaboration enables us to engage in design, build, and design-build projects.
As licensed architects and general contractors, we consider designing and making to be the same. This unique position allows us to maximize our clients' economic means by providing efficient, cost appropriate solutions to design problems that meet each project’s design intent. We are able to successfully exceed standard material and craft expectations through our intimate understanding of each subcontractor’s skill sets, our own fabricator's abilities, and by employing only makers with an architectural education.
Our names reflect a commitment to our evolving, exciting city and a desire to spread the innovation and creativity found in Raleigh to other parts of the world. We maintain both our office and shop under one roof in Raleigh's downtown warehouse district where design, wood working, and steel fabrication intersect with our clients' ideas and experiences to inform each of our projects.
Robby Johnston, AIA - Principal
Johnston is a co-owner and licensed architect of the Raleigh Architecture Co. With a BArch from the University of North Carolina at Charlotte, Johnston has worked at Michael Ross Kersting Architecture, Tonic Design & Tonic Construction, and Clearscapes Art+Architecture. His involvement with designing and building the first LEED-certified structures in North Carolina has earned him many awards, including the 2012 AIA NC Design Honor Award and COTE Award. Johnston, an active member in the AIA, has been recently appointed to the City of Raleigh Appearance Commission.
Craig Kerins, AIA - Principal
Kerins is a co-owner, licensed architect, and general contractor of the Raleigh Architecture Co. His skills range from expert design, and advanced construction techniques, to subcontractor coordination, as well as furniture design. With a BArch from the University of North Carolina at Charlotte, Kerins has worked with Hurt Partners Architects and Jay Hargrave Architecture. He was a notable recipient of the AIA Alpha Rho Chi Bronze Medal, and his furniture design has been featured at Design Within Reach and the Fine Contemporary Craft Biennial in Raleigh.
Claire Craven - Project Leader
Craven graduated from the BArch program of the University of Tennessee College of Architecture and Design. Her involvement with the New Norris House design-build project was recognized as an AIA 2013 Top Ten Green Project and her fifth-year thesis received a Faculty Design Award and the Tau Sigma Delta Bronze Medal honorable mention. Craven worked for Gray Organschi Architecture in New Haven, Connecticut before relocating to Raleigh.
Matthew Fornaro - Construction Leader
Fornaro earned his BArch from North Carolina State University and has worked for Tonic Design & Tonic Construction, the Chicago office of Adrian Smith + Gordon Gill Architecture, and Alphin Design Build. He received numerous awards, including the 2010 AIA Small Project Award for the Art as Shelter Pavilion at the NC Museum of Art and the NCMA National Concrete Block Design Competition. An avid fencer, Fornaro is an assistant coach for the Raleigh Fencers Club and competes at regional and national competitions.
Taylor Medlin, Assoc. AIA - Project Leader
Medlin received a BEDA from North Carolina State University and an M.Arch from UC Berkeley, California in 2010. He has worked at Tonic Design & Tonic Construction and Kieran Timberlake in Philadelphia, PA. Medlin’s work with environmental based design has received numerous awards from the 2008 Central Glass Design competition in Tokyo, to the Temporary Outdoor Gallery Spaces competition in Austin, as well as the 2009 John K. Branner Traveling Fellowship. He is a past director of the Raleigh Chapter of CreativeMornings and is founder and owner of Cross-Hatch Printing Co.
Chris Riley, AIA - Project Architect
Riley hails from Mississippi and earned his Bachelor of Architecture from Mississippi State University in 2004. His previous work experience includes Howorth and Associates in Oxford, MS and Manuel Zeitlin Architects in Nashville, TN. While in Nashville, he worked as architect and project coordinator for several notable commercial projects including the mixed use, ULI Award-winning Acklen Flats; the Nashville Craft Distillery; Rocketship United Academy Elementary School; and the Turnip Truck organic grocery store which received an East Side Beautification Award upon opening.
Bret Ritter - LEED AP, Construction Leader
Ritter holds a B.A. in Architectural Design from Southwest University of Visual Arts, Tuscon, Arizona. He has worked as both designer and builder, having started his career with 2003 in Tuscon before moving on to New York City to work with Greenstreet Inc., one of that city's first Green Builders. Here he managed multiple ground up townhouse projects, high end retail, and the Tri-State's first LEED certified restaurant. After seven years in the "cut throat and hectic NYC building industry," he transitioned to Tough Mudder where he managed construction, logistics, and budgets for courses throughout the US.
Lauren Woodard - Project Leader
Woodard is a graduate of North Carolina State University’s BArch program. Her academic work earned her scholarships from the Triangle Chapter of the AIA and the Eduardo Catalano Architecture Endowment. While at school she pursued particular interests in infrastructural systems and digital representation as a member of the Coastal Dynamics Design Lab and research assistant to the Victoria’s Lost Pavilion and Paul’s Cross projects.
Awards and Honors
2016 — AIA South Atlantic Regional
2016 AIA SAR Honor Award/ Edentwin
2016 — Sir Walter Raleigh
2016 Sir Walter Raleigh Award - Residential/ Hungry Neck Urban Infill
2016 — AIA Triangle
2016 AIA Triangle Merit Award/ Hungry Neck Residence
2015 Triangle Tour of Residential Architecture / Hungry Neck Residence
2015 AIA NC Honor Award/ Edentwin
2015 July 3rd — Indy Week
Best of the Triangle 2015 – Architect in Wake County
2014 July 4th — Indy Week
Best of the Triangle 2014 – Architect
2014 Triangle Tour of Residential Architecture / 554 & 556 E. Edenton St.
Connections from Old Raleigh to New / J. Michael Welton
Sustainability + Vision + Passion = RACo / Kim Weiss
Building Raleigh / Sandra Davidson
Two compact modern homes fill challenging empty lots in an old, urban neighborhood / Kristine Lofgren
10.23.2015 — Triangle Business Journal
Raleigh architects honored for ‘Edentwins'
How Modern Style and Matching Buildings Re-Energized a Raleigh Neighborhood / Patrick Sisson
Modern homes come to downtown Raleigh / Anna Laurel
Edentwin: a compact pair of houses in downtown Raleigh / Caroline Williamson
Compact Modern Duo – The Raleigh Architecture Co.
Housing stock near downtown gets a jolt of modernism / David Bracken
Lessons from a dream kitchen / Andrea Weigl
East of Edenton: Modernist house at home in the inner city / Kim Weiss
Modern Designs for Downtown Raleigh / J. Michael Welton
A Pair of Aces for Downtown Raleigh / J. Michael Welton
Modernism without the fuss / Sarah Nagem
Dasgupta Saucier Residence by The Raleigh Architecture Co.