Alan B. Cohen has been practicing architecture in Sonoma County since 1980, establishing his own firm in 1989. Attention to detail, customer service and a strong working relationship with local jurisdictions have lead to a loyal clientele in the private, public and non-profit sector.

Design philosophy: “We start with the client’s program and design preferences including style, materials, and budget. A look at the site provides context. There are:

  • Practical issues such as access, topography, circulation, and utilities;
  • Aesthetic issues such as surrounding building styles and massing and views from and towards the structure;
  • Microclimate concerns including solar orientation, prevailing wind direction, and diurnal temperature swings.

Every location has its own vernacular; trends and customs that are reflected in the built environment. We try to find ways to connect to this sense of place. We incorporate energy saving concepts to the extent our Client is interested. We add a measure of creativity, a pinch of whimsy & personality, and throw in a few tricks learned over the years. The result is a unique design that is rooted to its site and just ‘feels right’. With commercial and industrial projects, of course, the bottom line is front and center. If a project does not pencil out, there is no project. We understand the economics of development and construction costs and strive to use creativity to deliver good design in a cost effective manner. ”

Building types include: custom homes, wineries, restaurants, live/ work projects, urban infill- both residential and commercial, residential subdivisions, multi-family and affordable housing, office buildings, retail, mixed use, industrial, metal buildings, airport structures, and agricultural buildings.

Remodels, renovations, restorations, and additions are carried out as well as new construction from the ground up.

Services include: project representation, approval processing, town and land planning, building design, preparation of construction documents, cost estimating, bid coordination, assistance with contractor selection and preparation of construction contracts, and full construction administration services. Related consulting includes: development of design guidelines for municipalities as well as individual projects, development of project “policy statements”, defensible space analysis, building code consulting and alternative dispute resolution.

Awards include; a Citation in the 2002 Architectural Design Awards bestowed by the American Institute of Architects Redwood Empire Chapter for the De Turk Commons housing development and the De Turk round Barn rehabilitation, a 2001 Preservation Design Award from the California Preservation Foundation for work on the De Turk Round Barn, and Architect of the Year for 1999/2000 from Burbank Housing Development Corporation, the largest non-profit affordable housing developer in Sonoma County.

Alan was a member of the Healdsburg Planning Commission for 13 years beginning in 1996, and was the author of the City of Santa Rosa’s Design Guidelines in 2002.

Alan received ‘Bachelor of Science’ and ‘Master of Architecture’ degrees from the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor, MI.

Prior to opening his own office, Alan worked for nine years with the architectural firm of John Picchi & Associates in Santa Rosa CA, executing many of the firm’s winery, housing and industrial projects.

An article about Alan in the Sawmill Flier, the Mill District newsletter Alan and Manok Cohen – Mill District (