Great Oak Studio

Great Oak Studio:Architecture



Solar Dwellings at Ghost Ranch
              Solar Dwellings at Ghost Ranch, New Mexico, circa 1983
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Michael C. Messinger

Bachelor of Arts, Colgate University
Master of Architecture, University of Colorado
Licensed in New York, New Jersey, and Colorado
NCARB Certified

Michael is the principal and founder of Great Oak Studio. He has been practicing architecture and construction for over 25 years, gaining a wide range of experience with many different building types and building owner situations. He has worked with many prominent architects, including Blue Sky Studio, Anderson Mason Dale, Urban Design Group, and Perkins Eastman. He also served as staff architect at Columbia University in 2003 and 2004. Prior to entering graduate school, he worked as a carpenter for several years, gaining valuable hands-on knowledge of how a building comes together. He has designed projects in New York, New Jersey, Connecticut, New Hampshire, Vermont, Massachusetts, Colorado, California, and Nevada.

"I believe that an architect should act as facilitator to the client, by listening to the clients' needs and then translating those needs into drawings. The drawings represent the language needed to communicate the client's needs to construction professionals, who then bring the original ideas into reality." Michael understands that most people undertake a building project only a few times in their lives, and the combination of unfamiliarity and high cost can create real anxiety. He concentrates on helping his clients fully understand options, costs, timing, and expectation of results.

Much of Michael's work includes special focus on energy usage, sustainability, and consideration of long-term operating costs. In 1983 he participated in a solar dwellings workshop at the Ghost Ranch in New Mexico, and has been an investigator of alternative energy concepts ever since. In 1994 he converted a Renault Le Car to run on pure ethanol, and drove the car thousands of miles. His scientific background adds to his ability to understand a building's thermal considerations. He is very familiar with LEED guidelines, and other systems that provide referencing to sustainability.

Michael has presented to many municipal boards in the area, and is well versed in the requirements of local and state building codes, as well as handicap access issues. He is familiar with trends in development and urban planning, zoning, open space, and other land-use issues.

For a consultation or references, please call 914-234-4063, or email Michael at


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