Modern Original People: Chris Kofitsas

Chris Kofitsas is the founder and president of New World Design Builders, an original, first-of-its-kind firm that fuses modern architecture, construction and interior design. It’s an innovative firm where multiple creative services are streamlined for success. Ever the collaborator, Chris’ reputation for elevating a client’s dream space from concept to completion is built upon a foundation that combines his professional and people skills: he is a great listener who delves into his clients’ goals. As a man of high style, his taste is always trusted.

Through his 20+ years as an architect, he is known for pushing the luxury aesthetic, instilling feelings of warmth, happiness and accessibility for anyone lucky enough to revel in his clientele’s stylishly comfortable surroundings. And sometimes, he can revel too: “As someone who designs spaces where others go to escape, playtime is often indistinguishable from work. I seek retreats where nature continues to inspire me. During my last break, I stayed at a client’s property, The Gansevoort in Turks + Caicos. The multi-blue aqua hues of the the sea and the surrounding tropical flora and fauna serve as a specific source of inspiration that might influence my next project for other Gansevoort properties.”

His extraordinary array of talents in creating visually, emotionally and tactilely enriching multi-sensory experiences served as an early career trademark: as a vanguard in his field, Chris was among the first architects tapping into today’s “new” wellness vibe as a factor in architecture and design, who always incorporated nature organically into a space. Influenced by his earliest projects for the beauty industry, and as one of the youngest architects to refine spa and salon open-floor plans, Chris launched his career in New York City, where top-tier salons helmed by star-stylists Peter Coppola, John Sahag and Mark Garrison were among his first assignments.

Shortly thereafter, nodding to his father’s inspirational legacy as one of New Jersey’s most highly-rated contractors, Chris launched his own firm to combine his architectural pedigree with construction, skills developed while observing and occasionally working for his dad. His new firm was quickly hired to design and build renowned salon-spas across the NY-NJ metropolitan area including Bangz, an ultra-cool repurposed church; DiPasquale, a getaway day spa infused with languorous water and night-sky inspiration; the revolutionary Maximus and more, subsequently earning Chris multiple Salon of the Year Awards from Salon Today.

The resulting national attention afforded by national beauty editors and influencers heading to his chicly innovative salons skyrocketed his evolving business; he was soon hired by several of hospitality’s top restaurateurs to design and construct their newest dining destinations and nightclubs. Catch LA, a cosmopolitan roof-top oasis perched atop West Hollywood’s hip Melrose section, is his most recently completed project and where his signature style of weaving lush botanicals organically into and around a structure reaches breathtaking new heights.

Chris’ challenges in creating original design for repeat clients like Catch (its sister restaurant in New York City opened first) is greatly influenced by a specific locale’s unique point-of-view, where surrounding buildings and businesses create a harmonious, somewhat microcosmic setting extending beyond the front door. This celeb haute spot, described as a welcoming “visual wonderland” by Eater LA, is currently one of the most Instagramable restaurants by stars including Modern Family’s Sofia Vergara and fashionista stylist Rachel Zoe. Its vibe also evokes HBO’s Entourage: any fan of the show could easily envision Vincent Chase and crew there nightly.

Recently lauded by Architectural Digest as one of today’s top five hospitality design pros, a facet that brands his signature style and tying every project together is timeless original design: whether renovating an existing structure or building anew, Chris’ work always feels au courant even years after first opening its doors. Case in point: Chris’ iconic James Beard Award-winning ABC Kitchen seamlessly mirrors celebrity chef Jean-Georges Vongerichten’s ethos and his menu of serving only pristine organic ingredients. Here, Chris’ artful design and construction featured recycled, repurposed and sustainably-sourced materials; white-washed furniture, walls and floors seemingly emanate an airy atmosphere where gently natural light filters in despite being housed in a basement.

Chris is now expanding his practice to include private residential design and construction. He notes, “People who are world-travelers often seek to imbue their recent journeys into their homes, whether it’s through accents, artwork or the architectural layout.” Chris is also tasked with designing several homes with sky-high views at 432 Park Avenue, the Western Hemisphere’s highest tower and rumor has it, NYC’s most expensive building. One of his most famous clients in this category is makeup artist Laura Mercier, who espouses that “what makes you unique makes you beautiful,” a philosophy that also defines Chris and his astoundingly original work.

To learn more about Chris,  visit his website: http://www.chriskofitsas.com/ or  follow him on Instagram at @ChrisKofitsas