AxD - why it matters

it happen

Always by Design - How We Are Different

MAKING it happen

Where do I start?
This is the most common question I hear from owners ready to initiate a major renovation or new construction project.
My answer? Start a conversation with an experienced professional.

The Process

My goal is to have clients feel comfortable and confident throughout the design and construction process. This involves, not only listening to their specific concerns at any given time, but also providing structured leadership for making aesthetic, cost-effective and timely decisions. That leadership process generally unfolds in the following sequence:

Information Gathering – where I listen to what a client wants, learn about their tastes and their lifestyle, become familiar with the specifics of their property (land and/or existing building), and determine applicable constraints (financial, regulatory, scheduling, etc.)

Schematic Design – where we determine how to fit all of the pieces of the puzzle together – so that spaces are of the right sizes, flow well from one to another, and result in an overall form or organization that expresses wholeness. By the end of this phase we know how big the house would be (area and height) and have a sense of an appropriate construction budget.

Design Development – where we focus in detail at the feel and aesthetic experiences we want to achieve in each space. In this phase we exchange ideas about materials and products, and where to apply them. We also refine layouts of built-ins and make preliminary selections of mechanical systems, plumbing fixtures and other building systems.

Construction/Bid Documentation – where we develop the overall drawings, details and technical specifications needed to obtain competitive bids from builders and the requisite municipal approvals for starting construction.

Construction Period – where I act as the owner’s representative to the builder – periodically monitoring on-site construction progress, reviewing progress payments and providing supplementary information to the builder as needed. Prior to Owner move-in I assure completion of “punch-list” deficiencies, turn-over of warranties and final certificates, and satisfaction of financial requirements.

The goal of every project is to develop new and lasting relationships, inspiring clients, colleagues and contractors along the way to work together to create something truly greater than the sum of its parts.

AxD - Experience we bring

we're different

AxD Always by Design How We are Different

HOW we're different

It’s likely that you’re busy and perhaps also feeling somewhat daunted about what architect to choose to work with. To help you determine if AxD might offer the right fit for you, here are five key characteristics of the Always by Design practice:


The sole focus of Always by Design is designing contemporary single-family homes — directly for owners. Every project is custom-designed to the specifics of each homeowner’s goals and resources, seeking to achieve the best value using contemporary materials and practices.

Within the overall category of “single-family homes”, we do:

  • New Primary Residences — in rural, suburban and urban communities
  • Vacation Houses – in coastal, lakefront, mountainside and forest environments
  • Building Conversions to homes, from earlier uses for worship or business
  • Additions – either vertically or horizontally to create more livable space
  • Renovations – to re-vitalize homes for new owners or new stages of their lives


You (and the contractor) will have a single point-of-contact for your entire project – Ed Barnhart, AIA, principal of Always by Design. Ed found it to be of greater value to his clients to apply his thirty-plus years of experience to working directly for owners — rather than indirectly, mentoring a staff of lesser experience. Now, as a sole practitioner, he is able to provide exceptional single-source continuity for every project– from conception to completion. For owners, working with Ed means holistic involvement in their project from a “high altitude” level down to the smallest of details.


Ed began his career in Upstate NY, working for a custom home builder and forming his own construction business prior to becoming a registered architect. Ed practiced for over twenty years in internationally recognized architectural firms, with projects on three continents, before founding Always by Design in 2005. Since then, in addition to extensive travel, he has renovated and designed houses for his own family. It has been the culmination of these experiences that enables Ed to be incomparably knowledgeable and empathetic to the needs of owners, contractors, engineers and approval agency officials.


The core passion behind AxD is in crafting contemporary homes from the particulars of place, people and purpose. The search is to understand the unique circumstances and essential nature underlying each project, and apply them as the basis for creating inspired work that is authentic to our time. Ed works to make every relationship a success and the basis of a long-term relationship. The results are evidenced by the high proportion of repeat clients and contractor referrals AxD receives on an on-going basis.


All AxD projects start with a free initial consultation. Having the opportunity to meet an owner face-to-face and visit a property firsthand is well worth a few hours of time invested up front. After getting a sense of who I’ll be working with, the goals they are trying to achieve, and the relevant constraints and resources, I typically develop a fixed fee proposal, outlining step-by-step the tasks I see as necessary to get to the desired outcome. I don’t charge hourly or to a percentage of construction cost. I’d much rather focus on the project itself rather than risk a client’s confidence that I’m padding hourly invoices or adding project complexity (construction costs) to increase my profits. I want owners to have the confidence from the outset of understanding what they are getting.

AxD - news about us

about us

News about A-X-D Philadelphia Architecture

NEWS about us

While our projects portfolio and testimonials give a more intimate sense of who we are and what we do, the following chronology of specific events – awards, publications and speaking engagements provides an overview of the evolution of the Always by Design practice.

July 2020 Published in “The Modern Residence”, a full-color book showcasing inspired modern homes imagined and designed by the nation’s leading architects. See what they wrote.

June 2020 AxD prequalified by Princeton University as a consulting design architect for modernizing Mid-Century homes for their faculty and staff.

Feb 2020 Awarded “Best of Houzz 2020” for service professionalism for third year.

Jan 2020 Ranked in Top 20 of Best Architects in Philadelphia by

Jan 2018 Received “Best of Houzz 2018” for service professionalism for second year in a row.

Jan 2017 Awarded “Best of Houzz 2017” for service professionalism in turning client’s home improvement dreams into reality.

Apr 2016 Practice moves to a new space at 1315 Walnut Street – Suite 320.

Sep 2015 AxD celebrates its tenth anniversary with 6 new projects in design and construction in PA & NJ.

Feb 2015 Ed Barnhart interviewed for February 22nd Philadelphia Inquirer article “Contractors, Architects Say Fireplaces Are Hot”.

Jan 2015 Awarded “Best of Houzz 2015” for diverse design portfolio of new homes from rural Maine to the Jersey shore and urban Philadelphia.

Oct 2014 Featured in Philadelphia Magazine, Liz Spikol describes our Prospect House as “an award-winning, eco-friendly gem” (pages 147-149).

Aug 2014 Featured architect in Philadelphia Magazine’s “Best of Philly 2014” issue: Home Guide of Pros to Know, AxD is described as “…having an understated touch, smoothly resolving tough design problems before you know you have them”.

Jun 2014 The Preservation Alliance of Greater Philadelphia gives a Grand Jury Award to our John C. Haas Archive of Science and Business at Chemical Heritage Foundation at their 21st Annual Preservation Achievements Awards Ceremony.

Feb 2014 Fine Homebuilding Magazine selects Prospect House as one of ten national finalists for their Readers’ Choice Awards house competition. See their “Houses 2014 Awards Issue”, Summer 2104.

Jan 2014 Prospect House receives its second award for design excellence; a Merit Award from the New Jersey Chapter of the American Institute of Architects. Read NJAIA press release and design jury comments.

Oct 2013 The John C. Haas Archive of Industry and Business is dedicated at Chemical Heritage Foundation; featuring a mobile hi-bay shelving system 36 ft. high, providing 1-1/2 miles of shelving on historic rowhouse site only 16 ft. wide. (See details of archive project.)

Sep 2013 AxD receives a design Honor Award for Prospect House in Cape May Point, NJ from the Society of American Registered Architects (SARA), Pennsylvania Chapter. (See photos of completed house.)

Nov 2012 Construction begins on new Archives of Science and Industry building at the Chemical Heritage Foundation in Philadelphia, PA. Project includes a mobile hi-bay shelving system (36 ft. high), the highest in the world.

Aug 2012 Construction completed on Whittier Pond Guest House in Vienna, ME. House includes such sustainable design features as site-harvested and cured timber and re-use of reclaimed granite foundation stones.

Jun 2012 Construction completed on Prospect House on New Jersey shore – a new Energy Star certified; LEED Silver-designed, four bedroom, single family residence.

Jun 2011 Ed Barnhart awarded “Architect/Designer of the Year” by the National Electrical Contractors Association (NECA) “for Outstanding Work on the design of the NECA Headquarters” for the Penn-Del-Jersey Chapter.

Feb 2011 Construction completed on new 10,000 sq. ft. regional headquarters of the National Electrical Contractors Association (NECA) featuring 40-person boardroom, multi-media training and conference rooms, dining room, reception spaces and full catering facilities as well as extensive administrative work areas.

Dec 2010 AxD Studio and Gallery featured in RFP Magazine, an international magazine for real estate and facilities planners, in cover article entitled “Corporate Convertables”.

Jan 2010 Ed Barnhart serves as design juror for Artemide’s Philadelphia Showroom Lighting Competition.

Apr 2009 Ed Barnhart serves as design juror for Philadelphia CANstruction Design Competition.

Mar 2009 Gallery facade unveiled of design-build project done for Bridge Art Gallery in conjunction with ‘Nothing to Fear’ painting exhibition by Peter G.-Ray.

Nov 2008 Awarded Merit Award by the Pennsylvania Chapter of American Institute of Architects (AIA) for AxD Studio and Gallery renovations.

Nov 2008 Awarded Best Design-Build Project by the General Building Contractors Association (GBCA) for American Philosophical Society renovations.

Oct 2008 Receive Award of Excellence from Society of American Registered Architects (SARA), Pennsylvania Council for thirteen01 restaurant + bar.

May 2008 Construction completed on $6.15M design-build project of four-phase renovations of two buildings at American Philosophical Society. Scope included conservation lab, reading rooms, offices and archive spaces.

Dec 2007 Ed Barnhart serves as design juror for New Hampshire AIA Chapter Design Awards.

Oct 2007 Awarded Honor Award by the Philadelphia Chapter of American Institute of Architects (AIA) for AxD Studio and Gallery renovations.

Jun 2007 AxD Studio and Gallery featured in CONTEXT, the journal of AIA Philadelphia, in Summer/Fall issue.

May 2007 AxD Gallery receives Readers’ Choice Award for creating ‘Best Art Gallery’ from Philadelphia Citypaper.

Sep 2005 The architectural practice of Always by Design (AxD) is formed by Ed Barnhart, AIA in Philadelphia.

Praise About Always by Design - Philadelphia Architect

about AxD

Always by Design - Praise

PRAISE about AxD

While great work does speak for itself, there is only so much that a stone will reveal. During the course of our work we are engaged with a myriad of people – owners, contractors, engineers and countless others in the pursuit of a successfully realized project. Here are a few things that people who have worked closely with us have said:

My husband and I engaged Ed Barnhart of Always by Design a year ago to draft plans for a whole house renovation. We purchased a modest colonial in Moorestown, NJ; which after living in its many small rooms for two years decided we needed more space and a more functional, modern layout of the first floor. Ed worked with us for months to give us exactly what we wanted, needed and could afford. His process is amazing and we always felt heard and understood. I cannot stress enough how much this meant to us. We came to rely upon Ed’s honed process of listening, assessing, prioritizing and consolidating (over and over and over). He is nothing if not gracious and patient. His attention to detail is also above reproach. His final rendering was better than anything we could have imagined. His design was fresh, ingenious and forward thinking. The construction documents were meticulous; every builder that reviewed them commented on Ed’s thoroughness and professionalism. And beyond the documents, Ed has supported a holistic approach to our property renovation by meeting and working together with other professionals that we are engaged with. We cannot say enough good things about Ed’s work and character.

B.G. – Client/Homeowner

We bought land on a small private lake in Maine. The building site was quite challenging because it is on an extreme slope. Having previously worked with him on three other projects (two complete homes and one major addition), we knew we needed Ed for this one.
We found an old hand-cut granite foundation that was quarried over 100 years ago within 20 miles of our site. Ed said, “I’ll work it into the design.” To clear the build site we had to cut down a dozen or so majestic hemlocks. Ed did the research on how to store them and said, “Save them, I’ll work them into the design.”
The result is a summer home that is so much a part of the landscape, it looks like it grew here. The design is unique and spectacular — while meeting our functional needs and aesthetic preferences.
Ed has stuck with us and our projects through construction and beyond. What continues to amaze us is how every builder we have used has begun the relationship with Ed with the same healthy skepticism that builders typically reserve for architects. But they quickly learn that in addition to his artistic sense, Ed also has a real knowledge of construction and a practical outlook. In the end, he has earned the trust and respect of every one of them.

N.VW. – Client/Homeowner

AxD not only understands the owner’s needs in order to develop the proper program, but they bring knowledge of how to work with the existing conditions.

R.D. – Construction Manager

Here’ s the secret about Ed: he worked as a carpenter when he was in school. Why is this important? Because he understands that his designs actually need to get BUILT! He has a terrific awareness of the feasibility of building what he envisions- and he works well with the construction crew to get problems solved.

M.F.S. – Client/Non-profit CFO

I have worked with many architects and I can say Ed Barnhart is clearly one of the best. His perspective for design and space is spot on. His focus on attention and detail makes him an outstanding architect. Friendly and professional.

M.A.W. – Custom Home Builder

I credit our architects… for listening carefully to our needs, helping us to plan for a better cultural institution, and delivering again and again to bring a complicated plan to fruition.

M.L.L. – Owner’s Representative for Cultural Non-profit

I have worked with Ed Barnhart on 2 recent projects and appreciate his knowledge, experience, efficiency and suggestions when it comes to design.
He was hired as the Architect-of-record for multiple storefront interior alterations and helped prepare for permits as well as execute the final product so we were able to get approval from the city and open in a timely manner.


I was one of AxD’s first clients and continue to go back. AxD did a substantial design-build of my gatehouse at the shore. It’s absolutely beautiful and unique. Very professional, responsive, and high-quality work from design process to actual build/installation. I’d highly recommend their work.

M.R.– Client/Homeowner

I first worked with Ed when he was chosen to renovate my workplace. That was such a good experience that I asked him to design my new home.
One of the many things I liked about working with him is that he was available to answer my questions from the beginning to the end of each project— unlike firms where you wind up working with junior staff after the initial meetings. Ed was also very perceptive, and quickly understood what made me tick. This led to insightful discussions about how I wanted to use the spaces, and also what would be important to me visually. With him, communicating thoughts and ideas that translated into design became so simple.
My recent project demanded much use of Ed’s thoughtful listening skills and his ability to gracefully problem-solve. The result? Every time I enter my new home, I first breathe a sigh of relief –“I’m Home!”— and then happily go from room to room taking in all of the beauty. I do this every time…over a year after my home was completed.

A.D. – “User”/Patron

I am writing in regard to my experience in working with Edward Barnhart in his capacity as project architect… with Venturi Scott Brown Associates for the Barnes Foundation gallery [a major] preservation project. As gallery director, I was the Foundation’s project liaison overseeing the $14,000,000 preservation project of the 1925 gallery. Without exception, I can say the Mr. Barnhart is a highly effective, detail-orientated architect, whose calm demeanor kept a difficult project on track with excellent results.

As with all projects, we had a tight budget and schedule, but unlike many projects, we also had a major requirement of aesthetic perfection because of the gallery environment. Mr. Barnhart led the project in a professional manner and kept the disparate team of contractors and design consultants working towards a common goal. His attention to detail is a strength that yields magnificent results in the completed project. Details are not left up to a contractor whose only concern is cutting expense at the cost of quality. However, when the issue of value engineering comes up, he is able to respond in a realistic manner that does not sacrifice the overall intention of the project.

I would recommend Mr. Barnhart for any architectural project. He has extensive experience in historic preservation, museum design, institutional, and residential projects. He is a pleasure to work with and I think he would be an outstanding designer for any project. I give him my highest recommendation.

R.L.M. — Owner’s Representative for Cultural Non-profit

AxD - inspiring our work

we serve

AxD Architecture - Areas we serve - Northeast U.S.

AREAS we serve

While many of the owners we work with live in the Greater Philadelphia region, close to our home base in Center City Philadelphia, the sites of houses we’ve designed have ranged from Maine to Virginia and out to the furthest tip of Long Island in Montauk. We’d love to have a chance to visit your house site and bring out what’s special for you. Here’s an overview of where we have already worked:

Routinely Serving:

Greater Philadelphia

  • Bucks County, PA
  • Chester County, PA
  • Delaware County, PA
  • Montgomery County, PA
  • Philadelphia County, PA

Mid- & Southern New Jersey

  • Atlantic County, NJ
  • Burlington County, NJ
  • Camden County, NJ
  • Cape May County, NJ
  • Mercer County, NJ
  • Monmouth County, NJ
  • Ocean County, NJ


  • Delaware County, DE
  • City of Roanoke, VA
  • Wilmington County, DE

New York & New England

  • Chittenden County, VT
  • Dutchess County, NY
  • Essex County, NY
  • Kennebec County, ME
  • Suffolk County, NY
  • Westchester County, NY

Project Locations:


  • Wilmington, DE 19807


  • Vienna, ME 04360

New Jersey

  • Avalon, NJ 08202
  • Avon By The Sea, NJ 07717
  • Cape May, NJ 08204
  • Cape May Point, NJ 08212
  • Cherry Hill, NJ 08003
  • Haddonfield,NJ 08033
  • Hammonton, NJ 08086
  • Lawrenceville, NJ 08648
  • Little Egg Harbor Township, NJ 08087
  • Longport, NJ 08403
  • Mantoloking, NJ 08738
  • Morristown, NJ 07962
  • North Cape May, NJ 08204
  • Ocean City, NJ 08226
  • Sea Girt, NJ 08750
  • Stone Harbor, NJ 08247
  • West Cape May, NJ 08204
  • Wildwood Crest, NJ 08260

Project Locations:

New York

  • Annandale-on-Hudson, NY 12504
  • Fire Island Pines, NY 11782
  • Lake Placid, NY 12946
  • Montauk, NY 11954
  • Mt. Kisco, NY 10549


  • Chadds Ford, PA 19317
  • Croydon, PA 19021
  • Feasterville, PA 19053
  • Gladwyne, PA 19035
  • Huntington Valley, PA 19006
  • King of Prussia, PA 19406
  • Malvern, PA 19355
  • Norristown, PA 19403
  • Penn Valley, PA 19072
  • Philadelphia, PA 19147
  • Radnor, PA 19087
  • Wynnewood, PA 19096


  • Shelburne, VT 05482


  • Roanoke, VA 24014

AxD - words of wisdom

of wisdom

Always by Design - Words of Wisdom


Inspired by 26 years of professional practice, architect Ed Barnhart wrote 26 essays for The Wisdom Project to celebrate and distill design observations and lessons learned – each mnemonically keyed to a letter of the alphabet.

AxD - questions often asked

often asked

QUESTIONS often asked

There are a number of questions we hear frequently. Hopefully we will have an opportunity to discuss some of the following topics further with you in person:

You, as the owner, want (and need) to have confidence in the architect you’ll be working with. Start by asking yourself what aspects about your project make you the most anxious? Those are key areas where you’ll want to feel most confident with your architect. Are you most concerned about: Aesthetics, finding the right products, construction cost control, schedule, contractor oversight, community approvals, technical know-how, or coordination of details? Interview several architects and compare how comfortable they make you feel when answering your concerns. Talk to their references, asking the same questions. Make sure that the person answering your questions is the one you’ll be working with day-to-day. Using this approach you’ll be evaluating and hiring an architect based on what matters most to you. That’s the best criteria to use.

We work exclusively on designing contemporary single-family homes directly with owners themselves. (In other words, we don’t do commercial work, “generic” developer projects, multi-family housing, or houses “in-the-style-of” historical periods.)

Within the overall category of “single-family homes”, we do:

  • New Primary Residences — in rural, suburban and urban communities
  • Vacation Houses – in coastal, lakefront, mountainside or forest environments
  • Building Conversions to homes, from earlier uses for worship or business
  • Additions – either vertically or horizontally to create more livable space
  • Renovations – to re-vitalize homes for new owners or new stages of their lives

No. Although we’ve had considerable first-hand construction experience, as a company we strictly provide architectural design services. We work with a large number of different, independent contractors and do not require our clients to work with any one in particular. Our role is providing guidance and options for the owner’s ultimate choice of contractor.

Not really. Our smallest project was adding a full-height bay window to the side of a family room with a showerhead at the ceiling, floor drain and sculptural dead tree – to serve as an indoor “rainforest perch” for a tropical bird (in Philadelphia). To us, the most critical factor is not the size of a project, but rather how invested the owner is in achieving very particular results – instead of settling for generic solutions.

Without question we feel that continuing our involvement during construction makes for a smoother process and results in a far better end product. That having been said, although we advocate for full involvement during construction, ultimately it is the owner’s decision as to how much our services are utilized in that phase. We typically give owners a range of options for our level of involvement during the construction phase.

We are often called upon to assist prospective property buyers in deciding if a given site or existing building will lend itself to achieving their goals. Sometimes we are able to provide sufficient guidance on the basis of a simple walk-thru. Other times we will undertake a quick feasibility study to test the workability of options for renovations or additions. We welcome the opportunity to work at the earliest stages of your decision-making process.

We don’t have any standard formula to answer that question. Like our projects, our fees are thoughtfully worked out for each client and situation. Unlike many of our peers, in most cases we work to a fixed fee – rather than hourly or to a percentage of construction cost. We’d much rather focus on the project itself rather than watch the clock, and we’d rather have the client’s confidence that construction costs aren’t being inflated to increase our profits. In addition to providing the owner with a fixed fee, we also typically break our services into essential services and additional options (e.g. how involved we are during construction). This enables owners to engage us to the extent they feel provides the best value for their needs.

Typically our work scope ends with anything that’s “nailed down” – meaning that we design all of the interior finishes and built-in lighting and solar shading, but usually do not select final loose furniture and portable lamps . However, even though we may not be making final furniture choices, we typically do provide the space planning services to determine the extent of furnishings and their placement. We frequently select the paint color palettes with the owner, but not always.

An initial consultation with us is free. We find that having the opportunity to meet you face-to-face and visiting a property firsthand is well worth a few hours of our time invested. We’d welcome an inquiry from you about a project you might be considering undertaking.

AxD - awards and recognition

and recognition

AxD - BEFORE being built 1

AWARDS and recognition

Since its inception in 2005 the firm has been recognized with a variety of state and local awards.

2020 Published in “The Modern Residence”, a full-color book showcasing inspired modern homes imagined and designed by the nation’s leading architects.

2020 Awarded “Best of Houzz 2020” for service professionalism for third year.

2020 Ranked in the “Top 18 Best Architects in Philadelphia” by from among 309 firms evaluated in the region.

2018 Received “Best of Houzz 2018” for service professionalism for second year in a row.

2017 Best of Customer Service Award on for professionalism in turning client’s home improvement dreams into reality.

2015 Best of Design Award on for recognition of design ideas inspirational to the home remodeling and design community.

2014 Merit Award from the New Jersey Chapter of the American Institute of Architects for Prospect House; Jury comment: “[It] has a 21st century Victorian quality. Powerful, elegant abstraction of a Victorian [house].”

2014 Grand Jury Award from The Preservation Alliance of Greater Philadelphia for John C. Haas Archive of Science and Business at Chemical Heritage Foundation.

2013 Honor Award for Prospect House from the Society of American Registered Architects (SARA).

2008 Award of Excellence for thirteen0I restaurant+bar from Society of American Registered Architects (SARA).

2008 Merit Award for AxD Gallery and Studio from Pennsylvania Chapter of American Institute of Architects.

2008 Best Design-Build Project Award for American Philosophical Society from General Building Contractors Association.

2007 Honor Award for AxD Gallery and Studio from Philadelphia Chapter of American Institute of Architects.

AxD - inspiring our work

our work

Always by Design - Inspiring Our Work

INSPIRING our work

INSPIRATION can strike at the strangest of times and places. Often times it’s completely serendipitous. Sometimes a more purposeful search proves most rewarding. The library of AxD’s founder Ed Barnhart gives a hint of some of our favorite sources of inspiration.

Modern Masters (Architects)

Alvar Aalto, a+u (Architecture and Urbanism), May 1983 Special Edition issue

Asplund, Claes Caldenby; Rizzoli Press, 1985

Barragan: Space and Shadow, Walls and Colour, Daniele Pauly; Birkhauser, 2002

Sverre Fehn: The Thought of Construction, Per Olaf Fjeld; Rizzoli Press, 1983

The Architecture of Frank Furness, Frank F. O’Gorman; The Philadelphia Museum of Art, 1973

Louis I. Kahn: Light and Space, Urs Buttiker; Whitney Library of Design, 1994

Louis I. Kahn: Drawing to Find Out – The Dominican Motherhouse and the Patient Search for Architecture, Michael Merrill; Lars Muller Publishers, 2010

Louis I. Kahn: Complete Work 1935-1974, Heinz Ronner et. al; The Swiss Federal Institute of Technology Zurich, 1987

What Will Be Has Always Been: The Words of Louis I. Kahn, Richard Saul Wurman; Rizzoli Press, 1986

LeCorbusier 1910-1965, W. Boesiger et. al.; Verlag fur Architektur, 1967

Le Corbusier: The Chapel of Notre-Dame Du Haut at Ronchamp, Maria Antonietta Crippa; Royal Academy Publications, 2014

Cosmos of Light: The Sacred Architecture of Le Corbusier, Henry Plummer; Indianna University Press 2013

Juha Leiviska and the Continuity of Finnish Modern Architecture, Malcom Quantrill; Wiley-Academy, 2001

The Place of Houses, Charles Moore et. al; Holt, Rinehart and Winston, 1974

Neutra: Complete Works, Peter Gossel; Tashen GmbH, 2010

Carlo Scarpa, Robert McCarter; Phaidon Press, 2013

Carlo Scarpa: Layers, Anne-Catrin Schultz; Edition Axel Manges, 2014

Schindler, James Steele; Tashen GmbH, 2005

The Wright Space: Pattern and Meaning in Frank Lloyd Wright’s Houses, Grant Hildebrand; University of Washington, 1991

Venturi, Rauch & Scott Brown: Buildings and Projects, Stanislaus von Moos; Rizzoli Press, 1987

Complexity and Contradiction in Architecture, Robert Venturi; The Museum of Modern Art, 1966

Contemporary Architects

Ando: Complete Works 1975-2014, Philip Jodidio; Tashen GmbH, 2014

Bohlin Cywinski Jackson: The Nature of Circumstance, Bohlin Cywinski Jackson; Rizzoli Press, 2010

Searching for True, Cutler Anderson Architects; Rizzoli Press, 2009

Peter Eisenman’s House VI: The Client’s Response, Suzanne Frank; Whitney Library of Design, 1994

Building Art: The Life and Work of Frank Gehry, Paul Goldberger; Alfred A. Knopf, 2015

Thomas Heatherwick: Making, Thomas Heatherwick; The Monacelli Pres, 2012

Anchoring, Steven Holl; Princeton Architectural Press, 1991

Steven Holl: Architecture Spoken, Steven Holl Architects; Rizzoli Press, 2007

Franklin D. Israel, Thomas Hines; Rizzoli Press, 1992 [deceased]

Desert Works, Rick Joy; Princeton Architectural Press, 2002

Tom Kundig: Works, Tom Kundig; Princeton Architectural Press, 2015

One Place Two Decades, Salvatore Larosa, et. al., The Avery Group, 2016

Plain Modern: The Architecture of Brian MacKay-Lyons, Malcom Quantrill; Princeton Architectural Press, 2005

Miller/Hull: Architects of the Pacific Northwest, Sheri Olson; Princeton Architectural Press, 2001

Rural Studio: Samuel Mockbee and an Architecture of Decency, Andrea Oppenheimer Dean; Princeton Architectural Press, 2002

Super Potato Design: The Complete Works of Takashi Sugimoto, Mira Lochel, 2006

Suyama: A Complex Serenity, Grant Hildebrand; Marquand Books, 2011

WorkLife, Tod Williams and Billie Tsien; The Monacelli Press, 2000

Peter Zumthor: Therme Vals, Peter Zumthor; Verlag Scheidegger & Spiess AG, 2007

Japanese Architecure

Form and Space in Japanese Architecture, Norman F. Carver Jr.; Documan Press Ltd, 1993

The Classic Tradition in Japanese Architecture: Modern Versions of the Sukiya Style, Teiji Itoh; Weatherhill/Tankosha, 1972

Forms of Japan, Michael Kenna & Yvonne Meyer Lohr; Prestel, 2015

Katsura: A Princely Retreat, Takeshui Nishikawa; Kodansha International, 1977



Visible/Invisible: Landscape Works of Reed Hilderbrand, Reed Hilderbrand; Metropolis Books, 2012

Walls of Aran, Sean Scully; Thames & Hudson, 2007

Listen to the Trees, John Sexton; Bulfinch Press, 1994

Restructuring Urban Landscapes, Michael Van Valkenburgh Associates; Yale University Press, 2008



Understanding Wood, R. Bruce Hoadley; Tauton Press, 1990

The Soul of a Tree: A Woodworker’s Reflections, George Nakashima; Kodansha USA, 1981


Giacometti, James Lord; Farrar, Strauss and Giroux, 1985

Seeing Is Forgetting the Name of the Thing One Sees: A Life of Contemporary Artist Robert Irwin, Lawrence Weschler; University of California Press, 1982

Gustav Klimt, Colin Bailey; Abrams, 2001

Emily Kngwarreye Paintings, Donald Holt; Craftsman House, 1998

Robert Motherwell: The Making of an American Giant, Bernard Jacobson; 21 Publishing Ltd, 2015

Motherwell, Marcelin Pleynet; L’Impriemerie Blanchard Fils, 1989

Mark Rothko, James Breslin; University of Chicago, 1993

Mark Rothko: From the Inside Out, Christopher Rothko; Yale University Press, 2015

Richard Serra: The Matter of Time, Guggenheim Bilbao; Steidl Publishers, 2005

Occluded Front, James Turrell; The Lapis Press, 1985



Studio Olafur Eliasson: The Kitchen, Olafur Eliasson; Phaidon Press, 2016

The Art of the Restaurateur, Nicholas Lander; Phaidon Press, 2012



Steve Jobs, Walter Isaacson, Simon & Schuster, 2011

Knots, R.D. Lang; Random House, 1970

The Craftsman, Richard Sennet; Yale University Press, 2008

In Praise of Shadows, Junichiro Tanizaki; Leete’s Island Books, 1977

AxD - Experience we bring

we bring


Having practiced as a registered architect for over thirty years, AxD principal Ed Barnhart has accrued extensive experience and awards, worked for internationally recognized architectural firms, practiced on three continents, traveled extensively, and renovated and designed houses for his own family. It is the following experience that Ed brings to every new project:

Professional Experience; Firms and Key Projects

Always by Design ARCHITECTURE; Philadelphia, PA Sole Practitioner; 2005-present

  • Numerous single-family primary and seasonal residences Maine to Virginia
  • Regional Headquarters of the National Electrical Contractors Association King of Prussia, PA
  • Haas Archive and office renovations for the Chemical Heritage Foundation Philadelphia, PA
  • Conservation lab & library renovations for American Philosophical Society Philadelphia, PA

Purdy O’Gwynn Barnhart Architects; Philadelphia, PA Principal; 1999-2005

  • Master plan and Ullyot Addition for the Chemical Heritage Foundation Philadelphia, PA
  • Hintz Family Alumni Center for Penn State University Collegeville, PA

Marianna Thomas Architects; Philadelphia, PA Senior Associate; 1995-1999

  • Additions and Renovations to St. Paul’s Episcopal Church Winston-Salem, NC
  • Renovations to College Hall and Logan Hall at University of Pennsylvania Philadelphia, PA

Venturi Scott Brown and Associates; Philadelphia, PA Associate; 1987-1995

  • Comprehensive renovations to The Barnes Foundation Marion, PA
  • Oedo Onsen Monogatari Nikko Kirifuri (Hotel) Nikko-Kirifuri, Japan
  • Stevenson Addition to the Bard College Library Annandale-on-Hudson, NY
  • Sainsbury Addition to the National Gallery of Art London, England

Michael Lustig and Associates; Chicago, IL Project Manager; 1986-1987

  • Rintel Residence Chicago, IL
  • Additions to Philbrook Museum of Art Tulsa, OK

Bohlin Powell Larkin Cywinski; Philadelphia, PA Senior Designer; 1983-1986

  • Equestrian ICU & Neonatal Wings at University of Pennsylvania New Bolton, PA
  • Squadron Operations Building for US Department of the Navy Willow Grove, PA
  • Veterans Administration Dining Hall Coatesville, PA
  • Terminal Building at the Harrisburg International Airport Harrisburg, PA

Crozier Philippi & Associates; Albany, NY Architectural Intern; 1982-1983

  • Public Housing Rehabilitation projects Albany, Poughkeepsie and Schenectady, NY
  • Hudson Avenue historical house rehabilitation Albany, NY

Barnhart Construction; Clifton Park, NY Cabinet-maker; 1981

  • Full custom kitchen, including cabinets and counters Clifton Park, NY

Center for Architectural Research (R.P.I.); Troy, NY Model Builder; 1980

  • Passive Solar Visitor Center, Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute Troy, NY

Graham Williams, Architect; Troy, NY Architectural Intern; 1979

  • Condominium conversion of Troy Public School Troy, NY

Edward A. Barnhart Design-Build; Clifton Park, NY Builder; 1978

  • Various interior renovations and new decks Albany, Saratoga, Schenectady Counties

Stewart, Teele Mitchell Builders; Clifton Park, NY Draftsman; 1973-1977

  • Numerous custom single-family homes Saratoga County, NY

Jim Leighton, Builder; Clifton Park, NYLaborer; 1972

  • Alguire Geodesic Dome House Clifton Park, NY


Bachelor of Architecture; Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute 1982
Bachelor of Building Science; Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute 1982
Studies Abroad:
    Rome, Italy; Trastevre Housing 1981 (Fall Semester)
    Copenhagen, Denmark; Co-housing Design 1981 (Spring Semester)

Professional Licenses and Affiliations

Registered Architect: New York, Pennsylvania, Illinois, New Jersey and Virginia

  • American Institute of Architects (AIA) 1982-present
  • AIA Custom Residential Architects Network (CRAN) 2015-present
  • AIA Philadelphia Chapter Design Committee; Chair 2009-2011
  • National Council of Architectural Registration Boards (NCARB) certification 1987


Visited for either work or pleasure: 46 of the United States, half of the Provinces of Canada, Honduras, Costa Rica, Curacao, the Netherlands, Italy, Spain, France, Yugoslavia, Switzerland, Belgium, Austria, Germany, Poland, Denmark, Norway, Finland, Sweden, Bali, Japan, Morocco, England, Scotland and Saint Lucia.

Community Service:

Neziner Court Condominium Owners Association; Treasurer 2019-present;
President 2013-2016; Vice President 2009-2012

Cape May Point Taxpayers Association; Board Member 2019-present
Visiting Design Critic at Schools of Architecture: Drexel University, Parsons School of Design, Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, University of Pennsylvania, Pennsylvania State University, Philadelphia University, Spring Garden College and Temple University.
Design Competition Juror: 2010 Artimide Lighting competition, 2009 CANstruction design competition, and 2007 New Hampshire AIA Chapter Design Awards.