Joseph Frankl, RA AIA
Founder & Principal

I founded JFA in 2010 with a mission to better the human condition through healthier design in our built environments, by taking a holistic approach in understanding human needs. Our need for connection with the natural environment, with ourselves, and with each other, as well as our desire for unique and individual expression. And no less important in this mission was my commitment to creating a workspace with an environment of inspiration, responsibility and freedom. Where we as designers have the ability to bring all of ourselves to the workplace and hence to the work at hand.

I was born and raised in Brooklyn, within the orthodox Jewish community of South Williamsburg. Through my upbringing I came to understand the values of generosity and community. I came to appreciate the responsibility and opportunity that we fellow humans have with each other, and the necessity for the polarities of uniqueness and of togetherness to coexist.

And in me grew a yearning for designing systems and structures that can support human life. Where every building, like every human, can be uniquely its own, paradoxically bold, yet not separate from its environment. In my vision I can see the day where humans and structures live integrated with nature, as eco-systems that are nurturing and life-giving to the individual as to the whole.



Ben Grunwald
COO / Partner

As JFA’s COO, Ben Grunwald brings valuable skills and expertise from his wide-ranging experience. Originally from Montreal prior to relocating to Brooklyn, he studied architecture before pursuing careers in various industries including finance, hospitality and real estate. This knowledge allows him to bring a unique perspective of the end-user experience to each project. Ben strives each day to bring positivity, honesty and trust to the workplace in order to bring people together to believe in a common goal and to make each project we work on successful and meaningful.

Justin Sherman, RA AIA
Senior Associate

Justin Sherman is a Senior Associate at JFA with over fifteen years of architectural experience. He is a licensed Architect and member of the AIA. Prior to joining JFA, Justin worked at SOM and ILA as an Associate. He has worked on a wide range of domestic and international projects including mixed use hotel, office and laboratory towers, an embassy for the UAE, as well as prominent transportation hubs. Much of his experience lies in New York City residential projects, ranging in all sizes and types from low-rises to towers, from inclusionary housing to luxury condominiums. Justin’s NYC experience also extends to educational and hospitality projects: public schools, private colleges as well as boutique hotels.

For over a decade, Justin has also been an Adjunct Professor at the New York City College of Technology, where he has taught a variety of classes encompassing subjects such as urban design, building information modeling (BIM), and construction documentation.

Whoever said if you do what you love you won’t work a day of your life was likely not an architect. It is arduous, it is ever challenging and it is exactly what I want to be doing. A perfect harmony of art and science. There is a shared vision here at JFA about what architecture can and should be which keeps my fire alive. We face many challenges in the industry, as a society and on a global ecological scale. We cannot change the world overnight or through architecture alone, but we can strive in our practice to meet the goal that Gandhi set, and be the change that we want to see.

Notable Project Experience:

145 West Street ‘The Greenpoint’, Brooklyn
40-Story Residential Tower and Low-Rise Mixed-Use Complex

606 West 30th Street, Manhattan
43-Story Residential and Mixed-Use Tower

232 East 54th Street, Manhattan
40-Story Residential Tower

1150 Avenue of the Americas, Manhattan
41-Story Hotel Tower

80 Flatbush, Brooklyn
Residential High-Rise Tower & Public School

Fred Otero, RA
Architectural Associate
Lea Lasry
Architectural Associate
Simone Wallenstein, RA
Project Captain
Andrew Kim, RA
Architectural Designer
Justin Low
Project Manager
Yeon Soo Kim, RA LEED AP
Project Manager
Elena Mantas
Project Captain
Irene Turlan
Project Captain
Natalie Pesantez
Project Captain
Oksana Choban
Project Captain
Silvana Gutierrez
Project Captain
Tianyu Yang
Project Captain
Moshe Schwartz
Architectural Designer
Jose Zacarias
Junior Designer
Taspia Karim
Architectural Designer
Nathan Chudnovsky
Junior Architectural Designer
Woojoon Song
Junior Architectural Designer
Rafael Enriquez