413-549-5799 - 110 Pulpit Hill Road, Amherst, MA 01002

Firm Profile

At Fitch Architecture and Community Design (established in 2000 as Kraus Fitch Architects), we believe that quality architecture, programming and master planning involve carefully listening to and meeting of clients’ needs. We choose to be active stewards of our community and planet by focusing our practice on projects that are ecologically and socially relevant.

From initial programming to construction details, we pay attention to the big picture of ecological and social sustainability, principles that have been recognized in numerous awards. The firm enjoys working on a diversity of project types, including institutional, residential, commercial, and educational projects. Laura Fitch is particularly noted for her work on several award-winning elementary schools and cohousing communities. In addition to new construction we have extensive experience in historic renovations and the reuse of old buildings for contemporary functions.

FACD will continue to build on the cohousing work of Kraus Fitch Architects, which has been nationally recognized for its extensive experience in community design. We have designed and consulted on numerous cohousing projects throughout North America.

See what clients say:

“Thanks to everyone for your hard work making the new [classroom] a reality. I taught my first class their today and it was wonderful! … It should be a great place for my organic chemistry elective this semester!”

– Kevin Shea – Smith College Chemistry Professor

“…because of your ingenuity and expertise, we were able to create an environmentally sensitive building, emphasizing natural materials, complete with a large front porch that welcomes and shelters children and their parents.”

– Karen Bates, Director of Development at the Hartsbrook School

“Hi Laura- I just re-read your report. I wanted to thank you again for doing such an excellent job! It is a great reflection of what we do and what we need to do moving forward. I’m so glad we were able to work with you!”

– Former Director of the Survival Center, Amherst

“Hello Laura, …We are still singing your praises and reflecting on the design considerations you facilitated for us. You were masterful in working with us and most caring…”

– Ken Moore, member of Durham Central Park Cohousing Community.

“Laura, I think I’ve said it before but I must say again, pushing us to stick with our large porch design is about the best decision you/we ever made!!!!”

– Diana Carroll, resident at Mosaic Commons Cohousing”

“…the collaborative design process they used with our group was very clear and supportive. We always felt we were equal partners in the final outcome and that our ideas were taken into consideration every step of the way. Their understanding of the way cohousing works and their ideas about designing space to bring out the best of a community were excellent…I have to say that designing and building a community of this size with this much homeowner involvement was an extraordinary feat. It took patience, skill, long hours in meetings, and constant consultation with many different stakeholders. Laura and Mary did all this and more to assure that we had the community we all envisioned. I highly recommend them to anyone designing a cohousing community.”

– Marie Silver, resident at Pathways Cohousing

“Mary Kraus and Laura Fitch did an outstanding job on the programming for our site, common house, and individual units. They skillfully facilitated the design meetings, giving everyone a chance to be heard, but not allowing one voice to dominate. They gave us their opinions when we requested them, but did not try to unduly influence the group. They also successfully collaborated with another architectural firm in order to pull together the design for our common house kitchen. Because of this collaboration I feel we will have one of the most beautiful and functional common house kitchens in the country. I would recommend them without hesitation to work with other cohousing or nonprofit groups on programming, site, and unit design.”

– Diane Simpson, resident at Jamaica Plain Cohousing

“Two Echo’s successful working relationship with