About RKB Associates Architects
Design is a process that begins with you.
RKB Associates has always emphasized excellence in design as it relates to each individual project and each client’s specific needs. By maintaining a small practice, each client is assured of consistent personal contact with the principals of the business and the attention to detail that every project deserves, no matter what the size. Established in 1981, projects have included minor additions, renovations, and restorations; single family and multi-family residential work; corporate interiors and retail design; a multitude of church projects; and conceptual design studies for schools, housing developments, resorts, and commercial complexes across the country and on an international scale.
Residential projects have appeared in several local and national publications, including House Beautiful, Popular Science, The Ladies Home Journal, and Woman’s Day Kitchen and Bath. The firm was also granted an award for visual improvement of a commercial renovation, and a patent for retail display of children’s merchandise.
At RKB Associates, our philosophy is that the process of design must always begin with a free exchange of ideas on a one-to-one basis, and your needs and desires should always be foremost in that process. We will personally work with you from the very early stages of visiting sites and developing concepts, to the final phases of construction and seeing you moved in and comfortable in your new environment.
R. Kris Barthelmess, NCARB
After acquiring more than ten years’ design, office, and field experience with Fairfield County architects, Kris launched RKB Associates Architects in 1981. Previous design projects with those offices include: The Darien Dinner Theater; Grove Street Office Park, Ridgefield; Scarsdale Shopping Mall; Kensie Point luxury condominiums, Fairfield; Whitney Glen Condominiums, Westport; the historic restoration of the old Westport Town Hall, and scores of new single family homes and renovations. As chief designer for Valus and Carpenter AIA Architects, he designed the Christian Science Church in Westport, which began as his Master’s thesis. He holds a Master of Architecture degree from Clemson University, where he was honored by the South Carolina AIA and Tau Sigma Delta, the national honors Society of Architects, with design awards. As a Graduate Assistant, he taught freshman design courses at Clemson University and was design critic and visual studies assistant at the Center for Urban Studies, Genoa, Italy. He initiated the residential design competition for high school students with the Fairfield County Homebuilder’s Association, and has also served as associate professor of Architecture at Hartford State Technical College and Capitol Community-Technical College. He is registered in Connecticut and New York, as well as other states, and is certified by the National Council of Architectural Registration Boards.
John W. Barthelmess, Associate
John has been a part of RKB Associates since its inception. He worked with the firm as a high school student, then as a part-time employee and free-lance consultant while continuing his study of Architecture, and also while working with other Architectural firms after college. Previous design projects with those firms include: Additions, renovations and restoration of several buildings at Principia College in Elsah, Illinois; Additions and renovations to public schools in Greenwich, Westport, Bridgeport, Cheshire, and Waterbury, Connecticut; TV and radios stations in Florida, Texas, North Carolina, and Connecticut; and industrial facilities in Orlando, Florida. He holds a Bachelor of Architecture degree from the University of Tennessee and maintains a separate architectural consulting business. He is an expert in Computer Aided Drafting (CAD), and his experience has allowed him to work on many different building types in locations across the country.