ART Architects was formed in 1996 when Jim Righter, Jacob Albert, and John Tittmann decided to pool their efforts. They haven’t looked back since. The firm is now best known for its command of New England architectural traditions and fresh interpretations, both classical and vernacular.
ART's work is “beautifully naturalized—to site, to purpose, and to tradition.” -Robert A.M. Stern
Jim Righter’s architectural career began at Yale in the late 1960s. Graduating from the School of Architecture in 1971, he was part of a new movement in architecture that turned its back on the limiting modernist orthodoxy of the day. Led by architects like Charles Moore and Robert Venturi and the great architectural historian Vincent Scully, this new vision drew forms from all eras. Scully introduced a generation of students to the great river of culture embodied in architecture and reminded them that architecture is “an essential bearer of meaning.”
Jacob Albert was a student at Yale of both Jim and Scully, for whom he was head TA for a year. For Jacob, the study of history and the study of architecture were one and the same. Upon graduating from the School of Architecture, Jacob worked briefly for Allan Greenberg in New Haven and then followed Jim to the heart of Boston, where James Volney Righter Architects had just moved and where the practice would thrive. Together, Jim and Jacob created a rich portfolio of new houses that explored classical and vernacular idioms indigenous to New England.
John Tittmann followed Jim’s and Jacob’s footsteps through Yale College and the Yale School of Architecture, where he was also influenced by Scully’s circle. Deeply interested in the possibilities of the classical tradition, John took extensive sketching trips to Greece, Turkey, Italy, and Spain to see classical and Mediterranean sites firsthand. On one trip, in 1987, he traveled with Thomas Gordon Smith to ancient Ionia to assist Smith’s research for a new translation of Vitruvius. By 1991, John had moved to Boston, where he hung out his own shingle as Tittmann Associates. Jim, Jacob, and John, now in the same city, began sharing resources and in 1996 decided to work together.
J.B. Clancy studied architectural history at Brown University under Dietrich Neumann, writing his honors thesis on Léon Krier’s then unbuilt Poundbury project. J.B. went on to study architecture at the Yale School of Architecture and was a TA for Alex Garvin’s popular Study of the City course. J.B. joined Alex in New York City in 1996 to help develop a master plan for the city’s Olympic bid. J.B. then moved to Boston and worked for Arrowstreet for several years before joining ART in 2002. His interests include sustainable design, and he is a Certified Passive House Consultant. J.B. also enjoys drawing and sketching and helps organize ART’s annual drawing class. He became a partner in the firm in 2008.