GRO Architects is an award-winning architectural practice formed by Nicole Robertson and Richard Garber in 2006. GRO Architects has been based in Lower Manhattan for the past 20 years and recently opened our workshop space, GROworks in Jersey City, servicing projects throughout the metropolitan area.. Our projects range in size, program, and complexity; our design portfolio includes several ground-up multi-family residential projects, the design for religious institutions such as the Montgomery Mosque for the Muslim Federation of New Jersey, and the adaptive reuse of historic structures such as our 125,000sf commercial project for Warren at Bay. Our projects always consider the specific needs of the client and site, responding creatively to constraints to propose innovative design solutions. For example, the Nest Micro-Housing project pushes the boundaries to propose the smallest legal dwelling possible in New Jersey, providing an innovative approach to the accommodation of accessible facilities and flexible built-in furnishings, thereby providing an alternative housing option that addresses the growing housing shortage.

GRO recently received the 2022 Honor Award from AIA New Jersey for our Nest Micro-Housing project, completed in 2021. Our urban infill prototype, PREttyFAB, won an AIA Merit Award in 2009, a 2010 PCI Design Award in 2010, and was named “Project of the Year” by the Jersey City Redevelopment Agency that same year. In July 2009, Metropolis Magazine named GRO a “Next Gen Notable” for our Docking Stations project. The scheme envisioned a series of publicly accessible floating extensions from Manhattan into the Hudson and East Rivers that powered city street lamps by harnessing river currents. In 2007, GRO won re:Construction, a design competition curated by the Lower Manhattan Cultural Council and sponsored by the Alliance for Downtown New York, with our project “Best Pedestrian Route”. In 2008, the same project also won an AIA New York Merit Award and a New York Designs Award from the Architectural League of New York. The firm’s design work has been published in the New York Times, the (Newark) Star Ledger, Architectural Record, The Architect’s Newspaper, Fast Company, Azure, Dwell, and Metropolis Magazine.

Our firm privileges the integration of emerging technologies to respond to client needs, project complexity, and collaboration between disciplines. As architects, we are intimately engaged in providing creative and sustainable design solutions for a broad array of project types and budgets. The virtual design and construction tools we use to realize our design proposals also allow us to bring to each project a more efficient and optimized construction process. Additionally, these tools have allowed us to operate in a highly efficient manner while maintaining a staff of two licensed architects and seven project designers. Through the conceptualization of how new digital protocols augment, challenge, and change the authorial process of design we create novel opportunities for our practice and bring excellence to design.



Nicole Robertson is a partner at the award-winning New York-based firm GRO Architects. Robertson was named one of 32 new faces of design in the December 2010 issue of Dwell magazine. She was the ‘Emerging Architect’ Visiting Assistant Professor at Barnard College in 2007 where she taught design studios and advanced seminars with a focus on digital fabrication technology. Prior to joining the faculty at Barnard, she taught as an Assistant Professor in the School of Architecture at Syracuse University. She has taught graduate representation and introductory design studios in the Graduate School of Architecture, Planning and Preservation at Columbia University and graduate representation in the School of Constructed Environments at Parsons the New School for Design. Prior to forming GRO, she worked as a project designer for the Embryological House at Greg Lynn FORM in Los Angeles, and later as a senior designer at Skidmore, Owings & Merrill (SOM) in New York. Robertson holds a Bachelor of Arts from Princeton University and a Master of Architecture from the University of California Los Angeles. Robertson is a LEED Accredited Professional and a licensed Architect in New York and New Jersey.


Richard Garber, AIA, is a founding partner at GRO Architects and faculty member in the Architecture Department at the University of Pennsylvania’s Weitzman School of Design, where he teaches design studios and seminars. GRO’s work privileges the integration of emerging technologies to respond to client needs, project complexity, and collaboration between disciplines. Richard has written numerous books and essays in which he advocates for technology as it relates to formal speculation, simulation, manufacturing, and building delivery to generate innovate design, assembly, and construction solutions. He is the author of BIM Design: Realizing the Creative Potential of Building Information Modeling (John Wiley & Sons, 2014), and guest editor of AD Closing the Gap: Information Models in Contemporary Design Practice (Wiley, 2009). Both publications examine the continually expanding capacity of design computing and Building Information Modeling to augment design-side operations, as opposed to simply making them more efficient. This work led to his concept of the architectural workflow and the publication of Workflows: Expanding the Territory of Architecture in the Design and Delivery of Buildings (Wiley, 2017). In 2023, Wiley published his new book Building Futures: Technology, Ecology, and Architectural Practice. He holds a Bachelor of Architecture from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute and a Master of Science in Advanced Architectural Design from Columbia University’s Graduate School of Architecture, Planning and Preservation. He was previously a project manager at SHOP Architects and at Greg Lynn FORM. Garber is a licensed Architect in New York, Colorado, Connecticut, Florida, and New Jersey.