Christopher Williams Architects, LLC (CWA) is an award-winning design firm that offers full architectural services for new construction, renovation, restoration and interior architecture. As a firm that takes it’s cues from the master-builder tradition, we view ourselves as the project director and “responsible entity” that protects the whole while keeping all the parts moving in the right direction — we integrate a hands-on approach with 21st century technology in order to make the best buildings possible.
Founded in 1986 and based in New Haven, Connecticut, CWA employs ten full-time employees including 4 registered architects, 3 with over 30 years of experience each.
Representative project types
• Classrooms / Learning Environments
• Multi-Unit Residences / Dormitories
• Research Laboratories
• Theaters / Music Practice Spaces
• Athletic Facilities
• Retail Spaces
• Dining Services / Restaurants
• Landscape / Site Improvements
• Infrastructure Upgrades
CHRISTOPHER WILLIAMS, AIA, Principal
As CWA’s founding Principal, Chris is a hands-on leader who is involved in all aspects of the firm’s projects from conception through completion. As project director, he makes every effort to put the owner’s best interest at the forefront while maintaining the building’s integrity and keeping end-users interests at heart. Since it’s inception, he has overseen more than 500 projects that have included new construction, renovations and restorations for institutional, industrial, office, retail, restaurants and housing projects. Prior to CWA, Chris worked as a designer and project architect with Cesar Pelli and Associates (Pelli Clarke Pelli Architects) where he was an integral team member on a number of the firm’s high profile projects including The World Financial Center, The Plaza of the World Financial Center (New York City, NY) and the Pin Oak Office Complex (Houston, Texas).
Cornell University, Bachelor of Architecture
DAVID LEONARD, Project Architect
David re-joined CWA in 2008 after having worked with the firm in the 1980s – He currently directs the office’s digital documentation efforts. A licensed architect since 1988, David’s experience includes project management, coordination and administration, CAD management, design, production and construction administration. As project architect, he has been involved in oversight from pre-design through post construction on projects for public education, university, corporate office, institutional and residential clients. David’s association with Chris dates back more than twenty years to his prior work with Cesar Pelli Associates (Pelli Clarke Pelli Architects) where he was a central team member on projects including the Crile building at Cleveland Clinic (Cleveland, OH) and The World Financial Center, The Plaza of the World Financial Center (New York City, NY).
Syracuse University, Bachelor of Architecture
MARK H. POZZI, AIA, Project Architect
Mark is an experienced architect and project manager whose career in architecture and construction spans more than 35 years. He brings extensive experience in all levels and phases of design and construction with an emphasis on educational, public, private and commercial projects.An effective communicator and collaborator, Mark has a proven track record of delivering projects on time and on budget. Well-versed in renovations and new construction, his approach is to identify and solve problems through analysis and understanding while making informed decisions based on the reasoning, common sense and intuition of an experienced professional.
Carnegie-Mellon University, Bachelor of Fine Arts
DWAYNE DANCY, Project Architect
Dwayne is a recently licensed architect who brings more than 10 years of professional experience to CWA’s team. This includes all aspects of architecture: programming, project coordination and administration, CAD management, client relations, design, 3D modeling, production, consultant coordination and construction administration. His project experience comprises corporate headquarters, universities, k-12 public schools, industrial and municipal buildings. Beyond work, Dwayne enjoys art, music and parametric design – he serves as a thesis design reviewer at his alma mater Howard University and also volunteers time to mentor at-risk youth who have an interest in the STEM fields.
Columbia University, Masters in Advanced Architectural Design
Howard University, Bachelor of Architecture
PORTIA WATSON ELMER, Architectural Designer
Portia brings more than eight years of experience in architectural design and on-site project management to the CWA team. Her wide range of project experience includes work on hotel towers, museums, universities, and private residences. On such projects she has managed on-site coordination and extensive document review with contractors & consultants. With a background that also includes scenic design for theater productions, Portia enjoys supporting a collaborative process and brings a keen eye for detail to her work – likewise, she understands the rigor and demands of keeping projects on-deadline, on-budget and on-schedule; be it opening night or opening doors.
Yale University, Master of Fine Arts in Scenic Design
Cornell University, Bachelor of Architecture
DANIEL HANISKO, ASSOCIATE AIA, Assistant Project Manager
Dan wears many hats within the organization at CWA. In addition to office management, he contributes to the preparation of construction documents and assists in all aspects of construction administration. Well versed in Revit and AutoCad design programs, Dan is also an integral team member on projects utilizing BIM.
University of Hartford, Bachelor of Science in Architectural Engineering Technology
AMY E. WILLIAMS, BIM Manager
Combining both the digital arts and technology, Amy is an integral member of CWA’s design team. Utilizing Autocad & Revit Software along with Photoshop Amy brings designs to life creating 3D renderings that provide designers, end-users and stakeholders the ability to visualize concepts and space utilizaton with clarity of detail that closely resembles a photograph of the finished space.
Connecticut College, Bachelor of Arts in Art & Human Development
JON SCHLESINGER, Director of Marketing
Jon oversees all marketing, communications and business development efforts. His responsibilities include bringing CWA’s unique service proposition to a worldwide (though mostly regional) audience, strategically establishing a presence in defined markets and serving as a catalyst for the firm’s sustainable growth. A lifelong student and practitioner of the communication arts and sciences, Jon has over ten years of marketing experience associated with the built environment. With a reverence for enriching design, Jon is pleased to be a leading advocate for the value, integrity and innovation CWA brings to both projects and clients.
Boston University, Bachelor of Science in Communication
KATHLEEN MARINO, Accounts Manager
Kathy has been the Accounts Manager of CWA since its inception as an LLC in 2001. During the course of her tenure she has been instrumental in managing the firm’s growth by overseeing and managing account activity. Though her primary responsibility is cash and accrual accounting, she also oversees the payroll department, comp audits, client proposals and various other moving targets.
Fairfield University, Accounting CEU