Nearly 50 Years of Design

History & Legacy

I joined K&A in 1984—literally the day after graduating college. It is pretty unheard of these days that anyone in our profession would simply stay in one firm for their entire career—yet that is exactly the kind of firm that Ben and Beth had created. They led by example how our profession could achieve excellence, serve the client and community, and at the same time embody a fundamental respect for the individual people who would be most impacted by the buildings we designed. The core value that what we do every day changes somebody’s world… that is the message they conveyed every day—and one we continue to embrace and honor in all that we do.”

Stephen L. Schoch, AIA, LEED®AP BD+C, Managing Partner
Nearly 50 Years of Design

History & Legacy

I joined K&A in 1984—literally the day after graduating college. It is pretty unheard of these days that anyone in our profession would simply stay in one firm for their entire career—yet that is exactly the kind of firm that Ben and Beth had created. They led by example how our profession could achieve excellence, serve the client and community, and at the same time embody a fundamental respect for the individual people who would be most impacted by the buildings we designed. The core value that what we do every day changes somebody’s world… that is the message they conveyed every day—and one we continue to embrace and honor in all that we do.”

Stephen L. Schoch, AIA, LEED®AP BD+C, Managing Partner
Established 1971

A Beginning

K&A was founded in 1971 by architect and urban planner Benjamin Kitchen, AIA, PP. Unable to ignore an early passion in life for environmentally-responsible and socially-conscious design, Ben chose to leave a position as Senior Associate at one of the world’s best-known architectural firms in order to establish his own shop with a fundamental mission of providing what he considered to be social architecture—architecture which changes the world by changing the ways people live, work and interact with their built environment. This mission would be further enhanced and strengthened over the years by a governing ethos and culture of social responsibility, sustainability and the principles of green design.

Photograph: Benjamin J. Kitchen
Established 1971

A Beginning

K&A was founded in 1971 by architect and urban planner Benjamin Kitchen, AIA, PP. Unable to ignore an early passion in life for environmentally-responsible and socially-conscious design, Ben chose to leave a position as Senior Associate at one of the world’s best-known architectural firms in order to establish his own shop with a fundamental mission of providing what he considered to be social architecture—architecture which changes the world by changing the ways people live, work and interact with their built environment. This mission would be further enhanced and strengthened over the years by a governing ethos and culture of social responsibility, sustainability and green principles.

A Young Firm

Ahead of Its Time

For a young architectural firm in the early 1970s, such an approach—one dedicated to changing the perceptions and expectations of both the design and building communities, and with an emphasis on making the lives of the end users better—was unique, and certainly not without its fair share of industry obstacles and societal challenges. Architectural mores at the time were not exactly open to the young firm’s ideals, with Ben’s desire to integrate more progressive thinking into the design process often brushing up against more entrenched and traditional views on architecture and its responsibility to the larger society and culture as a whole.

Photograph: Ben & Beth Kitchen's Cube House in Haddonfield NJ
A Young Firm

Ahead of Its Time

For a young architectural firm in the early 1970s, such an approach—one dedicated to changing the perceptions and expectations of both the design and building communities, and with an emphasis on making the lives of the end users better—was unique, and certainly not without its fair share of industry obstacles and societal challenges. Architectural mores at the time were not exactly open to the young firm’s ideals, with Ben’s desire to integrate more progressive thinking into the design process often brushing up against more entrenched and traditional views on architecture and its responsibility to the larger society and culture as a whole.

Growing a Firm

Together

Throughout everything, Ben’s indispensable partner and ally was always his wife Beth. A talented and knowledgeable urban planner in her own right, Beth was a kindred spirit, sharing Ben’s passion and vision for a better world through thoughtful, sustainable, more responsible design. In 1979, after eight years working behind the scenes, Beth officially joined Kitchen & Associates as both the firm’s Principal Planner and Business Manager, bringing a level of business acumen to the table that would prove critical in successfully growing the firm over the course of the couple’s next twenty years together.

Photograph: Ben & Beth Kitchen
Growing a Firm

Together

Throughout everything, Ben’s indispensable partner and ally was always his wife Beth. A talented and knowledgeable urban planner in her own right, Beth was a kindred spirit, sharing Ben’s passion and vision for a better world through thoughtful, sustainable, more responsible design. In 1979, after eight years working behind the scenes, Beth officially joined Kitchen & Associates as both the firm’s Principal Planner and Business Manager, bringing a level of business acumen to the table that would prove critical in successfully growing the firm over the course of the couple’s next twenty years together.

The Next Generation

The Torch is Passed

Benjamin Kitchen passed away in 2002. Beth continued to lead the company up until her retirement in 2011. And though the Kitchen’s daily presence is missed today, their legacy — their mission, their values, their core design philosophy — lives on in the hearts and minds of the firm’s latest generation of leadership, who continue to design buildings that are not only attractive, but also sustainable and energy-efficient, and which bring dignity and comfort to those who live, work, learn, heal and play within their walls.

The Next Generation

The Torch is Passed

Benjamin Kitchen passed away in 2002. Beth continued to lead the company up until her retirement in 2011. And though the Kitchen’s daily presence is missed today, their legacy — their mission, their values, their core design philosophy — lives on in the hearts and minds of the firm’s latest generation of leadership, who continue to design buildings that are not only attractive, but also sustainable and energy-efficient, and which bring dignity and comfort to those who live, work, learn, heal and play within their walls.

Our Firm Today

Today K&A is an innovative, multi-disciplinary design firm located in the historic Zane School Offices in Collingswood, New Jersey. We boast an integrated staff of Architects, Engineers, Energy Specialists, Community Planners and Interior Designers working side-by-side every day to provide world-class professional design services to our clients.