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Darina Zlateva




Bachelor of Arts in Mathematics and Computer Science,
Dartmouth College
Master of Architecture,
Harvard University Graduate School of Design

Since joining KPF in 2012, Darina has been instrumental in forming and executing the design vision of some of the firm’s flagship projects. Her interests in exterior walls, organic architecture, detailing, craft, urban design, and civic spaces influence her practice.

Darina draws from her diverse academic background in computer science to reimagine the visual plane in myriad aesthetic and mathematical dimensions. An expert in exterior wall design, Darina is interested in how that geometry relates to a building’s interior. Her fluency in how architectural materials respond to changing light and climatological conditions stands out among her peers. As Senior Designer on One Vanderbilt, she saw this core New York City project from concept through completion and led a research collaborative in terracotta with the fabricator, Boston Valley Terra Cotta. Darina has applied this attention to materiality in her work at 601 West Pender Street, an office building with a textured, gridded façade that complements the surrounding heritage buildings, as well as in the design of a stepped, brick-clad high-rise in Manhattan’s Garment District with a nuanced color gradient to amplify the reading of depth.

Darina initiated the firm’s involvement in the Architectural Ceramics Assemblies Workshop, leading KPF teams in explorations of architectural terracotta fabrication techniques. An active member of her architectural community, she has taught as an Adjunct Professor at both RISD and the Harvard Graduate School of Design. In her tenure at KPF, she founded the Young Designers’ Forum and has led Evening Sessions on various topics relevant to architecture.