Who We Are:

Highlands Architecture is a design firm which was founded by Justin R. Kacur, Architect in 2008.

Highlands Architecture was conceived as a community of Architects working together as a team to advance the architectural profession and building industry by providing innovative and imaginative design solutions to complex questions and unique challenges.

It is our mission at Highlands Architecture to provide you with exceptional design services and exceed your expectations by listening to your specific needs, dreams and desires and forging them into a concrete reality.

Although the foundation of our practice was built primarily on high-end residential work, we do not restrict ourselves to any architectural specialty or specific target market. Our collective fifty year work history covers an extensive array of projects, clientele, architectural styles and building types.

In our continual pursuit of design excellence, we have had the opportunity of providing architectural design and construction services to hundreds of exciting and unique people, buildings, and places. We have served our clients with designing and building unique dwellings, theaters, banks, schools, artist live-work studios, salons, restaurants, visitor centers, historic facades, penthouses and museums.

We are professional, collaborative, energetic and fun to work with. We are passionate about our work and providing you with the best architectural design and construction administration services to suit your individual needs.

The Work:

Our work can be defined as simple and elegant, rustic yet refined. Natural building materials such as wood and stone are fused with concrete, steel and glass to produce high performance hybrid assemblies which are both durable, long lasting and aesthetically pleasing. The work ultimately becomes a reflection of our client’s personalities. Our work widely ranges in scale and circumstance, from small residential additions and alterations to industrial buildings for fabrication and manufacturing.

At Highlands Architecture, we listen carefully to our clients and make every effort to integrate your needs, dreams and desires to suit your ultimate budget. We collaboratively work alongside each of our clients to design a total environment, both interior and exterior, that is both visually stimulating and exciting as well as being functional and sustainable.

We take the opportunity of working with you on such an important aspect of your life very seriously. One of the most enjoyable aspects of our work is that we are hired to design wonderful spaces for daily living, working and playing. Your living, working, playing environment should be a direct reflection of you. At Highlands Architecture we strive to design spaces that work and respond to your everyday needs and desires. We design buildings that are beautiful, vibrant, healthy and alive for the people who live and work in them every day.

Design Approach / Process:

The design process should be an enjoyable one for all parties involved. To that end, we collaborate with our clients (you) to discover unique strategies and possibilities together. (You) Our clients are included as partners in the process and become an integral part of the design team. We act as guides and facilitators to help you achieve your goals. It’s a philosophy that makes the design and construction process enjoyable.

We implement a modern design approach combined with traditional sensibilities. In essence, the fusion of traditional building techniques and materials with modern building materials, systems and project delivery methods.

We utilize a variety of programs and software for generating our work as well as good old fashioned hand-sketching, drafting, rendering and model-building. The vast majority of our projects start with pen and paper sketches and evolve into computer generated 3D modeling, working drawings and specifications. We utilize every tool at our disposal to customize the work specifically suited for your individual project requirements.

We are adept at designing spaces that respond to your needs and desires, shaping your experience along the design process. We attempt to discover new perspectives with every client and project we encounter which in turn makes the outcome look, function and perform in ways that are surprisingly unexpected. The results are highly inventive, thoughtfully crafted, and intimately connected to the lives of their users.

We will customize and tailor the range of architectural services we provide to you from complete architectural services for a new commercial building to assistance with small residential additions and alterations.

We methodically proceed through the phases of project delivery from Programming, Schematic Design, Design Development, Construction Documents, Bidding & Negotiation and Construction Administration to the Substantial Completion of each and every project.

Defining Success:

We attribute our ultimate success to good old fashioned hard work, customer service, technical expertise, imagination, teamwork and attention to detail. The quality of our work is a direct reflection of those principles and of the personal service and communication between client, builder and architect.

Throughout the years we have established many solid and longstanding relationships with qualified builders, contractors, vendors, suppliers and consultants with whom we collaborate often. The majority of our work comes word of mouth and from general contractors with whom we have worked with for many years. We have many repeat clients.

Sustainable Design:

Sustainable design is often lost in discussions about green technology, but it is much more than that. We enable you with simple insights to make informed decisions such as orienting buildings to the sun and wind, using locally sourced materials and placing structures carefully into the landscape.

Sustainable design should merge new and existing, complex and elementary in order to realize the highest and best use for the occupants and the planet. Our design methodology is guided by climate, geography, community, context and budget, as well as the impact on the environment and health.

The projects we design are both durable and beautiful. We place great emphasis on improving the lives of all who enter, live, work and play within the spaces we design.

Highlands Architecture also has LEED trained Architects on staff.

Memberships and Affiliations:

We are proud members of:

  • The American Institute of Architects Westchester Hudson Valley Chapter
  • The US Green Building Council as LEED Accredited Professionals
  • We are licensed in New York, Connecticut and welcome the prospect of becoming licensed in other states and provinces throughout the United States and beyond.

Involvement in local charities: Recreational sponsor of the Beacon Soccer Club

Justin Kacur in Cold Spring, NY on Houzz