VAKOTA is a multi-disciplinary practice founded by Architects David Varnish, Matthew Kocyba and Stephen Taylor. Naomi Pearson, Creative Director for Experiential Graphic Design, rounds out the team's expertise with a background in brand, exhibit, and signage design. VAKOTA design sensibility is to provoke thoughtful questions of architecture and design. The name was created to represent the collaboration of the founders and at the same time represent the collective group or team behind the design.


KOTA has various meanings and each meaning relates perfectly to our mission. KOTA can mean dwelling, allies, core of an apple and city. Dwellings are the protective spaces that we create for our clients.  Allies are the cohesive group that VAKOTA is collaborating and building with its staff and clients.  The Core of an Apple symbolizes the center of knowledge and the seeds of growth.  Finally, City reflects the larger community that we are trying to build and the communities that we create in.





VAKOTA Architecture brings a wealth of experience guiding clients through architectural and experiential graphic design projects from initial conception through construction completion. Project success begins by developing a strong, well-rounded team with expertise in all aspects of design and construction, equipped to solve even the most complex challenges.

We believe that a holistic approach to design is a major factor in our continued success collaborating with clients to achieve their project objectives. We begin each design by evaluating the project in its entirety as well as carefully examining each individual component. This process provides us with an unparalleled overall understanding of the client's goals from multiple perspectives.


From Manhattan and Brooklyn apartment mergers and loft renovations to suburban additions and remodels to country retreats, VAKOTA brings an enthusiasm and passion to each project. VAKOTA pursues commissions and is licensed in New York, New Jersey, Connecticut and has completed work in Pennsylvania and New Hampshire as well. Designing projects in a number of different locales, VAKOTA has the experience for your needs. VAKOTA can guide your project through governing boards in your particular town having presented before multiple Zoning Boards, Wetland Committees and Architectural Review Boards. VAKOTA also can assist or e-file your project with the NYC Department of Buildings.









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VAKOTA architecture PLLC


the TEAM behind the architecture and design


David Varnish AIA, NCARB, LEED Green Associate

He earned both his BS in Architecture and Master of Architecture Degrees from The Ohio State University where he also was a Teaching Assistant in Structural Design. David has over 30 years of post-graduate school experience in both commercial and residential architecture including 9 years as Principal of David Varnish Architects and was a partner in the Design-build firm Domitek LLC. A licensed architect in New York, New Jersey and Connecticut (with inactive licenses in New Hampshire, Ohio and Pennsylvania), David has practiced throughout the northeast region with a specialty in and love of both urban and country residential architecture. He currently resides in Brooklyn and Litchfield County.



Matthew L Kocyba is from Syracuse NY and began his education in Pre-Engineering at Charleston Southern University (SC) and went on to graduate from Keene State College (NH) with a BS in Architecture. He has worked and consulted with a variety of architecture firms and architects in NY, CT and NH designing High-End Residential and Commercial projects. He brings 20 years of experience in architecture and a unique experience in designing Log Homes, Post & Beam and Sustainable Ultra-R Panel (SIP) houses. Matt has worked for architects who have learned under the likes of Richard Meier, Robert Venturi and I.M. Pei. He resides in Greenwich, Connecticut and is a member of the AIA NY Chapter. Also is a member of the Northeast Sustainable Energy Association (NESEA).



Stephen Taylor AIA, RA, LEED AP BD+C

He began his education at Roger Williams University and graduated with a BS in Architecture.

He has 16 years of High–End Residential and Commercial architecture experience and a unique experience in designing zoo and aquarium structures. He also serves as a consultant to the Broadway Green Alliance and is a Merit Award Winner of 2013 Engineering News Record for Sports and Entertainment. Stephen is a LEED Accredited Professional in New Building Design and Construction. He currently resides in Manhattan.

Naomi Pearson  Experiential Graphic Design, SEGD, AIGA

She brings a BFA in Graphic Design from Carnegie Mellon University and over two decades of impactful design solutions, award winning work and sustainable practices for a diverse clientele. Her experiential graphic design background includes work for placemaking, branded environments, signage, exhibits, digital media design and wayfinding. International client experience includes education, arts and culture, not-for-profit, residential, health and wellness, urban design, hospitality and technology. By fusing project context with client goals and engaging visuals, her process focuses on the importance of creating design solutions that communicate as well as resonate. She hails from Brooklyn, NY.  

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