Brillhart Architecture is a design office based in Miami, FL. Vernacular building principles form the foundation of our work. Often, the structure is the architecture, and atmosphere is derived through natural materials and a connection to the landscape. Working with a range of materials, the aim is to develop innovative construction assemblies that will redefine the relationship between the building, those who live there, and the immediate surroundings – with the goal of developing more natural environments for living.
The firm has been honored with national and international design awards, including 2015 House of Year (Architect’s Newspaper); local and state AIA awards and international competition winnings. In 2015, the firm was selected as one of five finalists for MoMA PS1’s Young Architects Program.
Work has been featured in the New York Times, Wallpaper, Architectural Record, Architectural Digest, Dwell, The Wall Street Journal, Architect, and Architectural Review, among other publications. Brillhart’s furniture designs and watercolor paintings have also been exhibited throughout Miami.
Brillhart Architecture was founded by Jacob Brillhart in 2005, after he completed his Masters in Architecture from Columbia University. He complements his practice as a painter, author, and professor at the University of Miami School of Architecture.
Brillhart has spent more than a decade making travel drawings – often using Le Corbusier’s sketches and travel itineraries as his travel guides. This self-education, which includes the creation of more than 700 personal drawings and paintings, serves as a platform for inspiration and is an ongoing aspect of research and development for the office. Grounded with a working knowledge of those architectural principles that do not change (such as form, mass, profile, shadow, scale, proportion, etc.), the office is then able to explore those aspects of architecture that do change – such as new technologies, materials, fabrication techniques, construction assemblies, and representational media – elements that make architecture present and transformative.
Melissa Brillhart earned her Bachelor of Arts from University of Virginia and her Masters in Architecture from University of Miami. She joined Brillhart Architecture in 2013. As Principal, she leads the practice’s daily operations while also working on project design and competitions, publishing and marketing efforts. Prior to joining Brillhart Architecture, she worked for urban design firm, Dover, Kohl & Partners, and also served as a Development Manager for a local real estate development firm, overseeing design and construction of multi-family properties.
Andrew Aquart, project manager, joined Brillhart Architecture in 2013. He is responsible for the management and coordination of projects from concept development to construction administration. Andrew earned his Bachelor of Architecture at the University of Miami School of Architecture, and began his career working for Michael Miller Architects in Key West, FL.