WCRA is comprised of a great group of people who love architecture and who delight in incorporating the layers of context, planning, design, and materials that create places their clients love. Collectively, their responses to design come directly from an empathetic relationship to the client, listening and remaining in contact through the process. Warren Ralston says of his studio members, “Each person here has an innate sensibility for seeing the world perhaps in a different way, which connects us as a group. We are equally personable and have great rapport with our clients and each other. The process of building a home is deeply personal — and emotional. Together we endeavor to make it as comfortable for our clients as we can. It is exciting to be able to enrich peoples lives and we are enriched in return.”
Warren C. Ralston, AIA
From a small town in Virginia, Warren fell in love with design early on. The son of a math teacher, he too was drawn to mathematics as well as science: “I always wanted to discover what makes things the way they are. I am intrinsically inquisitive, which for me comes from spending a lot of time in awe of nature and taking in the enormity and the magnificence of it all.” A graduate from the School of Architecture at Virginia Tech he balanced his studies with hiking and camping in the Blue Ridge Mountains. Subsequently working in the aerospace industry, which satsified his technical interest, he says, “I also wanted to be creating something more intimate, helping people connect to the things that enrich their lives. Creating homes allows me this. I love responding to the shifting qualities of an active jobsite and seeing homes come to fruition. In 2008, Warren established WCRA to fulfill his vision of collaborating with peers to create sophisticated contemporary houses. Warren lives with his wife and three children in Loudoun County, Virginia.
Director of Design
Matthew is originally from Pittsburgh and attended the ArtCenter College of Design in Pasadena, California where he focused on illustration and painting. He subsequently returned east and arrived at W.C. Ralston specifically to create conceptual designs. Two decades of working in the architecture industry have amplified Matthew’s multi-faceted talent and facility with three-dimensional space. He is grateful for the opportunities that have created a niche for him to use his sense of color, light, and texture to produce exquisite drawings and watercolors. Knowing that their clients look forward to seeing what they create pushes Matthew to do his best. His sketches frequently illuminate the first steps of a design narrative to both captivate and engage the client in a wonderful way. Adept in both hand-drawing and advanced technologies like 3D modeling, Matthew enjoys the methods in which the firm’s work on paper can be presented virtually and notes that the software used by W.C. Ralston is exceptional for efficient changes or further development, which makes the process very exciting.
Originally from Warrenton, Virginia, Evan also has lived in Atlanta and Boston. He graduated from Virginia Tech (B.Arch.) and went on to hone his practice in residential architecture. The intimate scale, which creates the basis for empathetic and synergistic relationships with clients, is a good fit for Evan’s compassionate and inquisitive nature. Currently he is a project manager and designer, primarily for custom homes, but also for projects that require additions and renovations. Additionally, Evan serves W.C. Ralston as communications/connections liaison with the College of Architecture at Virginia Tech, and helped initiate sponsorship of a second year studio there. A renaissance man who fly fishes, brews his own beer, and creates original glass etchings for each batch, Evan enjoys mentoring and teaching, and makes time to share his particular interest in vernacular building traditions and historical preservation with his colleagues and others.
A native of the Hampton Roads area of Virginia, Carmen grew up in both the southeastern part of the state as well as in Northern Virginia. From an early age, she was constantly sketching and rearranging her room and loved visiting houses with her parents. A Home Design software program further developed her fascination with residential architecture, which she pursued in college at Hampton University (M.Arch.). When Carmen completed her studies, she began teaching Architectural Drafting & Design and Project Management at a local technical institute, but missed real projects and the interaction of a traditional architecture practice. She subsequently joined W.C. Ralston where she project manages, designs, and collaborates with her peers. The variety of the work and the challenge to create meaningful and inviting spaces for people to enjoy motivates her daily. Carmen particularly likes how BIM software allows for designing with greater insight; showing intent and nuances to clients beyond two-dimensional drawings.
Haley grew up in Pennsylvania and attended college at Virginia Tech (B.Arch.). As a child, her parents had many home-improvement projects so Friday nights at the hardware store became a family tradition. All those renovation projects and how they transformed their home resonated with Haley and later inspired her to study architecture. Shortly after she graduated from college, she arrived at W.C. Ralston and has been there ever since. Currently, Haley works alongside Jeremy, Evan, and Carmen in the development of construction documents, contributing her technical experience in the field and clear understanding of construction details. She notes the speed at which technology continually changes the design industry, but enjoys the challenges as well as the advantages. Haley resides in Charlottesville with her husband and young daughter.
Born and raised in Alexandria, Stephanie returned to live there after completing her degree from the University of Virginia (B.S. in Architecture with an Architecture History minor). Stephanie worked in a commercial interiors firm initially, but to fulfill her vision of helping people with their homes, she joined W.C. Ralston, where her expertise in modern interiors brings a fresh perspective to the practice. Additionally, Stephanie takes on a variety of tasks that have deepened her appreciation for the business of design. Her current responsibilities include a quest to become the staff’s first CAPS (Certified Aging in Place Specialist), and she has taken the lead role in developing the studio’s new office space. As with her colleagues, Stephanie thoughtfully integrates both technology and hand-drawing in her work and notes that while the advances are fascinating and becoming more relatable, drawings and sketches still demystify what architects do and have the ability to open up conversations between designers and clients. An avid traveler, Stephanie tries to go to one new place both domestically and internationally each year.
Associate, QA Manager
Clara is originally from Buenos Aires, Argentina, but has lived in the United States half of her life. Before arriving in the U.S., Clara attended and graduated from Univesidad Nacional de Beunos Aires, Facultad de Arquiterctura, Diseno y Urbanismo, in Buenos Aires. She pursued custom residential architecture because of the intimacy of collaborating with the homeowners. While Clara works mainly in the production phase of the projects to ensure that the construction documents reflect the design of the project, she also maintains the quality of standards per specific codes and guidelines. A presence at W.C. Ralston Architects since the studio’s founding, Clara is an energetic problem solver and revels in the technology that makes such a difference in her day-to-day work. She also notes how clients benefit from advanced tools that allow them to virtually experience their home before it is built.
Chief Financial Officer
Originally from Falls Church, Virginia, Stephen attended George Mason University and holds a Bachelors of Science in Accounting. He met Warren Ralston when they were both starting their careers and later, after W.C. Ralston was established and began to grow, Stephen joined the firm to manage and maintain the company’s financial operations. A hands-on and innovative contributor to the success of the firm, Stephen enjoys tinkering to improve operational systems and collaborating with his colleagues and their clients. When not at the office, Stephen spends time with his wife and three children and coaches soccer.