Photo Credit: Joe Lamberti - USA Today
Established in 2008 by Harvard-trained, award-winning Registered Architect Benita Cooper, and based in Philadelphia, PA, and Haddonfield, NJ, BCD is a full-service firm offering a complete menu of architectural, interior and furniture design, engineering coordination, and construction management services. We have the knowledge, experience, resources and networks to lead projects of any size in the region, and to work on select projects in additional cities.
Benita is a Registered Architect in Pennsylvania and New Jersey, and a LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) Accredited Design Professional. Her professional experience began in 1995. She holds an MArch from Harvard University, and a BA in Architecture and a BA in Art from University of Washington. In 2019, Philadelphia Business Journal awarded Benita with the prestigious title of Minority Business Leader, which is given each year to the region's (PA, NJ and DE) “top minority business leaders based on demonstrated business success.” The NJ Senate also honored Benita with a Ceremonial Legislative Resolution Certificate, describing Benita as a “woman of strong character and fortitude” with a “meritorious record of excellence within all the spheres of her life and work.” In addition, her work has been recognized by national awards from American Institute of Architects, American Architectural Foundation, and Houzz, and has been featured in Harvard Design Magazine, Architectural Record, Society of American Registered Architects Magazine, Foobooz, Eater, Philadelphia Magazine, Haddonfield Living, Courier Post and USA Today.
BCD’s process is client focused. We are here to advocate for you, empower you, express your voice and help you solve your problems in the most effective way possible, whether you are a homeowner or business owner. We can confidently take you through the entire design-construction process, from pre-design planning, through all phases of design, to construction completion.
Our design style is fresh, inviting, soulful. We create layouts that flow well and suit modern lifestyles, then find moments in the design to integrate materials and finishes that have soul and age well over time. We have the resources to take drawings to any level of detail, from a conceptual handsketch to a full set of construction documents, and we manage trusted contractors to turn the documents into built reality.
Besides Benita, BCD is made up of a loyal core team of project designers, and an extended team of additional architectural personnel, and technical and engineering partners. We are unique because we offer you the fluid communication and personal attention that can only come from a small firm, along with the power and productivity that can only come from a robust operation.
For projects of any size with some level of complexity, we partner with DJ Architecture LLC in order to deliver the highest level of design expertise with the highest level of technical expertise – through a joint process that is extremely rigorous and thorough, yet seamless and enjoyable for the client. On joint projects, BCD leads all decisions related to the artistic and design aspects of the job, from concept, layout to selection of finishes, fixtures and furniture; DJA leads all decisions related to the technical aspects of the job.
For all BCD or BCDxDJA projects, during the construction phase, we can either manage the work performed by a third-party contractor hired by you, or have one of our construction partners perform the work for you. Benita has a thorough understanding of the construction process, and knows what it takes to get things built right. For clients who choose our integrated design-build process, she will handpick the right contractor for your job. The contractor will offer assessments and estimates as part of the design process, to optimize client-architect-contractor communication from start to finish.
For kitchen, bathroom and mudroom projects, we partner with cabinet maker Hart & Sapp to offer a complete menu of workshop-to-home packages. We have an efficient and flexible system to lay out your spaces, select your construction materials, cabinet style and details, quality control the process of making your cabinets in the shop, and see it all the way through installation.
For furniture, finishes and fixtures, we work with vendors at every price point and offer exclusive trade discounts to our clients. In partnership with Timberforge Woodworks, Benita also launched a small furniture line in 2018, Coop Forge Mobile, to meet the needs of our clients not met by typical stores or furniture makers. The mission of CFM is custom furniture made simple. Our process is client-driven and collaborative, and we can flex details and materials to your price point.
Benita has taught college level studios and professional practice courses at University of Washington and University of Pennsylvania, and has been a design critic at Rhode Island School of Design, Boston Architectural College and Philadelphia University. In addition, she regularly hosts events for the youth and homeowners of Philadelphia and Haddonfield to use design as a vehicle to bring the community together and empower the next generation. Program partners include Haddonfield Public Library, Haddonfield Memorial High School and Sotheby’s International Realty.
Besides designing, Benita enjoys playing sports with her husband and sons, and relaxes by painting - you can view some of her artwork here. She is also the Founder and President of an internationally recognized non-profit organization called The Best Day of My Life So Far.
Read this Haddonfield Sun article that features Benita’s career and outlook >
Take a look at Philadelphia Business Journal’s career spotlight on Benita >
Hear Benita talk about her design approach in a interview with Floor Coverings International >
Check out this article about a flagship cafe in Foobooz >
Check out Benita’s vision for a neighborhood restaurant in Courier Post >
See how Benita uses design as youth empowerment and community engagement in Haddonfield Sun >