Karen Soorikian, AIA, founded Atlanta-based Soorikian Architecture in 1999. The firm specializes in residential renovation of historic homes as well as new home construction. Karen is a member of the Institute of Classical Architecture and Art as well as a member of the Georgia Trust for Historic Preservation. She also has served as a board member of the City of Decatur Historic Preservation Commission since 2017. Soorikian Architecture’s work has been featured in Atlanta Home magazine, on the Druid Hills Tour of Homes, and has been honored with numerous Best of Houzz and Decatur Design Awards.
Growing up in the southern Louisiana town of Lafayette, Karen developed an early love for the Acadian and Greek Revival architecture prevalent in the region. She attended Millsap’s College in Jackson, Mississippi, where she earned a bachelor’s degree in History with a minor in Art and Architectural History. After college, drawn by the architectural richness of the city, she moved to Chicago and found work at the Prairie Avenue Bookshop, named by the Financial Times as “the best architectural bookshop in the world.” She also worked in the offices of renowned Chicago architect and educator, Stanley Tigerman.
Karen earned her master’s degree in Architecture from Georgia Tech, where she served as a Graduate Teaching Assistant for noted author and architectural historian, Dr. Elizabeth Meredith Dowling.
Karen began her professional career at Surber, Barber, Choate and Hurtlein Architects and had the wonderful opportunity to mentor closely with Eugene Surber, FAIA, a prominent leader in Georgia’s historic preservation community. She also worked in the office of architect Peter Block, learning his unique approach to historically inspired residential architecture.
Our goal for historic renovations and additions is to work with our clients to bring a 21st century functionality to the home while maintaining the beauty of the historic gem. We’ve completed many projects in designated historic districts throughout Atlanta and have substantial expertise in the complex process of ushering designs through certification and permitting. Karen considers herself a steward in maintaining our connection to the past by making the architecture relevant for today.
Many times, with homes that are 60 to 100+ years old, visual and physical connections to the rear yard are sorely lacking or the project requires returning the home to a more original character after unfortunate changes have been made through the years. Alternatively, it can be fun to create an eclectic environment that fuses new and old. Each project requires a thoughtful evaluation of the home and the homeowner’s goals to achieve the ideal balance of utility and beauty. Regardless of the approach to each unique project, it is always a joy to breathe new life into an older home, knowing that it will carry on far into the future.
When we design for new construction, our knowledge and experience in historic genres also plays an instrumental role in helping us create a beautiful home with proper proportions and authentic details.
We begin every project by getting to know our clients and learning how they want to live in their homes. Fundamental to all of our designs is the “parti”, or the main plan that organizes the flow of spaces throughout the home. Whether we’re doing a renovation, an addition, or a new home build, what drives the designs are the experiential qualities of inhabiting the home - how our clients will move through their homes, what they will see from one room into the next, and how exterior and interior spaces interact. We design for the holistic experience, blending physical functionality with the aesthetics of the materials, trims, and finishes.
Our ultimate goal is to create a charming and enduring setting to daily delight the dwellers - a place where wonderful family memories can be made - and a home that ages with grace.
We’d love to talk with you about your project and answer any questions you have. Call or email us and we’ll set up a time a time to meet.
Our complimentary consultations last approximately 45 minutes. We can meet at your home (recommended for renovation or addition projects) or at our office.