Frank R. Cheney, Architect


Frank Cheney

Frank Cheney

After Frank Cheney received his undergraduate degree in architecture from the University of Notre Dame, including a year of study in Rome, he worked in New York a while before obtaining his Master of Architecture from Yale University. He has taught at several prestigious institutions including being an Assistant to Vincent Scully at Yale University, holding a position as Thesis Adviser at Boston Architectural Center, and being an Architectural Jury Critic for the University of Pennsylvania. He founded his own architectural firm in 1988 and has been directly involved in all design, management, and project development. Along the path of his career, he has garnered awards and recognition.

Project Approach

The Working Partnership

We believe that the ultimate success of any project is directly related to the quality of the collaboration with the client. 

General Architectural Principles

  1. Regional Architectural Character:  It is our philosophy to recognize the variations in regional culture, climate and landscape to bring an architectural ”authenticity” to each new building. In addition, we emphatically believe in respecting regional architectural traditions when developing forms, materials and details.
  2. Substantial Building Construction:  We believe that every building, regardless of its purpose or pretensions, must be substantial in construction.  This is most often an issue of budget, however, we would rather work with modest materials constructed with care to be durable over time, than decorate inferior construction.
  3. Energy Conservation: I began practicing architecture in the 1970’s during the peak of the oil crisis. At that time it became our responsibility to minimize the use of non-renewable energy sources. The response then was to design and build passive solar houses* which relied on solar heat retention, wood burning stoves and the occasional water filled solar panels. Today, sustainable and “green” architecture principles are an unstated priority for every project however humble. Time and modern technologies have made it possible to build in a significantly more energy efficient way by merely building well. Regardless of its purpose or pretensions every building must be substantial in construction. This is most often an issue of budget, however, we would rather work with modest materials well made and durable over time, than decorate inferior construction. We feel it is our professional and civic responsibility to promote and utilize whatever energy conservation methods that are at our disposal and match them to the particular needs and means of each individual client.  

    Global Architecture 13: Taplin House, 1979


  • Yale University, Master of Architecture, 1985
  • University of Notre Dame, Bachelor of Science in Architecture; 1971
  • Fourth year of study in Rome, Italy

Professional Societies

  • NCARB,  1982
  • The American Institute of Architects
  • National Trust for Historic Preservation
  • The American Society of Architectural Historians

Professional Licenses

  • New York, 1975
  • Massachusetts, 1986
  • North Carolina, 1991

Professional Experience

Frank R. Cheney founded the firm in 1988 and since that time has been directly involved in all design, management and project development. Mr. Cheney has 30 years experience including project design and construction for several nationally recognized firms, including AIA Gold Medal winners Charles W. Moore and I.M.Pei, as well as 1994 AIA Firm of the Year, Cambridge Seven & Associates and 1997 AIA Firm of the Year, Centerbrook.

Awards / Publications

  • “Southern Accents”, October 2000 - Private Residence
  • Moulton-Andrus Award [Art of Architecture] Yale University, 1985
  • Triad Area American Institute of Architects, Design Award, 1994
  • Travel Fellowship to England, American Friends of Attingham, 1986
  • “Perspecta”, Yale Architectural Journal, Projects published in 1985 & 86
  • GA Houses 13, Taplin and Rudolf Houses  1983, with Centerbrook
  • “That’s My House”  First Prize,  Condominium in Beacon Hill, Boston
  • “Architectural Record”  February 1981, Backstreet Restaurant, New Haven, CT  with Centerbrook
  • “Architectural Record”  July 1979,  MBTA Porter Square Station, Cambridge, MA  with Cambridge Seven Associates