TRIANGLE BUSINESS JOURNAL: “People On The Move – Matthew Fornaro”

February 25, 2015 § Leave a comment

The Raleigh Architecture Co.

Matt Fornaro

The Raleigh Architecture Company (RACo) is a full-service, design-build-fabrication firm known for modern architecture and craftsman quality construction. Fornaro will work as a builder, primarily managing the construction side of projects. See article…

NEWS & OBSERVER: “East of Edenton: Modernist House at Home In The Inner City”

February 24, 2015 § Leave a comment

The Raleigh Architecture Co.

Coyle-Johnston residence, side and rear view.

The Coyle-Johnston residence was featured in the News & Observer‘s Real Estate section on Saturday, February 14th. Articles in the Real Estate are not available on line, so here are PDFs of the piece that the editor sent…

554 Edenton, first section                                 554 Edenton, last section


The Raleigh Architecture Co. Hires A New Project Manager

February 23, 2015 § Leave a comment


The Raleigh Architecture Co.

Matt Fornaro

Matthew Fornaro joins the design-build team.

Robby Johnston, AIA, and Craig Kerins, AIA, partners in The Raleigh Architecture Company in Raleigh, announce that Matthew Fornaro has joined their team as a project manager.

The Raleigh Architecture Company (RACo) is a full-service, design-build-fabrication firm known for modern architecture and craftsman quality construction. The firm maintains both its office and shop under one roof in Raleigh’s downtown warehouse district.

Matt Fornaro studied at North Carolina State University’s Prague Institute in the Czech Republic in 2005 before receiving a Bachelor of Environmental Design in Architecture degree from NCSU in 2006, graduating cum laude. He received a Bachelor of Architecture degree from NC State’s College of Design in 2008, again graduating cum laude.

Prior to joining RACo, Fornaro worked as an intern at Tonic Design + Tonic Construction in Raleigh (2005-2007) and at Adrian Smith + Gordon Gill Architecture in Chicago and Beijing (2008-2009). From 2010 to 2015, he worked as a commercial landscaper with Enhance Scapes in Cary, a freelance carpenter, and a field carpenter for Alphin Design Build in Raleigh.

“Our paths all started with architectural training, but we each have distinctive skill sets we bring to the table,” said Johnston. “Matt is a builder and wants to be a builder. His focus, organization, and ability allow us the freedom as a company to consider new opportunities.”

In his spare time, Matt Fornaro is involved in his community, volunteering with Habitat for Humanity of Wake County and the Wake County Public Schools system. He also enjoys branding cattle at Big Creek Ranch in Wyoming and serving as an assistant coach for youth and adult programs through The Allez Fencing Club.

For more information on The Raleigh Architecture Company, visit

THE HUFFINGTON POST: “Modern Designs for Downtown Raleigh”

February 12, 2015 § Leave a comment

The Raleigh Architecture Co.

“It seems that downtown Raleigh, once a sleepy little Southern Mecca, now owns a ravenous appetite for contemporary design.”

By Mike Welton

The enterprising owners of the Raleigh Architecture Company, one of the North Carolina city’s newest design firms, could have waited for clients to beat a path to their door.

Instead, they built a better mousetrap.

Actually, they built two — side by side, in up-and-coming downtown Raleigh, on infill lots.

“We played developer, contractor, architect, and owner on these,” says firm co-owner Robby Johnston. “We planned on building one of two homes for my family, and finding a client for the other.” READ MORE…

Hip On Hillsborough: The Raleigh Architecture Co. Completes Two Commercial Projects Side-by-Side

February 4, 2015 § Leave a comment

Raleigh Architecture Co.

State of Beer

The Raleigh Architecture Company (RACo), a young design-build firm with numerous projects in downtown Raleigh, has completed two more commercial up-fit projects that just happen to sit side-by-side in a multi-tenant building on the 400 block of Hillsborough Street: State of Beer (pictured above), a beer bar and bottle shop, and Runologie (pictured below), a specialty sporting goods store for serious runners.

While the projects’ proximity to each other was convenient, both projects posed the same serious challenge: how to complete the noisy, dusty demolition of the previous interiors and construction of the new interiors without disturbing Exploris Middle School adjacent to and above them. The solution: Heavy construction took place before 8 a.m., after 4 p.m., and on weekends.

“It was a very urban project,” said RACo partner Craig Kerins. “The whole property is a mix of spaces and different buildings that have been combined over time. The result is that there are some odd spaces and adjacency conditions you have to deal with which adds to the complexity of the project. Add to that the owner’s desire to be open in time for the holidays, and you end up with an intense pace of construction.”

David Meeker, Chris Powers, and Woody Lockhard own State of Beer at 401A Hillsborough Street. (The three men also own Busy Bee Café on Wilmington Street and Trophy Brewing on West Morgan Street.) Within the 1460-square-foot space, the RACo team designed and built a cozy bar for beer enthusiasts that recalls, without imitating, old European bars, along with a generous bottle shop/retail section, and food preparation space for gourmet sandwiches and salads.

RACo partners Robby Johnston and Craig Kerins incorporated the abundance of overhead ductwork into the clean, well-organized design. Custom steel lighting and shelving units define the visual vocabulary and create a textural contrast with the exposed trusses and old brick walls. The long, sleek bar is cleverly fashioned out of a reclaimed bowling alley lane the owners found.​

Raleigh Architecture Co.


At 401B Hillsborough Street, Kimberlie Fowler Meeker and Laura Berry – elite runners who win or finish at the top of their races – own Runologie, a 2050-square-foot retail space and hub for downtown Raleigh’s running community. The showroom includes display space for shoes, apparel and accessories, and nutritional items, as well as a front desk tucked into one of the storefront windows. A “shoe cloud” centerpieces the space, where wide-planked wood floors and custom-crafted wood benches add warm notes among the custom steel displays units.

For this project, David Maurer of Maurer Architecture was the Architect of Record, The Raleigh Architecture Co., PLLC was the Design Architect, and The Raleigh Construction Co. LLC was the General Contractor.

RACo’s other commercial projects in the downtown Raleigh area include Arrow Haircuts, Nuvo Nivo children’s boutique, and several renovations of Videri Chocolate Factory.

For more information on The Raleigh Architecture Company’s design-build firm, visit


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