we are guided by the idea of sprezzatura
— an effortless elegance — resulting in a property that seems to have a relaxed confidence, as if it has always been, comfortable with itself and the family with which it resides.

scroll

Armand Di Biase
& Cynthia Filkoff

Partners

Armand Di Biase, a lifetime resident of Westchester County, studied architecture in Washington, DC before earning his Bachelor of Architecture from Syracuse University. He began his career in commercial architecture, developing an expertise in site evaluation, zoning analysis, and site design. Armand is a long-standing member of the American Institute of Architects, is licensed to practice architecture in New York, Connecticut, New Jersey, Massachusetts, South Carolina, and Florida, and is certified by the National Council of Architectural Registration Boards. He is a member of the Institute of Classical Architecture & Art and an accomplished bass guitarist.

Cynthia Filkoff was raised in Connecticut and studied Liberal Arts in Santa Cruz, CA before earning her Bachelor of Architecture from Syracuse University. She attended the prestigious Florence program and traveled extensively throughout Europe. Initially apprenticing in commercial architecture in New York City before moving on to modern and shingle style residential architecture firms in Rye, NY and Greenwich, CT. Cynthia is licensed to practice architecture in New York and Connecticut and is certified by the National Council of Architectural Registration Boards. She is a member of the Institute of Classical Architecture & Art and the Bedford Historical Society. She and Armand live in Pound Ridge, NY and spend summers in Old Lyme, CT with their two sons.

Shanna Benjamin

Principal

Shanna Benjamin is a lifetime resident of Connecticut. She earned her Bachelor of Architecture from Syracuse University and attended the architecture program in Florence. Shanna began her career at a multi-disciplinary architecture firm in Greenwich, CT focusing on custom residential and commercial architecture. Shanna is licensed to practice architecture in Connecticut, is certified by the National Council of Architectural Registration Boards, and is a member of the American Institute of Architects and the Institute of Classical Architecture & Art. Shanna lives in Danbury, CT with her husband and 2 children and enjoys volunteering as a violinist for the Danbury Symphony Orchestra.

Elizabeth DeFreitas

Architect

Elizabeth DeFreitas grew up in New York and earned her Bachelor of Architecture from Pratt Institute. She began her career with a firm in Greenwich, CT focusing on custom high-end traditional residential architecture. Elizabeth is licensed to practice architecture in New York and Connecticut and is certified by the National Council of Architectural Registration Boards. She lives in South Salem, NY with her partner and their pets, and enjoys hiking and West Coast Swing dancing.

David Fante

Architect

David Fante began his career with Di Biase Filkoff Architects upon earning his Bachelor of Architecture degree from Syracuse University in 1998, before relocating to Philadelphia in 2000. Prior to rejoining DBFA, David spent the previous 13 years in the museum architecture field, leading project teams in highly visible, large-scale renovations at the Smithsonian’s National Museums of Natural History and American History. A licensed Architect in Pennsylvania, David is a member of the American Institute of Architects and the Institute of Classical Architecture & Art. David and his wife reside in Philadelphia and enjoy traveling as often as possible, hiking the National Parks and fervently supporting their favorite soccer team.

Carl Navarro

Architect

Carl Navarro earned his Bachelor of Architecture degree from The New York Institute of Technology. His 30+ years in the architecture profession has taken him from a small residential firm on Long Island to New York City, Greenwich, CT and Westchester County, NY. Licensed to practice architecture in New York and certified by the National Council of Architectural Registration Boards, Carl’s experience includes commercial, banking, retail, hospitality, institutional and residential projects. Carl lives in Danbury, CT with his wife and 2 children, and enjoys fishing, cycling, volunteering with the Boy Scouts of America and watching his son play lacrosse.

Christopher Alvarez

Architectural Designer

Christopher Alvarez is a lifetime resident of Westchester County. He studied architecture in New York City, earning his Bachelor of Architecture in 2014. Chris began his career with a multi-disciplinary firm in NYC, working on exhibition design, institutional and commercial architecture and historic preservation projects. His current focus is on modern architecture and custom homes. Advancement, professional development and continuously gaining knowledge of Architecture is Chris’s lifelong endeavor.

David Chen

Architectural Designer

David Chen, a longtime resident of Westchester County, received a Bachelor of Architecture degree in his native China and Master’s Degree in Architecture from Virginia Tech. David began his career with a leading mutli-disciplinary commercial architecture firm in China before relocating to the US, where he practices and specializes in high-end custom residential projects. He lives in Pound Ridge, NY with his wife and three children. An active sportsperson, David plays in an amateur soccer league in Connecticut, enjoys tennis and is proud to be an avid supporter of the Bedford Bears Hockey team for which his son is a star player.

Travis Hinz

Architectural Designer

Travis Hinz was born and raised in Wisconsin. He spent a summer studying in Paris and Italy before earning his Master of Architecture degree from the University of Wisconsin — Milwaukee. Travis has over 15 years of experience, beginning his career in Chicago with a focus on commercial and hospitality projects before transitioning to custom residential architecture. In 2015, Travis relocated to Connecticut and currently resides in Yorktown Heights, NY where he enjoys spending time outdoors with his wife and son.

Tom Newton

Architectural Designer

Tom Newton was raised in Westchester County, NY and currently resides in Connecticut. He earned his Bachelor of Science in Architecture and Master of Architecture degrees at Roger Williams University in Rhode Island. With a background in heavy equipment construction, Tom started his career at Di Biase Filkoff Architects in 2013 and specializes in custom residential architecture. At the office, Tom can usually be found with his yellow Labrador Indy by his side.

Jennifer Wiegers

Office Director

Jennifer Wiegers graduated from Western Connecticut State University with a BBA in Marketing. She spent over 10 years working in pharmaceutical compliance when she decided to make a career change and join Di Biase Filkoff in the role of Office Director in 2018. Jennifer was born in Norwalk, Connecticut and raised in Litchfield County where she currently resides with her family.

Indy

A Very Good Boy

Indy began his architectural career as DBFA’s mascot in 2019 and specializes in fetching, naps, belly rubs and tug-of-war. Whether he’s by his dad’s side, under the conference table or in that spot in the sun, Indy brightens our office with his cheerful demeanor and is a very good boy.