Ellen’s architectural design experience began in 1983, she began working in the Triangle in 1992 and in 1999 she became the principal of her own firm in Durham. She focuses on creating projects that contribute to vibrant urban neighborhoods that minimize sprawl, while prioritizing modern and sustainable spaces.
She received her Bachelor's of Environmental Design degree from Texas A & M University and a Master of Architecture degree from the University of Pennsylvania. Prior to moving to the Triangle, she worked for four years in Paris with Christian de Portzamparc, past winner of the Pritzker Prize (a worldwide award given annually for a career of exceptional architectural design). In 1994, she joined Frank Harmon Architect, a nationally recognized firm located in Raleigh, where she worked on a variety of projects including the North Carolina Museum of Art Amphitheater and Gift shop, St. Matthews Parrish House, Durham Friends School, as well as many residences.
Throughout her career, Ellen has collaborated with architects, artists and clients to design and build single- and multi-family homes, commercial, religious and educational buildings. She is adept at listening to different perspectives and assimilating them into appropriate design solutions. Ellen co-teaches the architectural design/build studio at North Carolina State University in the College of Architecture. She also volunteers time with Durham Area Designers, Downtown Durham Inc. and the Durham Rotary. She is actively involved with various mentorship programs in the Durham Public Schools and NCSU College of Design. Ellen and her husband, Frank Konhaus, created a home-based artist's residence and exhibitions program in 2009 at Cassilhaus, their home in Orange County.
Meredith has been with ECA since April 2011. During that time she has worked on a variety of project types and sizes throughout Durham, including all three of the recent projects at Duke Gardens, two restaurants, new houses and residential remodel/addition projects. Previously she was employed with NC State University's Downtown Design Studio where she worked on community-based design projects in Henderson, Wake Forest, Kannapolis, and South Park - East Raleigh.
She received her Master's degree in Architecture from NCSU in December 2008, where she was an Alpha Rho Chi service award winner and the founding President of the School of Architecture Graduate Student Association. She also has an MFA in Imaging and Digital Art from University of Maryland Baltimore County.
When not at the ECA office, you can find Meredith at her screen printing studio, out for a hike, digging in the garden, tending the chickens, cooking and eating with friends, traveling whenever possible, and supporting tons of great endeavors throughout the Triangle.
Megan comes to ECA with ten years of diverse experience ranging from residential design, construction management, commercial interior design, and community based design. Prior to coming on board she worked for Durham based design/build firm BuildSense where she lead residential architectural projects from design inception through construction. Her journey in design began during her undergrad studies at University of North Carolina in Greensboro in their Interior Architecture program. She currently serves on the department board of advisors, recently rounding out her term as the head of the board of advisors. After working in the commercial world of interior design for several years, she attended and graduated in 2010 with a Masters of Architecture from NC State University’s School of Design, where she was the recipient of the David Allen Company Fellowship Scholarship. During her time at NCSU she focused her studies in community-based design, working with NC State University’s Home Environments Design Initiative. Outside of school she served as the first designer for the Raleigh non-profit Builders of Hope, developing the State Street Village community’s master plan and following through with the designing the first twelve homes within the neighborhood.
Esther Bent joined Ellen Cassilly Architect, Inc. as the Office Manager in 2006, where she handles the bookkeeping and keeps the office organized allowing the Architects to do what they do best. Prior to that she worked for the Historic Preservation Society of Durham helping manage finances and events such as their Historic Home Tour. She has worked part-time in a variety of Administrative roles since starting her family in 1988. Before that she was a Physician Recruiter in North Carolina and a Job Placement Specialist and Social Worker in Massachusetts. She is a graduate of Pennsylvania State University with a Bachelor of Science in Rehabilitation Counseling.