Torti Gallas + Partners

Architects of Community

By John Francis Torti, Thomas M. Gallas, and Cheryl A. O’Neill

Foreword by Elizabeth Plater-Zyberk and Andrés Duany

320 pages

10 x 12 in. , portrait

350+ color illustrations

Hardcover with jacket

ISBN 978-0-86565-336-8

US $60 / CAN $75 / GBP £40

PUBLISHED: Jun, 2017


"[Architects of Community] is mind-blowing...It is beautiful, and incredibly, improbably varied in its types and scales, and ambitious in the very best sense of the word. Above all, it is educational. For those of us hungry to learn about multi-family residential planning, this book is invaluable. I will study these projects for a long time...We all needs things to aim for, and you have set the bar very high."
— Scott Merrill, principal partner at Merrill, Pastor & Colgan Architects and recipient of the Driehaus Prize

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Passionate about designing buildings and neighborhoods that quietly transform the urban environment, Torti Gallas is committed to improving the living conditions of distressed communities throughout the United States and around the world. Combining the disciplines of architecture, planning, and urban design into a single practice, they have leveraged lessons from their early history as a suburban-based housing firm to create a practice devoted to designing and creating the housing that brings catalytic change to urban neighborhoods. Their residential commissions are not the “one-offs” of elite houses, but the multiple housing forms—mixed-use apartment buildings, rowhouses, single-family homes—that comprise the fabric of a city. Torti Gallas is dedicated to raising the level of this architecture to a new high. This aspect of the built environment is largely neglected by the architectural profession today but hearkens back to a tradition that, before World War II, was not only a respectable segment of the profession but also created some of the country’s finest neighborhoods, including Forest Hill Gardens in Queens, Rittenhouse Square in Philadelphia, and Russian Hill in San Francisco, the work of such seminal figures as Grosvenor Atterbury and Charles Platt.

Torti Gallas’s extensive architectural and urban design work will be presented in three main chapters: Buildings, Neighborhoods, and Places. These will include a total of sixty built projects, as well as a sampling of current work.

John Francis Torti, FAIA, President of Torti Gallas & Partners, has led his talented partners and the firm to national recognition through their work in creating inclusive places for people to live work and play. He was previously affiliated with NASA at the Goddard Space Flight Center and the National Capital Planning Commission, where he worked on numerous designs to rebuild Washington after the 1968 riots. Mr. Torti has been on the teaching staff at the Catholic University of America and has served as a Visiting Professor at Harvard University, Ohio University, and the University of Maryland. He currently serves on the Board of the Congress of the New Urbanism.

Thomas M. Gallas, CPA, CEO of Torti Gallas & Partners, has extensive experience with residential communities coordinating a broad cross section of participants encompassing residents and community representatives, developers, planners, architects, engineers, financial, social, and other expert consultants brought together to successfully plan and implement revitalization strategies. He is the author of “Creating the New American Community” in the book Casa y Comunidad: Latino Home and Neighborhood Design, edited by Henry Cisneros and John Rosales. In January 2016 President Obama appointed Mr. Gallas to the National Capital Planning Commission.

Cheryl A. O’Neill, AICP, is a Principal and Urban Designer at Torti Gallas, where she is responsible for directing and coordinating the design and planning of both large- and small-scale communities and challenging urban architectural projects. Ms. O’Neill has served as Adjunct Faculty at the University of Maryland College Park and the Catholic University of America; she holds a Bachelors of Architecture from Cornell University and is a Certified Planner (AICP).