Richter-Norton Architecture


Renovation / New Construction

Richter-Norton Architecture  pllc


Before photo

Barbara Richter, AIA established Richter-Norton Architecture, PLLC in January of 2009, which has focused primarily on residential renovation and additions. “Bloom where you’re planted comes to mind when I think about renovation.  In your home, you know how you live; you’ve placed your furniture and then you work around your house or work against your house. How your house could work much better for you is where your architect comes in. Architects are uniquely trained to translate design issues issues into form.

Perhaps you need more daylight or access to a view which is maybe obscured by a wall; (or maybe there is a view that you have that you don’t want ...); a beautiful detail, a high ceiling at the entry or a place to play music, or where you want floors which feel lovely to bare feet, or room for a dining room table big enough to spread out and work as well as serve Thanksgiving Dinner for your extended family. You know your home and what you already do in it. What you want to do in it is where I come in.”  Barbara enjoys working with and getting to know her clients, listening to their concerns, thinking “outside the box” and working closely with the client and the contractor to create architectural solutions.

Recent projects include Triangle Modernist Home Renovation in Durham, NC, which was on the Triangle Modernist House Tour, the Modapalooza 2015  and an accessibility upgrade through the Veteran’s Administration, both recently completed.  After designing the renovation and addition for performing and rehearsing chamber music in Chapel Hill, NC, Ms. Richter has collaborated with Wes Lachot Design Group in acoustical analysis and design in production of Wes Lachot Design Group recording studios on a project by project basis.

Barbara has continued to work with Richard Duncan of RL Mace Universal Design Institute, where she contributed to Barrier-Free Washrooms, a Bobrick Product Design publication, showcasing the latest products in compliance with ADA2010 and ANSI117.2. Richard Duncan and Barbara Richter-Norton have completed several Accessibility Compliance Surveys in Greenville and Greensboro, NC. Ms. RIchter aided Universal Design Institute plan and prepare Universal Design Summit 5, (UDS5), a national conference showcasing the latest research and trends devoted to universal design, accessibility, aging in place with respect to the built environment and product design, a huge success.

Former Vice-President and longtime member of Durham Area Designers (DAD) (, Ms. Richter-Norton has helped conduct design charrettes surrounding urban issues. DAD co-founder, Dan Jewell, refers to the group of architects,  landscape architects and design professionals as the “hired crayon” to facilitate authentic solutions together with the community. Projects in Durham include Ninth Street Form-Base Zoning, West Chapel Hill Street, Watts Montessori Edible Garden, Bull City Connector Art Bus Shelters, and Carrboro’s Northwest Small Area Plan Visioning Project.

Barbara earned a Masters of Architecture from Virginia Tech in 1988. Offices she worked in the previous two decades are John Hawkins, AIA, Michael Hining Architects (now mha-works) in Chapel Hill, Jack Haggerty, Architect, Inc. in Carrboro doing  institutional, educational, commercial and residential architecture. Barbara lives and works in Chapel Hill, NC, is mom to Genevieve, James and Frances (and Stanley, the mighty dog.)

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written by colleagues and clients:

We asked Barbara to solve a problem with an old bathroom in our circa 1898 cottage. Barbara assessed the problem and came up with a creative and very functional solution. September 26, 2013

Top qualities: Great Results , Creative

Brad hired Barbara in 2013.

We very much appreciated that Barbara researched the restrictions and specifications from the county inspection/planning department. She did a beautiful job of creating and presenting clear architectural drawings. She was willing to hear what we wanted to say and made every attempt to implement those design aspects in our drawing. She was very responsive to communicating via email, by phone and in person. We have enjoyed working with Barbara and would recommend her to prospective clients.     Gary and Lynn Schmoock Gary and Lynn were Barbara's clients, February 26, 2013

Barbara was a pleasure to work with. 

Jason Thomas Associate at Hunton & Williams;

Jason was Barbara's client

October 31, 2012

Barbara worked on an extensive renovation for our mid-century home. We updated the kitchen and transformed a master bath, along with a backyard deck addition off the kitchen and master bedroom. She was incredibly easy to work with and always had creative ideas on how to maintain the architectural integrity of the original house but creating design improvements with a more functional, modern style. March 15, 2013

Top qualities: Great Results , Good Value , Creative

Walt hired Barbara in 2009.

Barbara's creativity begins with her interviewing the end user to gain an understanding of the needs and lifestyle that is envisioned. She makes the building function and then creates a form that's pleasing and has durable performance. Early and throughout the process, she works well with the builders to select quality materials with appropriate value and makes the work constructible with budget and time constraints controlled.
I would recommend Barbara for any project large or small. Her attention to details is impeccable.

Roby DeReuil President, Building Science General Contractor, Building Science Environmental Services

February 26, 2013

Barbara is a great collaborator on projects and is always willing to lend a helping hand to project managment, communications, and volunteer efforts. Wanona Satcher Project Manager, Durham Urban Innovation Center. Wanona worked directly with Barbara at Durham Area Designers November 6, 2012

Barbara is an excellent person to work with. She brings a commendable level of creativity, professionalism and passion to everything we have worked together on. Dan Jewell  Owner, Coulter Jewell Thames, PA  Dan works with Barbara at Durham Area Designers, October 31, 2012

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Barbara Richter, AIA