Margarita McGrath, AIA, LEED BD+C

Chair, Undergraduate Architecture Program

B.A. Art and Art History, Rice University

B.Arch., Rice University

M.Arch. II, UCLA

B.A. Art and Art History, Rice University

B.Arch., Rice University

M.Arch. II, UCLA

Margarita McGrath is an Associate Professor and Chair of Virginia Tech’s Undergraduate Architecture Program, as well as the co-founder of the award-winning Brooklyn architecture firm noroof.

She started her career as part of a nomadic generation of architects, practicing and teaching abroad in Vienna and Seoul, working on archeological digs, and traveling widely.

noroof architects has received national and international recognition for focusing their energies on the challenges of designing the super small—versus the super tall. Their first project received an AIA National Housing Award (2008 “a refined and rigorous little house”), AIA National Small Practice Practitioner’s Award (2008) and subsequent work has received AIA New York Chapter design awards (2007, 2009), AIA Brooklyn + Queens (2016), Residential Architecture (2011), Building Brooklyn (2007, 2018), and features in dwell magazine, wallpaper* magazine, New York Times, HGTV and numerous design anthologies. In 2020 noroof was awarded an AIA Brunner Grant to support research into mobile home parks, both to document existing typologies and to propose new ways of community planning as a roadmap for addressing the multi-scale, multi-demographic, affordable housing challenge.

The smART field, a proposal for Virginia Tech’s Drillfield in conjunction with the Center on Energy Harvesting Materials and Systems, and an NSF grant award researching applying the studio learning experience to human computer interaction curriculum are all examples of sponsored collaborative research at Virginia Tech. Margarita’s own creative work takes the form of a series of “ghost projects,” which investigate the intangible intersections between architecture, material culture, and memory. “Ghost Fishing” appears in “feminist practices”, an anthology by Lori Brown (Ashgate, 2011). This seemingly disparate portfolio of work is linked by a sustained interest in interactions between creative practice and change in technology and society.

Margarita has given lectures, workshops and served as a visiting critic at institutions in the States and internationally.

mmcgrath@vt.edu