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Epstein Joslin


Alan Joslin , AIA Principal


Alan Joslin is a founding partner of Epstein Joslin Architects, an architectural design and consulting practice, begun in 2002, specializing in civic, performing arts, higher education, institutional, retail, housing and high-end residential work. On occasion he is a Visiting Associate Professor in the Architecture Department of Massachusetts Institute of Technology, where he teaches architectural design.

For the 17 years prior to founding EJA, Mr. Joslin was a Principal in the firm of William Rawn Associates, Architects, Inc. in Boston, MA, a nationally prominent, award winning, 55-person architectural design firm. There he was a Principal-in-Charge of Design and/or Project Architect/Manager for projects including:

•Seiji Ozawa Hall for the Boston Symphony Orchestra, Tanglewood, MA
•Green Music Center Concert Hall, Santa Rosa Symphony and Sonoma State Univ., CA
•Strathmore Concert Hall, Baltimore Symphony and Montgomery County, Bethesda, MD
•Richard Sorenson Performing Arts Center, Babson College, Wellesley, MA
•Summer Performance Pavilions, Lincoln Center for the Performing Arts, NY, NY
•Symphony Park Koka Booth Amphitheater, North Carolina Symphony Summer Home, Cary, NC
•DreamWorks SKG Headquarters and Production Studios Master Plan, Playa Vista, CA
•Fire Station #6, City of Columbus, IN (with the Cummins Architectural Program)
•Glavin Family Chapel, Babson College, Wellesley, MA
•Forestall Bowld Music Center, Phillips-Exeter Academy, Exeter, NH
•Celebration School and Teaching Academy, Walt Disney Company, Celebration, FL
•Summit Residences, Trinity College, Hartford, CT
•Back of the Hill Rowhouses, (165 units), Boston, MA
•Park du Valle Hope IV Housing (600 units), Louisville, KY

Mr. Joslin has also worked abroad as an invited member of an international design team, for the International Laboratory of Architecture and Urban Design in Milan, Italy, developing the master plan and conceptual design for the reuse of the ex-Breda Factory, Pistoia, Italy. Prior to that he was with the architectural firm of Marc and Yvonne Haussamann in Bern, Switzerland, as a team member for urban design projects in the La Villette district of Bern, Switzerland, and in the Town Center of Bollingen, Switzerland.


Deborah Epstein , AIA Principal

Deborah Epstein, AIA, is a founding partner of Epstein Joslin Architects, an architectural design and consulting practice, begun in 2002, specializing in civic, performing arts, higher education, institutional, retail, housing, and high-end residential work. At EJA, Ms. Epstein leads custom residential projects, and leads the interior design and finishes of performance spaces done by EJA. She has directed such projects as: Shalin Liu Performance Center for Rockport Music, C Walsh Theatre Renovation for Suffolk University, and the Estate House in Manchester-by-the-Sea, MA.

Prior to EJA, she was owner and principal of Deborah Epstein Architect for 15 years, where her passion for the nature of materials, color, and composition has produced finely crafted, high-end, specialty design work. To support this she has developed extensive collaborative relationships with a wide range of craftspeople and artists.

Her architectural work has been well published, awarded, featured in advertisements, and exhibited.

Ms. Epstein received her Master of Architecture from Massachusetts Institute of Technology with associated study at Harvard University Graduate School of Design, her Bachelor of Arts from Barnard College, Columbia University. She has also studied at several art schools including the Lester Polokov Studio and Forum of Stage Design in NY, University of Michigan at Ann Arbor, and Rochester Institute of Technology where she worked in costume design, printmaking, and exhibit/industrial design. As a graduate student she was the recipient of the Albert Hinckley Traveling Fellowship, which took her to Scotland and Austria to study the work of Charles Rennie Mackintosh and the Vienna Secession.

Ms. Epstein is an elected member of the Boston Society of Architects' Members Enrichment Committee, where she leads the Architects and Artists Initiative whose mission is to encourage and facilitate collaborative relationships between architects and artists through lectures, studio visits, and site tours. She has been a juror for the 2002 AIA Northern Virginia Chapter Design Awards, and has been on juries to review student work at MIT and RISD.

Ray Porfilio , AIA LEED Principal


Ray Porfilio, AIA, LEED AP, is a principal of Epstein Joslin Architects. A long-standing colleague of Deborah Epstein and Alan Joslin’s, Ray joins EJA to formalize and extend prior collaborations that include the Shalin Liu Performance Center for Rockport Music, the Sophia Gordon Creative and Performing Arts Center at Salem State University, Riverside Park Pavilion and Pedestrian Bridge for Fitchburg, and the Stoneleigh-Burnham School Master Plan and Feasibility Study.

A LEED Accredited Professional, Ray focuses on sustainable solutions for civic and institutional clients. Prior to joining EJA, he led the TAMS Architecture practice and its successor firm Earth Tech Architecture in Boston (subsequently acquired by AECOM). Additionally, he was managing principal of Stahl Associates, an associate with Ellenzweig Associates, an associate with William Rawn Associates, and designer with Gluckman Mayner Architects.

His prior civic and institutional experience includes:
• •Albany International Airport Landside Improvements, Latham, NY
• •Nantucket Memorial Airport Terminal, Nantucket, MA
• •National Park Service Visitor’s Center, Corson Block, New Bedford, MA
• •Bourne Fire Station No. 3, Bourne, MA
• •Tang Center for Management Education, MIT, Cambridge, MA
• •Classroom Master Plan, UBC, Vancouver, Canada
• •Middlebury College Sustainability Guidelines, Middlebury, VT

Ray’s interest in, and commitment to, sustainability extends to community involvement. He is a founding member and on the Steering Committee of West Roxbury Saves Energy, which won the Mayor’s 2009 Residential Green Leadership Award; he has been a member of the City of Boston’s Renew Boston Advisory Committee; and he has led winterizing and weatherization workshops, “smart energy” parties, and “low-carbon-diet” groups.
An active cyclist, he is also a founding member and on the Organizing Committee of the Boston Cyclists Union.


Ray Porfilio received his MArch from Columbia, where he served as a teaching assistant for a graduate studio and received the William Kinne Traveling Fellowship. He also holds an Honours BA from Oxford University, where he was a Carroll Wilson scholar, and a BA from Williams College. He has served as a guest critic for design studios at the Boston Architectural College (BAC), MIT, and Roger Williams.



About Epstein Joslin

Epstein Joslin Architects, Inc. offers a responsiveness to our clients that only a modest sized firm can achieve, and a depth of experience produced by over 25 years of creating “public spaces and private places” for prominent private and institutional clients. We seek to create "places of distinction with people at the core- one project at a time."

Established in 2002, the firm’s architecture and planning practice focuses on cultural, religious, educational, commercial and custom residential work.

With our team and in our former practices our design work has been published extensively and has received more than 70 local, regional and national design awards, including five National AIA Honor Awards.

Alan's experience designing community, educational and gathering places for such distinguished organizations as The Boston Symphony Orchestra, Lincoln Center for the Performing Arts, DreamWorks SKG, The Walt Disney Company, Phillips Exeter Academy, The Lawrenceville School, Babson College, Bowdoin College, Trinity College, and Williams College brings a creative and interactive approach that shapes environments to reflect the unique character of their cultural and academic institutions and those who live and work within them.

Deborah's passion for materials, color, and composition produces finely crafted, specialty design work. To support this she has developed extensive collaborative relationships with craftspeople and artists.

Ray's commitment to the integration of sustainable solutions into projects at all scales extends from planning through construction. A LEED-Accredited Professional, he enjoys facilitating the process, and is informed by professional experience with clients such as University of British Columbia, M.I.T., Middlebury College and the National Park Service; and community involvement with organizations such as West Roxbury Saves Energy.

Together our work is informed by a deep conviction that the social and personal needs of man/woman should be at the center of the act of building, and that architecture should seek a gracious neighborliness with its natural and human surroundings.



Thoughts on design

Our work is informed by a deep conviction that the social and personal needs of people should be at the center of the act of building, and that architecture should evidence a gracious neighborliness with its natural and human surroundings.   In particular we are guided by the following goals:

Create Places of Meaning
Places that foster an awareness of and pride for the uniqueness of a setting and its inhabitants. We seek to show sensitivity to the specific qualities of the cultural, natural, built, and/or historic context in which our work is situated.

Strengthen the Bonds of a Community
Places that inspire people to aspire to the highest of personal and civic ideals. We seek to make community spaces that bring people together to vividly and fully engage in the rituals, performances, and tasks that define and support their identity.

Offer a Rich Variety of Conditions for Inhabitation
Places that offer a healthy range of interrelationships between people with one another and with the environment in which they reside. We seek to build environments that provide a balance of connectivity and separation.

Celebrate the Variety and Beauty of Materials and Light

Places that demonstrate, in material, light and craft, the richness and beauty so abundant in our natural world. We seek to build in a manner that celebrates the joy of materials and light, and the prudent and artful manner in which they can be afforded, assembled and cared for.

Manage Budgetary and Material Resources with Respect and Responsibility
Places that are built within sustainable resources and inspire by means of an elegant frugality. We seek to allocate the resources of a project in a manner that parallel the priorities of the client/community.

To reach these goals we offer open design workshops that immerse us in the spirit and ethos of a place and engage us with the client and/or members of the community in an interactive dialogue around potential design ideas.