The studio, Fine Concrete, is focused on landscape elements, furniture and architectural spaces through the design and fabrication of custom commissions. The design practice is engaged in construction and fabrication projects for residential, institutional and commercial applications – from urban site furniture to surfaces and screen walls - from bathtubs and sinks to fireplaces to tables - from corporate and institutional interiors to exterior building elements. Fine Concrete is a leader in the cutting edge design and material science aspects of concrete exploring the new technologies available to fabrication for production oriented architectural elements and urban furniture. Whatever the scale, the studio designs objects that are sensuous and seductive, transforming raw materials in unexpected ways, combining the uniqueness of the handmade with the precision of new technologies.
Alexander Kitchin: A leading designer in fine concrete with over 20 years of research and fabrication in the material, Alexander Kitchin received his undergraduate degree from the University of Virginia and his master’s degree from Southern California Institute of Architecture (SCI-Arc). While practicing in architecture firms in Charlottesville and teaching at the University of Virginia in the late 90’s, Alexander won the prestigious Rome Prize and spent a year in Italy as a Fellow in Architecture at the American Academy in Rome. He also received a Graham Foundation grant for his investigation into design and research in concrete. After returning to Charlottesville, he founded a design studio, translating his research into the investigation of the timeless and intimate relationships between materials, spaces and people. Alexander has taught design studios at the University of Michigan and the University of Pennsylvania focusing on community design and build projects and fabrication and design of urban spaces. He has also taught photography at the University of Virginia and his photographic work on intuitive spaces, elbwrm, is part of a larger body of work, "Apparitons". Currently adjunct faculty at the University of Virginia School of Architecture, Alexander teaches a design process that investigates the character inherent in materials and how the process of making informs the spaces we design. His studios are part of the Design Thinking Concentration with an emphasis on community engagement and on the skills inherent in the architect's critical thinking approach. His research includes a hands-on approach to architecture through the active fabrication shop. He has taught, visited and lectured at schools across the country and abroad in architectural design, fabrication, theory, and photography. As the design partner interested in all aspects of the process, Alexander brings to the firm years of experience in architecture and design as well as the fabrication knowledge that translates the intentions into the realities of the way we create with material.
Nicole Sherman: Nicole brings a diverse background to her design work. She graduated from the Elliott School of International Affairs at George Washington University with a degree in Russian and Eastern European Studies and an intensive focus on the Russian Language at Columbia University’s Language Institute. After a legislative appointment with Save the Children in Washington, Nicole joined the Clyde's Corporation as Catering Director for the 1789 Restaurants which followed with a position in Texas as Catering and Marketing Manager at the newly opened Hotel Crescent Court. After the successful launch of that property, Nicole returned to her intention of law school and international law and was hired by Fulbright and Jaworski as Senior Litigation Assistant. Law school at University of Houston was put on hold with a family move to Charlottesville in 1994 – where she shifted her emphasis to her creative passions. A daughter of an award-winning architect, she and her husband, Bill Sherman, founded William Sherman and Associates. While he was a full time faculty at the University of Virginia School of Architecture, Nicole assisted with the operation and financial dealings of the ten-person architecture firm. During this time, she also founded Softhardwear, a jewelry design company focusing on found and recycled hardware. Nicole added another line of jewelry a few years later, NicoleNoelle; it was this jewelry that formed the basis of her first internationally marketed book on jewelry design. Two years later, her second book on design returned back to the company’s origins and her love of hardware. Her jewelry has exhibited and is shown in numerous galleries and stores on the eastern seaboard. In 2008, Nicole joined Alexander and established a partnership, Fine Concrete, specializing in custom casting and production lines for the urban landscape. An expert in UHPC fabrication and experienced in design, project management and implementation, she brings a unique mix of talents to the provenance of concepts, their development and their realization.