Mella Kernan worked for a series of leading New York architectural firms, after graduating with a Bachelors degree in Architecture from University College Dublin in 1985. Firms include Beckhard Richlan and Associates, the former office of Bauhaus architect Marcel Breuer; Hobart Betts Associates; Voorsanger and Mills; Edward I. Mills and Associates; and TAS Design. As a project architect, at TAS Design, Mella oversaw the design development and construction phases of the Guggenheim Soho, working with Tokyo-based architect Arata Isozaki.
Mella’s experience with a wide range of architectural philosophies – the modernism of Marcel Breuer and Arata Isozaki; Hobart Betts’ postmodernist influences; to the renovation of the 19th-Centrury Beaux Arts Long Island City Courthouse with Ed Mills; contributed to her own philosophy that every project is unique and should be approached with a fresh perspective.
In 1993, Mella established her own practice in Westport, Connecticut. While the practice has undertaken some retail work, the focus has been primarily on high-end residential design.
Mella is a member of the American Institute of Architects (AIA); and registered with the National Council of Architectural Registration Boards (NCARB). She is licensed to practice in Connecticut, Massachusetts, New York, Virginia and Wyoming.
In her free time, Mella is a member of the Steering Committee for “Women Build”, a subsidiary of Habitat for Humanities of Coastal Fairfield County. She is also a mentor with “Shepherds Inc” a college prep program for high school students in Bridgeport, CT.