Design Team

Dinyar Wadia, Principal

Dinyar Wadia, Principal

Dinyar developed his love of architecture and unerring eye for distinction as a child growing up in Bombay (Mumbai), India. His mother came from a family of builders so it was only natural that he would develop a keen interest in the rich architecture of his native city. The infrastructure of magnificent public buildings erected by the British during their colonization of India—from the Bombay Zoo to the Opera House to the Municipal Library—provided him with an enviable introduction to traditional architecture.

After completing a five-year program at the Maharaja Sayajirao University of Baroda in India, a curriculum that included a year’s study of fine arts and several courses in landscape architecture, Dinyar met and married his wife, Gool. In 1968 the newly married couple departed from their home country and Dinyar enrolled at Columbia University in to study for a graduate degree in architecture. After graduating as a William Kinney Fellow, he then went to work for one of his professors, Victor Christ-Janer, at his architectural firm in New Canaan, Connecticut. Under Christ-Janer’s tutelage, he began his career in the modern vernacular. Yet, while his skill grew, he found his inspiration waning. Instead Dinyar found himself drawn to the beauty and charm of the traditional buildings in New Canaan and the surrounding towns of Fairfield County. The scale of the structures and their elegant detailing awoke a passion for classical design that was first expressed in his native India. Determined to heed his passion, he decided to strike out on his own in 1975 to design traditionally inspired homes.

Ever since then, rather than specialize in a single type of design, Dinyar’s business philosophy has always been to excel at all traditional styles of architecture. Over the past 30 years, he has demonstrated a remarkable versatility and adaptability that has solidified his position as the areas’ leading classical architect. Regardless of the architectural style, his design philosophy emphasizes a strict attention to detail, exceptional workmanship, the use of luxurious materials, and the integral relationship between a house and its surrounding landscape. This holistic approach to design has seen Dinyar recognized with numerous architectural and landscape awards – an is apparent in every project that he and his design team tackle.

Robert Butscher, Senior Design Associate

Robert Butscher, Senior Design Associate

Robert graduated from Cooper Union in New York City with a degree in Architecture. Before joining the firm in June of 1997, his work focused on historic preservation including many well known landmarks such as New York City Hall, the New York Botanical Gardens, and the Sailor’s Snug Harbor Cultural Center. Next to Dinyar, he is the longest serving member of the design team.

His travels and observations throughout Europe, Africa and Asia have offered him the opportunity to discover the best designs of the past, and utilize them in our current designs. Inspired by the history of architecture, Robert has the rare ability to design in a variety of styles, ranging from Jacobean to Colonial—and everywhere in between.

Rob Lominski, Senior Design Associate & Director of Technology

Rob Lominski, Senior Design Associate & Director of Technology

Rob is a graduate of the University of Buffalo where he received a Bachelor degree in Architecture as well as a Masters in Architecture. Born and raised in the Hudson Valley, NY, he credits the beautiful countryside and architecture of that area—from the basic vernacular Stick Style homes to the grandiose mansions belonging to the Vanderbilt and and Rockefeller families—as his design inspiration.

Before joining the firm in March of 2004, he worked for a small awarding architectural firm in the Hudson Valley. Rob is a true renaissance man whose interests include computers, cycling, bonsai and orchids.

In addition to his design responsibilities, Rob oversees the computer networking needs of the firm.

Saranda Berisa, Director of Interior Design & Decoration

Saranda Berisa, Director of Interior Design & Decoration

Saranda heads our Interiors Division. Born in Southampton, NY and raised in Greenwich, CT, she studied Interior Design at New York’s highly regarded Parsons School of Design. After her training, she went on to work for several prominent New York design firms, honing her design skills for a prestigious client base in New York and the Hamptons.

Prior to joining Wadia Associates, she was the lead designer at Matthew Patrick Smyth Inc. Her impressive design portfolio includes projects in Aspen, Palm Beach, and New York City. Saranda’s passion for creativity is boundless and evident in all she does. A quiet elegance and sophistication is the hallmark of all of her designs, which are soothing and blend harmoniously with their architectural surroundings. A self proclaimed perfectionist, she takes pride in the fine details.

Slava Nikitin, Design Associate

Slava Nikitin, Design Associate

Slava Nikitin joined Wadia Associates in 2010. An accomplished Architect, Designer and Illustrator, he is able to complement his beautiful designs skills with vibrant renderings. His passion for architectural competitions has seen him recognized at both national and international levels.

Participating in a competition for the New Glass House, his entry was picked by Philip Johnson as one of the most imaginative and interesting among more than 600 participants. He credits his love of design to Japanese poetry and European Architecture.

Before joining Wadia Associates he worked for well known established residential design firms in Holland, New York and Connecticut. He has a Masters degree in architecture with a minor in poetry. He is a very creative individual.

Bill Hine, Design Associate

Bill Hine, Design Associate

Bill graduated from Norwich University in Northfield, VT, earning both a Bachelors and Masters degree in Architecture. A native of Connecticut, his familiarity to local unique coastal environments, difficult property requirements, demanding building codes, strict zoning, and local review boards, complements his qualities as a valuable design team member.

Before joining the firm in 2008, Bill worked extensively in Greenwich and Lower Fairfield County on a wide range of project types, including institutional, restaurant, retail, country clubs, and high-end residential.

Eero Schultz, Design Associate

Eero Schultz, Design Associate

Eero studied at Washington University in St. Louis, MO, where he earned a Bachelor of Architecture. After college, he lived and worked in New York City, Finland, Japan, Singapore and China. His extensive travels allowed him the opportunity to enhance his visual education, while studying and sketching various types of architecture around the world.

While in New York City, Eero worked for several prestigious firms specializing in classical and traditional residential architecture. Since joining Wadia Associates in 2008, Eero has worked on numerous and exceptional projects in New York, New England, Virginia, Texas and Florida.

Eero is an accomplished painter and enjoys fly fishing, studying languages and running marathons.

 

 

Melanie Smith, Design Associate

Melanie Smith, Design Associate

Melanie is a native of Darien, CT and graduated from Syracuse University School of Architecture with a Bachelor of Architecture. Her time studying art and architecture in Florence, Italy and extensive travel abroad cultivated her appreciation for classicism and authenticity in the built environment. Melanie worked in Washington D.C. and Boston, MA designing and building a variety of project types including residential, boutique restaurants and executive suites for large corporate clients before returning to Fairfield County to focus on high-end residential construction.

Melanie is a designer and manager of high standards who understands the subtleties of material, detailing and craftsmanship required to distinguish timeless, exceptional homes from the ordinary. She excels in her working relationships with clients, contractors and consultants to ensure a smooth project experience, with goals met for her clients. Melanie is a Registered Architect in the State of New York.

 

 

 

Stephen Gibson, Design Associate

Stephen Gibson, Design Associate

Stephen attended Pratt Institute in Brooklyn, NY graduating with a Bachelor of Architecture. After graduating, he remained in Brooklyn for the next several years building custom furniture for a local designer. Returning to Connecticut where he grew up, Stephen gained invaluable experience working for a handful of boutique architectural firms designing residential and commercial projects. Joining the Wadia team in early 2016, Stephen’s projects include a Jacobean manor and an English Country mansion among other projects.

Though not tied to any one particular style, Stephen finds the Shingle style and Tudor style his favorite to work in and is passionate about the work of Antonio Gaudi and other organic forms of architecture. Stephen is a huge fan of all types of music and has a collection of over 6,000 vinyl records.

 

 

 

Stephen Clasby, Design Associate

Stephen Clasby, Design Associate

While obtaining his Bachelor of Architecture at the University of Kentucky, Stephen nurtured a growing love of ancient buildings and construction techniques through study abroad programs in India and China, and extensive travels throughout Europe.

After graduation, Stephen started his own design/build company whose projects included a house for an architecture professor, stables for his calculus professor’s Olympic event horses, and several renovations of historic houses. During these years he was also caretaker of a 200-acre property where he co-founded an organic produce farm. Wanderlust led him back to Europe for a three year residency in France that included managing a chateau in Cantal.

Upon returning to the US, Stephen spent the next decade and a half in New York City leading a variety of iconic hospitality and retail projects around the world. Since 2014 he has lived in New Canaan, CT with his wife and three children, and in his free time enjoys sailing, gardening, and playing the bass. Stephen is a licensed architect in New York and Connecticut, a LEED Accredited Professional, and is NCARB certified.

 

 

 

 

Joel Pidel, Design Associate

Joel Pidel, Design Associate

Joel was born and raised in Augusta, GA, where he gained a formative appreciation for the traditional architecture of the south. He attended the University of Notre Dame where he studied both Architecture and Philosophy. He has traveled abroad extensively in the study of classical architecture, both in academic capacities and leisurely pursuits, whether as a student, fellow, vacationer, or lecturer.

Having spent the past dozen years working in New York City as a senior architect and designer at one of the premier classical firms, he has managed a variety of projects at all phases of development, excelling in design acumen, attention to detail, and satisfying client expectations. His architectural and illustrative work has been published in architectural books and magazines and has also received prestigious design awards.

An avid reader, bibliophile, designer, and perpetual student of all things classical, he is recently and happily relocated to the more tranquil climes of Connecticut with his wife and children. He also continues to serve as a Fellow at the Institute for Classical Architecture and Art (ICAA), where he both sits on various committees and occasionally teaches.

 

 

 

Gerry Panico, Design Associate

Gerry Panico, Design Associate

Gerry, our newest member of the Wadia team, was born and raised in Tucuman, Argentina. He studied at the University of Tucuman where he received his Bachelor in Architecture and Urbanism. Gerry moved to the United States in 2002 to work for a prestigious architecture firm located Southport, CT, remaining there for 11 years.

He later joined two more well-known architectural firms in New York, NY, where he worked on high-end residential projects in New York and New England including Greenwich, CT, Bar Harbor, ME and Martha’s Vineyard, MA.

Gerry resides in Milford, CT with his wife and two boys. In his free time, he enjoys playing tennis and sailing.