News + Inspiration

It is with great excitement that we announce Samsel Architects is now Altura Architects. We chose the name Altura for several reasons. The word means height or altitude, and serves as a tribute to our mountain home. It symbolizes our desire to provide a high level of service and inspired design. It also signifies our studio’s commitment to a higher purpose of creating buildings that improve the lives of our clients, our community, and our planet.

Our studio has a set of 12 values that are the foundation of our work. Continuing with our blog series that highlights each of the values, today we will focus on Family. “We work in a place where trust and communication create meaningful human relationships. We support each other, we laugh and cry together, we enjoy the challenges of our work together and we appreciate each other. We believe in supporting each other as we grow as humans and as architects.” Each member of our team brings unique strengths and personalities to our studio. It’s important to us that we take the

We are continuing our blog series on our studio’s core values. Today we focus on Civic Responsibility. “We stay informed of local, regional and global issues and make time for service to these issues and our community. We are advocates for society’s shared success and believe that one person can make a difference.” 2020 has brought many changes to our studio: we celebrated our 35th anniversary, we transitioned our team to working remotely, and supported our clients in adapting to a pandemic. On November 3th we all have the opportunity to create change in our community by using our vote to

Continuing with our blog series that highlights each of our studio's core values, today we will focus on Evolution. At Samsel Architects, we thrive on evolution. We spend time during the design process in each project to explore new ideas and push our design, building on our past to push us towards our future. As individuals and as a firm, we value learning in every way. We are most satisfied when we challenge the status quo in our design and in our own lives. We move the bar, play with the existing paradigm, and are unafraid to let go of what

The 2020 Green Building Directory from Green Built Alliance features an article about biophilic design written by one of our staff members, Margaret Chandler. Biophilic design is a design principal used to reinforce connectivity to nature inside a building through thoughtful space planning. The feature details our approach to biophilic office design in our renovation of Eagles Nest Outfitters headquarters in East Asheville. From the article: "The opportunities for biophilic architecture in an industrial office park are not as limited as they might seem. Eagles Nest Outfitters, an Asheville-based outdoor company also known as ENO, had outgrown their downtown Asheville location and

Our studio has a set of 12 values that are the foundation of our work. Continuing with our blog series that highlights each of the values, today we will focus on Discovery. “We love the NEW. New people, new projects, new ideas and processes. Central to our joy are the possibilities we discover every day as we seek out new opportunities to create, invent and innovate.” With each project comes an opportunity to meet new people, explore new ideas and solve new challenges. Every project has a unique set of challenges and deserves unique and customized solutions born through a comprehensive discovery

While we humans have been spending more time at home because of the pandemic, the wildlife in Western North Carolina has been venturing out more into our public spaces. Black bears roam our neighborhood streets and are even in the streets of downtown Asheville. Existing safely alongside black bears is part of living and working in our region and we must be thoughtful about maintaining our homes and job sites. The organization BearWise is dedicated to helping people live responsibly with black bears. Our client, Janet Winemiller, is an ambassador for the program and was recently interviewed about her involvement (you

Continuing with our blog series that highlights each of our 12 values, today we will focus on Achievement. We are proud of our accomplishments, including recognition for the quality of our work, design awards, consistent positive feedback, and being published in both print and digital media outlets. We are also proud of our internal measures of success: achieving financial profitability and solvency, longevity of our firm, and the strength of our brand. 2020 marks our 35th anniversary and we are celebrating the longevity of our studio - since 1985. In 2016, Samsel Architects was recognized by AIA North Carolina as the Firm