Wilfred Armster

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Wilfred John Oskar Armster
Wil armster 2003.jpg
Born The Bronx, New York
Occupation Architect

Wilfred John Oskar Armster is an award-winning architect, and principal of the Connecticut-based Wilfred Armster Architects.

Education and early work[edit]

Armster was born and raised in The Bronx, New York. After graduating from Stuyvesant High School in Manhattan, Armster studied architecture at the Technical University of Munich and completed an architecture degree at the University of Michigan in 1964. He began his career at the Detroit offices of Smith, Hinchman & Grylls in the mid-1960s. After working in New Haven, CT for Kevin Roche John Dinkeloo Associates in the late 1960s, Armster established his own firm in Guilford, CT, in 1971.

Residential projects[edit]

Armster’s geometrically austere structures contain frequent references to bridges, walls and holes, and usually feature at least one side with no openings or windows. Many of his residential buildings were designed for difficult, steeply sloped lots. He won his first AIA Award for The Bridge House in Farmington, CT, a toppled “L”-form built on a steeply wooded site. A second Bridge House in Ann Arbor, MI, features a 120-foot span between two hills. The project won the AIA Connecticut 2009 Design Award, whose jury cited the project’s “taut simplicity.”

Farmington Bridge House, 1981

Armster’s projects are frequently constructed with minimum changes to the natural state of the sites on which they are built. Several have large trees growing through them.

Armster’s best-known and most controversial work is the Whitfield Shore Condominium project in Guilford, Connecticut. At the time of its completion in 1987, the elongated copper-clad structure generated substantial opposition from local residents who felt its modernist form was incompatible with the town’s colonial heritage[citation needed]. An August 2009 article in The New York Times, however, reported that the building has become a widely recognized and accepted landmark in the decades since.[1]

Personal life[edit]

Armster married Sarah Needham in 1960. The couple have five children and reside in Guilford, CT.


  • CSA AIA Award, 1981 – Farmington Bridge House, Farmington, CT
  • AIA Connecticut 2009 Design Award – Bridge House, Ann Arbor, MI[2]


  • South Carolina Architecture 1970-2000, Clemson University Press, pp, 64-65


External links[edit]