Bork Design, Inc. creates regional-based designs in response to site, climate conditions, historical context, and local materials for both residential and small-scale commercial projects. A return to good regional design is one of the best ways to address both environmental concerns and the proliferation of ubiquitous architecture. Our creative process includes research and experimentation, ongoing client and builder collaboration, and the thoughtful articulation of light, form, and materials in order to create inspired spaces that evoke a sense of place. From the overall massing of building forms to the careful assembly of construction details, Bork Design, Inc. combines a strong understanding of construction systems, artistic sensibility, and attention to clients’ needs and budget. As designers, it is our duty to be stewards of the environment and to project our historical and cultural heritage while also promoting innovation that will allow us to grow and evolve responsibly into the future.

Our New Collaboratory: Bork Design & Hall Smith Office_Architecture

Bork Design and Hall Smith Office_Architecture are pleased to announce our upcoming merger to become a single full-service architecture firm based in Athens, Georgia. The architects of Hall Smith Office and Bork Design bring professional experience in project types ranging from residential to large scale commercial and from historic preservation to modern design. Our practice areas include all types of new construction, sustainable design, historic preservation rehabilitation design, existing building conditions evaluation, master planning, and preservation planning.

Our creative process includes research and experimentation, ongoing client collaboration, and ultimately the thoughtful articulation of light, form, and materials in order to create inspired spaces that maintain a sense of place. From the overall massing of building forms to the careful assembly of construction details, we combine a strong understanding of construction systems, attention to clients’ needs and budget, and an artistic sensibility.

Architects Lori Bork Newcomer, Joseph Smith, and Gabriel Comstock lead projects within the firm related to their specialized area of practice. However, the office is, at heart, a collaboratory studio environment in which ideas from all members of the firm are welcome and open dialogue yields the best creative design solutions. The same approach is brought to our client relationships; we pride ourselves on our communication skills with the client, contractor, consultants, and within the project team as a whole.

In addition to our own architectural practice, we’ve assembled a team of professional consultants, including landscape architects, engineers, land use managers, surveyors, contractors, and specialty consultants, who can handle projects of advanced technical and aesthetic complexity. If we can dream it, we can build it.


Principal, Lori Bork Newcomer, AIA, LEED AP

Lori Bork Newcomer is the founding principal of Bork Design, Inc. In 2005, after moving to Athens from New Haven, Connecticut, where she was an Associate at Pelli Clarke Pelli Architects, Lori established Bork Design. In her seven years working for Pelli Clarke Pelli Architects, Lori gained experience in a variety of project types, including academic buildings, campus master-planning, high-rise corporate headquarters, a Major League Baseball stadium, and performing arts centers. During Lori’s last three years at PCPA, she led the project management of the $200 million concert hall and music theater at the Orange County Performing Arts Center in Costa Mesa, California.

Lori loves to explore the potential of design at a very intimate scale: crafting details, exploring different materials, and establishing a very personal relationship with clients. She has built Bork Design’s reputation on the ability to thoughtfully integrate modern design into existing historic fabric. Lori received her Bachelor of Arts in Architecture and Bachelor of Architecture degrees from Rice University in Houston, Texas.

In addition to her professional responsibilities, Lori has taught studio courses in interior design at the University of Georgia’s Lamar Dodd School of Art. She is active in helping to educate others about sustainability in design and is a founding member and current chair of the Athens Branch of the U.S. Green Building Council. Lori is also currently on the Board of Directors for the Georgia Chapter of the U.S. Green Building Council. She is a registered architect in Georgia.

Bork Design’s work has received awards from the U.S. Green Building Council and the Athens-Clarke Heritage Foundation (multiple times for Outstanding New Construction in a Historic Neighborhood, and for Outstanding Adaptive Re-use of a Historic Building); and has been published in EcoHome magazine, Green Building and Design magazine, Atlanta Home magazine, GreenSource magazine,, and the book LEEDING THE WAY: Domestic Architecture for the Future. Bork Design’s work has also been featured on the Modern Atlanta and the Modern Athens Home Tours, and Bork Design has been recognized as Best of Houzz for four consecutive years, 2013-2016.

Principal, Joseph Smith, AIA

With 20 years in professional practice, Joe Smith is a founding partner in Hall Smith Office (HSO), a multidisciplinary design firm specializing in residential and commercial historic preservation projects as well as new infill construction within historic districts. Joe’s new construction design pays special attention to the craft and detail of traditional architecture, while creating spaces which complement modern functions.

A core specialty of HSO’s architectural practice has been the recording, assessment, and rehabilitation design of historic buildings of myriad types, sizes, and periods. Special emphasis is given to the preservation of vernacular and utilitarian architecture. This work also focuses on the integration of environmentally sound practices into preservation architecture. Since establishing Hall Smith Office in 2005, Joe has participated in the restoration and/or renovation of more than three dozen historic structures in Georgia.

Before establishing HSO, Joe was an Associate at CWB Architects in Brooklyn, New York, where he specialized in rehabilitation and renovation of historic brownstone residences. Joe received his AB in Design from Duke University and his Master of Architecture degree from the Yale School of Architecture.

In addition to his professional responsibilities, Joe teaches American architectural history in the Master of Heritage Preservation program at Georgia State University in Atlanta and serves on the Georgia National Register Review Board. Since 2006 he has served as vice-chair of the Madison Historic Preservation Commission. Joe speaks frequently to groups around the state on topics in historic preservation and architectural history. He is a registered architect in Georgia and New York.

HSO’s work has received awards from the Georgia Trust for Historic Preservation and the Madison Historic Preservation Commission, and has been featured on; published in the Wall Street Journal, Fine Homebuilding magazine, Interior Design magazine, and in the books Madison: A Classic Southern Town and The New American Dream: Living Well in Small Homes.

Senior Architect, Gabriel Comstock, RA, LEED-AP

Gabe has more than 16 years of experience focused on the integrated delivery of high quality design solutions. His focus is on design and technical development, building systems integration to manage the project building information modeling (BIM) that serves as the basis for our team’s production drawings. Gabe has served in this capacity for many complex projects and he acts as a communication conduit between our teams. Gabe offers design leadership and he is passionate about crafting beautiful, clear, and well-organized construction documents.

Before joining Bork Design in 2016, Gabe was a project architect with Studio.BNA in Athens, Georgia, and an Associate with Anderson Mason Dale Architects in Denver, Colorado. In these roles, Gabe led the design and technical development of many of the firms’ commercial and residential projects. In addition, he was responsible for the integration and management of BIM modeling within each office.

Gabe received his BS in Architecture from Auburn University in Auburn, Alabama, where he was a student participant in the famed Rural Studio led by Samuel Mockbee. Gabe’s design-build student thesis received an Honorable Mention from the Archiprix International Competition for the world’s best graduation projects.

Gabe has a personal interest in the hands-on application of architecture to building. In addition to his design-build experience with the Rural Studio, Gabe was a co-founder of EcoStudio in Denver, Colorado. EcoStudio’s mission was to build spec homes with a distinctive commitment to modern architecture and sustainability. Gabe managed all aspects of the design and construction of their projects. Gabe is a registered architect in Colorado, with reciprocal registration applications pending in Georgia, South Carolina, and Tennessee.