We rarely think about how design impacts our own homes, but architect Peter Bafitis has been thinking constantly about exactly that, for decades now. Quietly and diligently applying his expertise in his role as managing principal of RKTB Architects, Bafitis has improved the lives of thousands by influencing the creation, renovation, and affordability of housing.

Operating from a deeply held belief that the vitality of individual neighborhoods is the bulwark of a thriving city, Bafitis has contributed a body of work composed of creative design solutions aimed at reinvigorating the places that people call home. His impactful career comprises a wide range of urban solutions and an extensive portfolio of subsidized, supportive, and middle income housing, in addition to public schools, civic buildings, and commercial hubs. 

In 2023 alone, Bafitis led RKTB to add hundreds of affordable, senior, and market-rate units across the New York Metro Region, working with for-profit and nonprofit developers to navigate labyrinthine zoning laws and tight-site construction challenges. Every project features affordable or supportive units in the mix, many for seniors. 



Notable recent successes for RKTB and Bafitis include the mixed-use development at 683 Thwaites Place in the Bronx – designed for affordability and occupant health and comfort on a site directly facing an elevated subway platform – and the remarkable mixed-income residence One Sullivan Place in Brooklyn. The latter’s upper floors dramatically cantilever over adjacent buildings, a solution that increased the developable floor area, helping to make the project financially viable while also capturing stunning city views over the tree line of the Brooklyn Botanical Gardens.

Kicking off 2024, Bafitis has been newly honored for his commitment to shaping how his professional community thinks about housing. The New York Chapter of the American Institute of Architects (AIA-NY) recently awarded him a Citation of Design Excellence in recognition of nine consecutive years of leadership of the chapter’s highly influential Housing Committee, and for “committing to over a decade of activism on housing advocacy efforts in New York City through the Chapter.”

According to 2023 AIA-NY President Matthew Bremer in the citation letter, “Peter has been a key voice and advisor to [AIANY] in advocacy efforts by leveraging his co-chair position to help prioritize the multitude of housing issues the Chapter could bring to City Hall and Albany.” 


The citation also references Bafitis’ work building professional development programs, coordinating speakers and events to promote peer-to-peer sharing, using “nontraditional paths to influence policy makers” on housing issues, and enhancing the prestige of AlA-NY’s annual Ratensky Lecture by helping wrangle such notable speakers as former HUD Secretary Shaun Donovan and former Chicago Planning Commissioner Maurice Cox.