Founded by award-winning architect Michael Ross Kersting in 1995, Kersting Architecture seeks to enhance the lives of our clients and our community by offering thoughtful and progressive design solutions. We take care to understand the specific needs and desires of our clients as well as the physical and cultural characteristics particular to each project. By pursuing ideas that arise from these unique conditions, we strive to create places that are authenticprovocativemeaningful, and responsive. As Louis Kahn said, "Architecture is the thoughtful making of space.".

 
 
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Michael Ross Kersting, AIA
President

President, Michael Ross Kersting, P.A.
University of New Mexico, Bachelor of Arts - 1986
North Carolina State University, Master of Architecture - 1990
Alpha Rho Chi Medalist - NCSU 1990
Certified by National Council of Architectural Registration Boards (NCARB)
Member of the American Institute of Architects
Past President of the Wilmington Section of AIA North Carolina Serves on Professional Advisory Board at NCSU College of Design - School of Architecture

Michael was born and raised in the southern New Mexico town of Las Cruces.  Inspired by the forts he built in the desert as a child, Michael went on to study architecture and received his first architecture degree from the University of New Mexico.  After working in architecture firms in Albuquerque and Washington, DC, Michael found his way to North Carolina State University where he received his Master of Architecture.  After a three year period designing custom homes in Santa Fe, New Mexico, Michael returned to North Carolina and founded Michael Ross Kersting Architecture, P.A. in 1995. 

Michael truly enjoys the challenge of merging the specific preferences of each client with the unique attributes offered by a particular property.  Approaching each project as a brand new challenge, Michael lead’s his group to design high quality award winning architecture that leaves a positive impression with the Owner and the environment on which it is built.

Michael is NCARB certified and is licensed to practice architecture in North Carolina, South Carolina, Virginia, Ohio and New Mexico.

 
 
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Mark Wilson
Project Architect
North Carolina State University, Bachelor of Environmental Design in Architecture - 1998
North Carolina State University, Master of Architecture - 2003
Certified by National Council of Architectural Registration Boards (NCARB)

Mark grew up in the Northeastern part of North Carolina before heading to Raleigh, NC to study architecture in the College of Design at NC State University.  After completing his undergraduate studies, Mark worked in the Triangle area, gaining experience in commercial and municipal architecture.  In 2001 he returned to NC State University where he received his Master of Architecture.  Seeking to pursue his interest in designing residential and commercial architecture within a specific regional setting, Mark found his way back closer to sea level and joined the Kersting Architecture team in the summer of 2003. 

When he is not pursuing the rigors of architecture, Mark can be found with his beautiful wife by his side as they try to keep up with the active lives of their son and daughter.  Mark enjoys collage/assemblage arts, volunteering and an array of outdoor activities like hiking, biking and cross-country skiing.

Mark is NCARB certified and is licensed to practice architecture in North Carolina.

 
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Toby Keeton
Project Architect
Kent State University College of Architecture and Environmental Design, Bachelor of Arts in Architecture - 2006
Kent State University College of Architecture and Environmental Design, Bachelor of Architecture - 2007
Winner, Architecture for Humanity International Design Challenge - 2008

Toby hails from the steel towns near Pittsburgh, PA.  His first experience in architecture came after high school, when he won a spot in the summer residency program at Frank Lloyd Wright’s famed Fallingwater.  From there, he earned his degree at Kent State University, and worked for a short time near Cleveland, OH, managing restaurant projects.  He joined Kersting Architecture in 2008, and has been involved in the design and construction of several of our award-winning projects.

Toby’s passion lies in negotiating the dual nature of architecture; both as a problem-solving science and a means of artistic expression.  He has won several competitions, including Architecture for Humanity’s 2008 international design competition and Dwell Magazine’s 2009 Innovate It! industrial design challenge.  His speculative work has been published in books such as Matt Bua’s Architectural Inventions (2012) and The University of Alberta Press Strip Appeal (2013).  He has created both works of public art that can be seen throughout the state of North Carolina, as well as pieces held in private collections.  Since 2010, he has volunteered as a design team leader with the non-profit The Full Belly Project, where he has helped develop low cost agricultural and sanitation technologies that have been deployed to Southeast Asia, Africa, and Appalachia.

Toby and his wife, Audrey, spend their time at home tending to their daughter, Caroline, their brood of adopted dogs and cats, and their beloved vegetable garden.

 
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Jim Graham
Designer/Project Manager
University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, BA in Media Communications - 2005
Clemson University, Masters of Architecture - 2012
Licensed General Contractor in North Carolina - 2006

Jim has been a designer and project manager at Kersting Architecture since 2014, a relationship that began years before as a summer internship. Prior to moving back to his native home of Wilmington, Jim lived in Chicago with his now wife Jenifer. There he worked at a Design Build firm in the Gold Coast, while Jenifer finished her Medical School rotations.  During his three-year stint in graduate school, Jim studied in Clemson, Charleston, and Genoa Italy, with a focus in design/build.  Jim’s passion for the built world stems from his earlier years as a general contractor, and son of an accomplished home-builder.   He enjoys short walks on the beach and a good hoppy beer with Jenifer and their French Bulldog, Bella Luna. Jim appreciates a good pastel polo, and golfing badly whenever time allows.

 
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Ryan Blackwell
Designer/Project Manager
University of North Carolina at Charlotte, Bachelors of Art in Sculpture - 2009
University of North Carolina at Charlotte, Masters of Architecture - 2013

Ryan’s journey starts in Hope Mills, North Carolina (just outside of Fayetteville). His architecture career began with the love of building anything and everything from neighborhood skateboard ramps to tree houses and tinkering with anything that could be taken apart. Ryan completed his Masters Degree at the School of Architecture at the University of North Carolina at Charlotte after receiving a B.A. in Sculpture. He worked for 4 years in Concord, NC up-fitting older historical buildings and doing commercial architecture. Ryan came to Kersting Architecture to hone his craft in designing and detailing beautiful local architecture. When not working in the office, Ryan can be found exploring the local beaches, hiking the not so distant mountains, or traveling with his wife and 2 young daughters.

 
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Shaelyn Youngblood
Associate
University of Arkansas Fay Jones School of Architecture, Bachelor of Architecture - 2016

Shaelyn grew up in Bentonville, AR (AKA Walmart Headquarters). She completed her Professional Architecture Degree in 2016 at the University of Arkansas Fay Jones School of Architecture + Design. Her husband is an officer in the Marine Corps which led her to Eastern North Carolina. Shaelyn sought an architecture firm that would foster her creativity and knowledge, and a firm that would allow her to explore detailed and individualized design. She found her home in October of 2016 at Kersting Architecture and could not be happier. Shae is a designer at heart, and she pursues design through all avenues including Interior Design, Graphic Design, Photography, and others. In her off time, she can be found exploring the outdoors, mountain biking, and enjoying the beach with her husband or playing with her Olde English Bulldoge, Chesty, and domestic black shorthair cat, Aladdin.

 
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Kara Konieczny
Associate
Kent State University College of Architecture and Environmental Design, Bachelor of Science in Architecture - 2016
Kent State University College of Architecture and Environmental Design, Masters of Architecture - 2017

Born and raised in Pittsburgh, PA, Kara had been intrigued by structures, the math and art of it all, from a young age. She spent the school years learning, excited to one day be an architect, and the summers playing multiple sports and traveling. Family vacations across the country in their RV yielded her to see and experience a great deal. After completing her Masters of Architecture at Kent State in 2017, Kara landed in Wilmington, NC. The diverse landscape across the state, from beaches to mountains (not to mention warmer weather), held all the qualities she learned that she loved from her summer travels as a child. Kersting Architecture encompassed the detail in design that always interested her. When Kara isn't in the office, she can be found running trails with her Australian Shepherd, Pete, or enjoying the views of downtown Wilmington with her boyfriend. 

awards

2017 Integrity Red Diamond Achiever Award - Surf Gallery

2017 AIA Wilmington Merit Award - On Water Main House

2017 Matsumoto Prize People’s Choice first place winner - Run Ashore

2016 AIA Wilmington Merit Award - Run Ashore

2015 AIA Wilmington Honor Award - On Water

2015 AIA Wilmington Merit Award - Equinox

2015 AIA Wilmington Honorable Mention - Waterline

2015 Matsumoto Prize People’s Choice first place winner - Waterline

2014 Matsumoto Prize People’s Choice first place winner - On Water

2013 Matsumoto Prize People’s Choice first place winner - The Dragonfly

2012 AIA Design Excellence Award - Point 3

2012 AIA Design Excellence Award - Medac 3

2012 AIA Design Honor Award - The Dragonfly

2009 News & Observer Home of the Month- The Dragonfly

2007 Wilmington-Cape Fear Home Builders Association - 2007 Parade of Homes Gold Award - Modern Baking-Unit 201

2006 Honor Award, NC AIA Design Awards - Medac 3

Publications

2017 Ocean Homes - April/May 2017

2016 Coastal Living - June 2016

2015 Salt Magazine - January 2015

2014 Salt magazine - June 2014

2014 Wrightsville Beach Magazine - September 2014

2014 Wrightsville Beach Magazine - August 2014

2014 Wrightsville Beach Magazine -January 2014

2013 Wrightsville Beach Magazine - June 2013

2009 News & Observer Home of the Month - April 2009

Wrightsville Beach Magazine - (Dragonfly) - September 2008

Wilmington Business Journal - Shipbuilding Site Gets New Life- June 27-July 10, 2008

Wrightsville Beach Magazine - (Van Schiack) - May 2007

AIArchitect Online Edition - March 16, 2007

Multifamily Executive (The Weldon) - September 2006

Wrightsville Beach Magazine (Randall Kitchen)  April 2006

Wrightsville Beach Magazine (Kersting Kitchen)  April 2005

Wrightsville Beach Magazine  (Busch Kitchen)  April 2005

Wrightsville Beach Magazine  (Busch Kitchen)  April 2005

Wilmington Magazine (McDonnell Kitchen) - Fall 2004

Wrightsville Beach Magazine (Chipley Bathroom) - August 2004

Wrightsville Beach Magazine (Gendron Residence)  May 2004

Wrightsville Beach Magazine (Randazzo Kitchen)  April 2004

Alamance Magazine (Ling Residence)  February 2004

Coastal Living Magazine (Stout Residence)  September - October 2002

Coastal Living Magazine (Stout Residence)  January-February 2002

Audio Video Interiors (Stout Residence)  February 2002

The Free Lance Star Fredericksburg, Virginia (Woodruff Residence) January 11, 2002

Wilmington Star News (MRKA Office Profile)  May 28, 2000

The Fayetteville Observer (Stout Residence) August 12, 2000