Manuel Zeitlin Architects is an award winning, Nashville based architecture firm. We approach each project autonomously and treat each problem as unique; we find architectural resolutions to complex challenges in both predictable and unexpected ways, however, different clients with different sites inevitably yield different results.
Founded in 1981, MZA has developed experience with a wide range of client and project types across the country. Ranging from mixed-use sustainably designed developments in urban contexts, to preservation award-winning projects involving the adaptive reuse of historical structures, to James Beard nominated restaurants, to custom modern residences, MZA seeks out ventures that provide exciting design opportunities to push our abilities as creative problem solvers.
In our work we often attempt to positively impact the broader community and encourage clients to include environmentally responsible elements in all of our projects. We strive for beautiful and sustainable design solutions in our work. In addition to the project types listed above, our firm resume is populated with a variety of unique designs for schools, not-for-profits, community projects and innovative new concepts in healthcare, memory care and research.
We have been successful in developing a wide client base because
- we are distinctively responsive to client’s needs and each project’s unique demands
- we are constantly re-evaluating our acquired knowledge and, consequently, re-educating ourselves, our consultants and our clients
- we committed to a collaborative team approach to achieve the best possible solution - the dialog during the design process allows for a better solution
- our staff is engaged in Nashville as advocates and volunteers for causes ranging from the environment, to music, to schools
- we are results driven, budget conscious and uncompromisingly passionate about our work
- we maintain enduring relationships with many contractors, consultants, developers, governmental officials, design professionals and clients.
Art and architecture share the ability to change the way we experience, and engage with, the world around us. Since 1996, Manuel Zeitlin Architects has shared its space with Zeitgeist art gallery. Zeitgeist features works by established and emerging local and regional artists alongside nationally and internationally recognized artists. The partnership allows MZA to support the Nashville art scene while challenging and inspiring ourselves, our clients and consultants.
In April 2013, the studio relocated to the Wedgewood/Houston neighborhood in Nashville. This auspicious area of the city is home to a diverse collection of artist studios, businesses, schools, churches and residences, and is one of several inner-city neighborhoods that have quickly morphed from the fringe to the mainstream. Our new location, a former automobile workshop, continues Manuel Zeitlin Architects’ interest in creatively adapting existing urban spaces to ensure future functionality.
Meet the Staff
MZA values our clients, our people and the quality of our work. Our success since 1981 can be attributed to these three elements, and our commitment to them has attracted both great clients and great people. Entwined through these values is our passion for sustainable, smart, green design. These are not “catch phrases” for us, but professional choices we embrace as a part of our of lives. These ideals have earned the confidence of private and public partners who want to build great places that many generations will enjoy.
Manuel ZeitlinPrincipal, A.I.A., LEED A.P.
Manuel established Manuel Zeitlin Architects after moving back to Nashville in 1981. He is a past Chairman of the Interior Design Department at O'More College of Design in Franklin, TN, and former Commissioner of the Franklin Historic District Commission in Franklin, TN. A Nashville native, Manuel received a Bachelor of Arts in Architecture in 1976 from Washington University in St. Louis and a Bachelor of Architecture in 1981 from the Boston Architectural Center in Boston. Registered in Tennessee and Arkansas, Manuel is certified with the National Council of Architectural Registration Boards (NCARB), an American Institute of Architects (AIA) member and has received LEED AP from the US Green Building Council (USGBC).
Mark BixlerPROJECT ARCHITECT, LEED A.P.
Mark came to Nashville in 2004 from New York City. He earned his Bachelor of Architecture from the University of Kentucky and a Master of Science in Advanced Architectural Design from Columbia University. Mark takes a leading role on both NYC and local projects. He is licensed in New York and Tennessee, is NCARB certified and has received LEED AP from the USGBC. Mark’s work has been featured in Interior Design magazine and Architectural Record among other places.
Mark is a committee member of the Metro Nashville Tree Advisory Council and the Nashville Food Policy Council. He is the past co-president of the Glendale Spanish Immersion Elementary School PTO and the co-president-elect of the JT Moore Middle School PTO – he can be found volunteering regularly at both schools in a variety of capacities. Mark is also involved with Boy Scouts of America on a local and district-wide level.
L. Lesley Beeman, Jr.A.I.A, Project Architect
Lesley moved with his family from Oxford Mississippi in 2005 to join Manuel Zeitlin Architects. A 1995 graduate of the Mississippi State University School of Architecture Lesley is NCARB certified and a member of the AIA and the USGBC.
Lesley is the curator of the Indeterminacies musical program at Zeitgeist art gallery. Indeterminacies features local and regional composers and performers along with writers, philosophers, and critics. The program introduces new, compelling music to the audience and invites them to dissect both the music and their relationship to it through a moderated discussion witht the performers. Indeterminacies was called the best place to hear contemporary classical music by the Nashville Scene.
Ethan LevineProject Architect, LEED A.P.
Ethan joined MZA in 2013 when he relocated to Nashville from Hawaii with his family. He earned a Bachelor of Architecture from The University of Tennessee in 2003 and studied abroad in Krakow Poland during 4th year. Prior to joining MZA Ethan owned and operated his own architectural firm in Honolulu, Collaborative Design Workshop. Ethan has a love for travel and the outdoors. Extensive international travel and time in the wilderness provides Ethan with a great source of design inspiration.
Kristen joined MZA in 2015 after moving to Nashville from Austin, Texas where she and her husband lived and enjoyed the “everything’s bigger” mindset with the vast landscapes and large attitudes. Kristen received her bachelor’s degree from the University of Florida, summa cum laude, with a degree in Design from the School of Architecture and her master’s degree in architecture from the University of Texas at Austin, or as she likes to say, the “real” UT. While at UT she taught as a graduate teaching assistant which took her on her second tour of Italy to the Tuscan region. Kristen has designed and managed projects that range from residential to high-end commercial and retail.
Kristen and her husband are always on the go with one of their many hobbies, some of which include working on their 1980 Chevrolet truck that they restored, gardening, fishing, riding horses and hanging out friends and family.
Andy GroganArchitect, AIA
Andy joined MZA in 2015, returning to Nashville after 17 years in Western Massachusetts. He has managed educational, residential, commercial, and hospitality projects.
Andy earned his B.A. in English at Vanderbilt University (1994), spent a decade in the construction industry, and then completed his Masters in Architecture at Boston Architectural College (2010), where he graduated at the top of his class. In 2014, he received the Western Massachusetts AIA’s highest distinction, The Honor Award, for his work at Amherst College.
Like everyone else in Nashville, he’s been known to make music.
Brad ProvinceArchitect, AIA
Brad joined MZA in late 2015. Originally from East Tennessee, Brad earned a Bachelor of Architecture from the University of Tennessee in 2006. Over the past ten years, in a wide range of offices, Brad has worked on projects as large as the Music City Center and as small as holiday cards. He is licensed in Tennessee, an AIA member and NCARB certified. Brad is interested in music, the creative process and architecture for children.
Emily MiyaresAssociate AIA
Emily joined the MZA staff in 2012. She double majored in art history and sociology at Williams College before earning her Masters in Architecture from the University of Virginia in 2011. Emily left Nashville with her husband in July of 2013 and continues to work for MZA from her home office in New York.
Nelle BlevinsLEED AP BD+C
Nelle joined MZA in 2015. An East Tennessee native, She earned her Master of Architecture at Tulane University in 2002 and remained in New Orleans as an intern architect until relocating to Nashville in 2005. She has designed and managed a broad range of projects, including commercial, multi-family, and higher education. She is a LEED Accredited Professional with specialization in Building Design and Construction and has managed LEED Certification for many projects as well.
In her spare time, Nelle enjoys creating one of a kind soldered and beaded jewelry. Locally, her work has been sold in the Frist Center for the Visual Arts gift shop, where she was a featured Nashville artist during a 2009 member event.
Betsy LittrellLEED AP BD+C
Betsy joined MZA in 2016. She believes firmly that design can, and should, delight the human experience while solving complex environmental, social, and economic problems. Since graduation from UT Knoxville in 2010, she has immersed herself in community engagement, education and volunteerism while a Design Fellow at the Nashville Civic Design Center and interning architect.
She and her husband have a micro urban farm complete with a largely passive aquaponic greenhouse - growing both tilapia and vegetables in addition to urban hens and fruit. "Green Leaf Aquaponics" is an incubator for experiments in urban agriculture and she uses it to show neighbors, peers and clients alike the opportunity to incorporate incremental solutions towards a more resilient lifestyle. Betsy dreams big, laughs loud and is continuously pushing the envelope for equitable and regenerative development.
Juliana DailyInterior Designer
Juliana hails from Upstate New York where she received bachelor’s and master’s degrees from Cornell University’s Interior Design program. Following graduate school, she worked at an historic preservation architecture firm in Syracuse on projects including Main Street façade programs, religious properties, and housing rehabilitation. An aspiring musician, Juliana moved to Nashville in 2012 to focus on songwriting and vocal performance.
Juliana joined MZA in 2016, and now balances her days designing spaces with evenings constructing songs. She loves exploring the various scales at which thoughtful architectural and graphic design can take place, and the ways that design can engage communities and individuals with their environments and with one another. Juliana thrives being challenged to learn new things, loves creating and being surrounded by art, and cares deeply about her footprint on this earth.
Scott HarootyanArchitectural Designer
Scott joined MZA in 2016 after earning his Master of Architecture at the Boston Architectural College. With an interest in many different aspects of design, Scott has a diverse resume of professional design work. In addition to his residential, commercial and institutional work at architectural firms in Boston and Nashville, Scott’s design experience includes designing and installing green roofs, working under the ADA on universal and accessible design projects, and developing prospective residential projects for the City of Boston’s Department of Neighborhood Development.
Scott and his wife are true animal lovers and can usually be found out and about in Nashville with their dog Kodi, exploring all of the city's beautiful parks and lakes. Kodi also tags along as they enjoy Nashville's great restaurant and bar patios.
Melinda ClarkCADD Technician and Production Team
Melinda joined Manuel Zeitlin Architects in 2001. A Tennessee native and graduate of Austin Peay State University, she brings 36 years of drafting and CADD experience to the MZA Production team. She is Bumpus Mill’s last remaining liberal and enjoys an occasional Lagavulin.
Matthew MckeeverOffice Manager
A Virginia native who has lived in Nashville for almost 20 years, Matt has been the office manager since 2007. Prior to joining MZA Matt owned a record store, was a baker, a welder, a painter and a musician.