SOUTH SHORE ENTREPRENEUR: A husband-and-wife architect team in Cohasset
Greg Derr/ The Patriot Ledger
Husband and wife architects, Can and Juliana Tiryaki of Cohasset at work in their Cohasset Village office.
Juliana and Can Tiryaki first met at Yale, where they studied architecture together. After college, the couple both moved to New York, where they worked for large firms and managed multimillion dollar projects on a regular basis.
Several years passed, and the now husband and wife had moved back to Juliana’s hometown of Cohasset.
Juliana worked as a freelance architect for several years and gave birth to two sons, while Can worked for Elkus/Manfredi Architects in Boston. Then in 2010 this duo of design decided to open a firm of their own.
“It was a bit nerve-racking at first,” Juliana said. “Working as a team, all of the risk is put on our family.”
But in just a few years, Tiryaki Design has staked out a comfortable territory in Cohasset, Hingham, and Scituate. Working out of their Cohasset home and Main Street office, their architectural design practice now handles some 40 projects a year.
Although the couple has done some ground-up home designs, the Tiryakis tend to focus mostly on renovations and additions, particularly to single-family homes in Cohasset.
“There are a lot of historical homes around here that people wouldn’t want to tear down. So instead we work with the existing character of the house,” Juliana said.
Although the couple doesn’t advertise their business, word-of-mouth has so far been all that they need. That, and ‘word-of-eye.’
“Because so many of our clients are local, people have driven through Cohasset and Scituate and seen our work,” Juliana said.
Tiryaki has worked on some fairly large non-residential projects, including a $1 million addition to the Scituate Harbor Yacht Club and $200,000 renovation on a Framingham dental practice. They also designed a renovation and addition to South Shore Children’s Dentistry in Cohasset.
The biggest hurdle in his line of work, Can Tiryaki says, is getting people to see that they need an architect for planning a renovation or addition.
“A lot of people rely on a contractor to design and lay out a project. We want people to really plan things before the shovel hits the ground,” he said.
The Tiryakis’ use of 2D and 3D drafting and modeling software often helps to give their clients a better sense of what finished renovations will look like.
“It also helps contractors estimate a price,” Can noted.
Facilitating a positive relationship between the contractor and the client is a big part of what the Tiryakis work towards, especially in a field where staying in the good graces of both plays a big part in one’s ability to get more work.
“Sometimes the architect and contractor can get on opposite sides, and one bad project is all it takes to lose everything,” Can said.