Biography

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Michael J. Connor, President, is the principal architect of Alternative Architecture.  Michael received two degrees from the College of Architecture at The Georgia Institute of Technology — a Bachelor of Science in Architecture (1982) and a Master’s Degree in Architecture (1988).  In addition, Michael’s passion for the environment and energy efficiency led him to obtain a Minor Certificate of Energy Studies from the College of Engineering at The Georgia Institute of Technology in 1984.

Michael has a long history of environmental awareness, beginning at the age of 12 when he began volunteering with the Environmental Protection Agency.  Since that time, Michael’s passion for protecting the environment led him to focus his studies on sustainable design and passive solar architecture.  He remains active in efforts to protect the environment and advocate for sustainable practices through volunteer efforts in his local community.

Michael is also active in issues related to affordable housing and homelessness.  During his graduate studies, Michael’s thesis focused on the design of emergency shelters for the homeless, culminating in the co-founding of the “Mad Housers” of Atlanta.  The Mad Housers gained national attention for their unique approach to providing emergency shelter for the homeless and was the impetus for similar groups that surfaced in other parts of the country.  Michael remains active in issues surrounding homelessness and affordable housing, through his volunteer efforts with local organizations and various pro bono projects for groups such as Habitat for Humanity.

Michael has over 30 years of experience in the practice of architecture, and has practiced in Atlanta, Georgia and Baltimore, Maryland before relocating to Wilmington, NC.  This rich and deep experience allowed Michael to work on exciting and innovative projects such as the Fort Fisher Aquarium in North Carolina, the J. Edgar Hoover Building in Washington, DC, and 42nd Street Theatre in New York.  Other project  types include: multiplex movie theatres; hospitals and other medical facilities; restaurants; high-rise hotels; schools; churches; single and multi-family  residential; master planning services; and forensic work.

After winning a statewide design competition in North Carolina for the design of passive solar houses, Michael decided to embark on a new journey, and established Alternative Architecture.  Michael has also recently expanded his professional endeavors to include an Adjunct Faculty position at Cape Fear Community College where he teaches classes in the Architectural Technology Department.