Balder Architecture is a multi-disciplinary design practice that works with clients to strengthen their mission and strategic location by providing design solutions. 


"Design is great tool to explore and achieve clients' goals. We work with for-profit and non-profit organizations to plan and design projects - campuses, buildings, spaces - by putting the architectural program together in new and creative ways."                     - Douglas Balder



For over 25 years, Douglas Balder has designed interpretive museum exhibitions, cultural centers, and learning environments.

Mr. Balder designed Zoom In: Science at the Extremes, Morehead Planetarium and Science Center, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, North Carolina, Expansion Pre-Planning, Brooklyn Children’s Museum, Brooklyn, and the master plan for the new Center for Science Learning and Teaching, Liberty Science Center, Jersey City, New Jersey.

He partnered with Rockwell Group, winning the commission and then executing the planning, concept design and schematic design for the Walt Disney Family Museum, San Francisco, California. Mr. Balder collaborated with Lee H. Skolnick Design and Architecture Partnership on the design of the Center for Entrepreneurial Education, Dayton, Ohio. 

He designed the 42 Street national headquarters of the All Stars Project, Inc., New York City, and the Scott Flamm Center for Afterschool Development for the All Stars Project of New Jersey in Newark.

From 1993 – 2001 Mr. Balder worked for Ralph Appelbaum Associates, where for six years he led a design studio. The Fossil Halls, including the dinosaur galleries, at the American Museum of Natural History, New York City, the World Golf Hall of Fame and Permanent Exhibition, World Golf Village, St. Augustine, Florida, the Permanent Exhibition at the National Museum of Pre-History, Taitung, Taiwan, and The Indiana Story, the permanent exhibition of the Indiana State Museum, Indianapolis, Indiana are among his design credits.

Mr. Balder rejoined Ralph Appelbaum Associates in 2009 when he was asked to lead the design/build of the Jewish Museum and Tolerance Center, Moscow, Russia (opened November 2012), won and designed the commission to create the new Wisconsin History Museum Visitor Experience Plan (completed November 2014), and led the design/build of the Boris Yeltsin Presidential Center, Ekaterinburg, Russia (opened November 2015).  

In the mid-1980’s, he designed the off-Broadway theater complex, Studio 19, in New York City, working closely with the renowned choreographer and director, Michael Bennett, and the expansion of the Queensborough Central Public Library, Queens, New York while at the Liebman Melting Partnership. From 1988 - 1992, Mr. Balder worked independently and co-designed and built the Castillo Cultural Center, New York City, and designed the Klee-Berggruen Gallery at the Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York City. 

Design Awards

Mr. Balder has received international and local AIA design awards that include: 

·       Silver Award, Non-Residential Built Category Adaptive Re-use, AIA Newark Suburban, NJ: All Stars Project of New Jersey, Newark, NJ, 2013

·       Industrial Designers Society of America: Jewish Museum and Tolerance Center, Moscow, Russia2013

·       Graphis Inc.: Jewish Museum and Tolerance Center, Moscow, Russia2013

·       The Chicago Athenaeum: Museum of Architecture and Design: 2013 International Awards: Jewish Museum and Tolerance Center, Moscow, Russia2013

·       The Art Newspaper Russia Prizes, Museum of the Year: Jewish Museum and Tolerance Center, Moscow, Russia, 2013

·       Merit Award, Society for Environmental Graphic Design: National Museum of Prehistory, Taitung, Taiwan, 2004

·       Award of Excellence, Fossil Halls, SEGD, 1998

·       Gold Award, Fossil Halls, Industrial Design Excellence (IDEA) 1996

·       I.D. Design Distinction Award in Environments, Fossil Halls, 1996

Mr. Balder was short-listed in the Yitzhak Rabin International Peace Forum competition, Tel Aviv, and was a finalist for the Institute for Conflict Analysis and Resolution competition, George Mason University, Fairfax, Virginia.


Throughout his career, Mr. Balder has been a student of learning theory and has worked with activity learning theorists specializing in the work of Lev Vygotsky. Vygotsky made critical new discoveries about the relationship between learning and human development. This has profoundly impacted Mr. Balder’s approach to planning and designing projects.

Mr. Balder helped found the All Stars Project, a performance-based learning model and anti-poverty program, and has volunteered, building the donor base and fundraising, and providing pro-bono architectural design services. He serves on the Board and its governance/board development and finance committees. 

Mr. Balder is active with the Committee for Independent Community Action, analyzing the current administration's plan, Housing New York, and strategizing how to protect and extend NYCHA housing for its residents, and answer the question, what kind of city do we want to create.


Mr. Balder attended Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute and received a B.S. Building Science and B.A. Architecture. He is a registered architect in the state of New York.