Who We Are

We are people who enjoy working with each other and those we partner with to design and build spaces and places.  We like challenges and strive for great designs that can make our clients happy. We work hard – quietly at our desks or together around the counter, especially on projects that contribute to the reinvention of the Pittsburgh region.  We like learning – from each other, engineers, contractors, industry reps and our clients.  We also enjoy our time working together – laughing at the antics of the office dogs, drinking good coffee while meeting, and celebrating our personal and professional accomplishments together (usually with Prantl’s Burnt Almond Torte and champagne).

Peter Margittai, AIA

As principal of Margittai Architects, Peter is responsible for the design and management of all the firm’s projects.  He founded the firm in 2001 with the goal of creating thoughtful and tailored architectural and interior design solutions, in a collaborative studio environment, for his clients.  His firm’s work has received numerous awards and acknowledgements, including Pittsburgh Magazine’s Home Renovation of the Year Award, two Preservation Pennsylvania’s Historic Preservation Awards, and AIA Pennsylvania and Pittsburgh Design Awards.

Peter received his Bachelor of Science and Bachelor of Architecture from The Pennsylvania State University (Penn State), and has studied in Rome and at the Ecole D’Art Americaines in Fontainebleau, France.  He has also traveled extensively through the U.S., Europe and Japan.

Peter is active in several local and regional initiatives. He served as the President of Preservation Pittsburgh, is a member of the East Carson Street Local Review Committee, and a volunteer for the Design Center’s Design Consultants program. Peter also serves as a Board Member of the College of Arts and Architecture Alumni Society and past President of the Architecture Alumni Board, both at Penn State University.

Email: peter@margittai.com

Lori FitzgeraldRA, WELL AP, CPHC, LEED AP, BD+C

Lori is a Registered Architect who offers 20+ years of work experience with a focus in adaptive reuse and renovation.  Having previously worked for a large, international architectural firm and a regionally-based firm, Lori has contributed to and led a variety of projects, including mixed-use, multi-family housing (market rate, low income and senior living), hotels, higher education, cultural and institutional, commercial, office, public spaces and exhibits, interiors, site planning and community planning.

Lori earned her Bachelor of Architecture, with Honors, from Carnegie Mellon University, where she now serves as an Adjunct Professor.  She is a LEED Accredited Professional (BD+C), Certified Passive House Consultant (CPHC) and WELL Acredited Professional (WELL AP).  She has completed comprehensive project management training from the Project Management Institute (PMI), and is a graduate of the City of Pittsburgh’ Civic Leadership Academy.

“Design is important to me because it is a way to care for our collective spaces and communities, our built history, and our culture and environment. Design creates legacies we can leave to future generations.  When done thoughtfully, design can be a very meaningful gift.”

Email: lori@margittai.com

Kelli Orendi, RA

Kelli is a Registered Architect who earned her Bachelor of Architecture degree from The Pennsylvania State University (Penn State), where she received the Kossman Award, a traveling scholarship, for her 5th year Thesis – U.S. Steel Worker’s Collection of Historical and Labor Archives in Homestead, PA.

Offering 15+ years of work experience, Kelli provides design and project management services.  Having worked for both small, mid-size and large firms, Kelli has designed and renovated office buildings, mixed use buildings, retail spaces and residential projects. She joined the firm in 2013.

Kelli is a graduate of Leadership Pittsburgh’s Leadership Development Initiative and an active volunteer in her community. In her free time, she enjoys traveling with her family.

“I enjoy working at Margittai Architects because the office culture is open, friendly and creative.  Everyone can have a voice and a meaningful impact on the firm and its direction.  We all enjoy working together and sharing our talents to help our clients.”

Email: kelli@margittai.com

Eric Nicklaus

Eric is a Graduate Architect who earned his Bachelor of Architecture Degree from Carnegie Mellon University. With over 20 years of experience in the architecture and construction fields, Eric excels at solving and detailing complex architectural challenges. He also offers in-depth experience in documenting existing conditions, conducting building code analyses, and overseeing construction and contract management.

In his free time, Eric enjoys designing and building intricate structures to display his IPA-of-the-month deliveries and building multi-level dog mansions for his canine roommate “Pickle”.

Email: eric@margittai.com

Catalina Pagnotta, RA

Catalina is a Registered Architect who earned her Bachelor of Science with Honors and Master of Architecture degree with a focus in Urban Design from Kent State University. Joining the firm in 2014, Catalina has provided services for establishing existing conditions and creating schematic design, design development, and construction documentation for more than 20+ projects – including restaurants, single family homes, residential developments, and workspaces.

Catalina spends her free time learning new languages, doing home improvement projects with her husband, Brian, and singing in the choir at St. Mary of the Mount.

“I love Pittsburgh because of the diversity of places.  Within a 15 minute drive, you can attend an event or dinner in downtown, explore the street markets of the Strip District, view the beautiful skyline from Mt. Washington, enjoy the collegiate atmosphere in Oakland, or stroll through Schenley or Frick Park.”

Email: catalina@margittai.com

Robert Zoelle, RA, CPHC, LEED AP

Rob is a Registered Architect who earned his Bachelor of Science and Master of Architecture degree with a focus in Urban Design from Kent State University. Joining the firm in 2016, Rob offers experience in sustainable design, programming, schematic design, construction documentation and administration on projects for clients including colleges, community centers, art institutions, restaurants, and homeowners.

Rob enjoys volunteering for Rebuilding Together Pittsburgh, playing hockey and golf, and spending time with his wife, Kortney.

“My favorite place is the hockey rink.  They say you should find work and life balance, a place to go, a hobby to enjoy.  For me, it is the rink where I skate with friends, enjoy the camaraderie of good-natured competition, and maybe even score a goal every once in a while.”

Email: robert@margittai.com

Kristy Conroy

Kristy attended Penn State University, where she studied accounting and finance. For the past 10 years, Kristy has worked in the manufacturing, hospitality and non-profit sectors, providing administration and support services.

Joining Margittai Architects in September 2017, Kristy provides administration, financial and marketing support for the office.

A Pittsburgh native who recently returned to the area, Kristy enjoys spending time with her family and volunteering in her community.

Email: kristy@margittai.com


Rescued from Humane Animal Rescue by the Margittai Family, Jadie serves as the official greeter and squirrel watcher at Margittai Architects.  She appreciates the design of the office as it allows her to run from the front to the back of the building with her canine buddy, ‘Tuesday’, and visit her co-workers to beg for treats, take naps under their desks and lick their legs.  She also is very experienced at reminding her owner, Peter Margittai, to leave at the end of the day, by nudging him at his work desk until he looks at his watch and realizes that he is late to go home for dinner with his family.

“Woof.” (interpretation: “Squirrel?”)