National Life Lobby Renovations - New Security Desk

Our name, our mission

Stephen Frey founded Arocordis Design out of an idea and a sense of mission. When brainstorming and seeking a name, he sought to fuse two Latin words for continued inspiration. He did so following in the footsteps of other design firms he admired similarly valuing meaning before singular egos and namesakes.

Arocordis fuses aro - Latin for "to cultivate, to till." and cordis - Latin for "heart, soul and meaning". Arocordis echoes our purpose, forming our mission.  

We like to leave things better than we found them, nurturing through our work, the socio-cultural, environmental and natural systems we are all part of.  We want to help you thrive by design!

American Meadows New Offices, Renovations - 2016  

American Meadows New Offices, Renovations - 2016  

About our firm

Arocordis Design provides a wide range of architectural, interior, workplace and planning services.  We also provide architectural illustration and rendering services. We primarily serve clients in Vermont and increasingly out of state. Where not licensed to practice, we will partner, when required to do so, with licensed professionals out of state to extend our service offering and value to our clients. 

On every project, large or small, we focus our attention and resources in ways not always possible as compared to larger firms. We strive to provide you a full-service experience supported by our agile team of design, engineering and specialized consultants.

We dedicate our work to help you thrive and be at your very best. Every. Day.

ZigZag House2 Project - 2016


What we offer

Arocordis Design offers a wide range of professional services as part of a tailored full-service package or individually or grouped relevant to your project needs.

Our goal is to help you, your organization, your family thrive by design.

We work in many different ways contractually, whether hourly, hourly with an estimated maximum, percentage based of construction and more.  We happily will explain this and figure out the best value for your needs, your budget and timeline.

Farm on the land, original watercolor, Stephen M. Frey 2008.

Farm on the land, original watercolor, Stephen M. Frey 2008.

Our services 

Organization & strategy

Strategic consulting

Organizational change & change management

Best places to work strategies

Graphic facilitating & visioning

Workplace design strategies

Educational seminars & webinars

Design advocacy & management support

User experience design (UX design)

Site design & placemaking

Architectural site design services

Site analysis, assessment and environmental analysis

Masterplanning and site use programming

Concept site planning & site design

Permitting plans and applications

Zoning and permitting analysis and summaries

Site visioning renderings and marketing graphics

Graphic design and illustrations, report writing

Public presentations and hearing support

Design charettes and workshops

architecture & interior architecture

Architectural design services

Commercial, institutional and residential design

bidding and construction documents

Facility and space programming

Space planning

Commercial and residential kitchen planning and design

Sustainable design and planning

Interior architectural design

Tenant fitup design

Fixed finishes design and selection

Specifications (by others) but coordinated by us.

Assistance with systems furniture layout and selection

Interior branding and environmental design, spatial storytelling

User experience design (UX design)

Project management services

Owner advocacy and representation

Design for accessibility and universal access

Construction administration services

LEED services (by others) 

Post occupancy surveys and analysis


We are grateful to our clients and customers and the relationships we have built together.  It takes many hands to bring projects to life and its important to dig into the earth and get our hands dirty together. That's the spirit of collaboration we strive for every day!

Below is a partial list of who we have done work for and with as Arocordis Design, collaborating with others, or with other firms before 2010. Doing so shares a broader picture of our experience. 

Detail - Sundial

Detail - Sundial


National LIfe Group

AllEarth Renewables

American Meadows

CORA Health Services, Inc.

Citi Properties, LLC.

Vermont League of Cities and Towns

Heartbeet LIfesharing*

Seventh Generation **

Renewable NRG Systems **

Canopy Development, LLC **


Elmhill Inc. dba Maplehill Farm and School

Montpelier Public Schools

Orchard Valley Waldorf School - Little Lambs Daycare

City of Montpelier 

Langdon Street Alive (Creative Placemaking)*

Bethany United Church of Christ

Rise Up Bakery Restoration for Barre Historical Society

Vermont Technical College*

Rural Edge Housing Non-profit* 

Chitengo National Park, Mozambique - Senior Staff Housing*

State of Vermont Buildings and General Services**

Beth Jacob Synagogue **

Coastal Maine Botanic Gardens **

The Putney School**

The University of Vermont**


Jennifer Overton

Kassi & Eric Benedict

Lilli & Brian Cain

Denise & Peter Ricker

Others wish to remain confidential


* Indicates work done in collaboration with Ward Joyce Design (Lead)

** Indicates experience working for this client while at Maclay Architects


(image credit - Hard Work, Dirty Hands, 2011 - Ogilivy  PR CC license Com and Mods allowed)



Principal Architect

Portrait by Arocordis Design

Stephen M. Frey - AIA, LEED AP
Principal Architect and President

Steve acts as Principal Architect for Arocordis Design. Steve leads the firm in all client facing work, project management, design, bidding, construction management services and more. He is building a practice notable for its mission and values driven design process especially in commercial and institutional project types, yet scalable to families and residential design.  He practices high performance workplace, commercial and residential design while engaging greater community and sustainability concerns.    

Steve is an evolving expert and content leader on office design, workplace strategies, planning, and high performance sustainable architecture and placemaking. He frequently speaks about these subjects at local, national conferences and seminars. Increasingly he holds online webinars of original design focused content to a growing international audience. He regularly contributes articles to The Burlington Free Press, Metropolis Magazine’s Point of View blog, LinkedIn and elsewhere. He’s an avid watercolorist and artist. He regularly guest critics student design studios at Norwich University’s Architecture Program in Northfield, Vermont.

Formerly Steve acted as architect, project manager, and eventually design director at Maclay Architects, an award winning Vermont architecture firm from 2001 to 2010. At Maclay, Steve held leadership roles in design on a variety of important commercial, institutional, and residential commissions the firm took on including Seventh Generation, Renewable NRGSystems and the Greening of Aiken Project at UVM. Before returning home to Vermont in 2001, Steve lived and practiced in Denver, Colorado graduating from the University of Colorado College of Architecture and Planning, at Denver in 1992. Steve is a 1988 Graduate of UVM and grew up in Essex Junction, Vermont.  He regularly volunteers with Montpelier Alive, a downtown business organization.