Architecture Background Office



Architecture Background Office (ABO) is an architecture, interiors, and decorative arts firm that creates people-focused spaces. Marc McQuade, a licensed architect, started the firm in 2024 with the goal of creating buildings which are beautiful, comfortable, productive, and with the belief that well-conceived and responsibly built architecture provides the background for positive shifts in the world.


Marc McQuade, AIA, approaches this venture drawing on over twenty-years of experience working among recognized leaders in the design professions on projects that range widely in location, type, and size. Before launching ABO, Marc was Associate Principal at Adjaye Associates and co-led the New York office. During his fourteen years there, he oversaw the design and construction of many significant projects located in North America: buildings, interiors, competitions, exhibitions, and furniture pieces. Some of which include: 130 William, an 800-ft tall residential tower in downtown Manhattan; Princeton University Art Museum, a new 144,000 square foot new arts complex in the heart of campus; Richard Avedon Murals + Portraits, at the Gagosian Gallery; Webster, LA retail store; National Museum of African American History and Culture, in Washington DC; Sugar Hill, an affordable housing, pre-school, and children’s museum in Harlem; Jean-Michel Basquiat: King Pleasure, a traveling exhibition; Ralph C. Wilson Jr. Centennial Park, Detroit.

Marc is an American and Swiss citizen born in New York and raised there as well as the Bay Area. He received a Bachelor of Arts from U.C. Berkeley, where he competed nationally on the Cal Taekwondo team. After working for several years at an architecture firm in Switzerland, he attended the Princeton University Graduate School of Architecture where he earned a Master’s Degree and was honored with the Alpha Ro Chi Medal for leadership and service. He has taught architectural design at Princeton University and the University of Toronto and regularly participates on architectural juries and panels. He is editor of Authoring: Re-placing Art and Architecture, one of the founding editors of Pidgin magazine, and co-editor of the book Landform Building: Architecture’s New Terrain with Stan Allen. He lives in New York City with his wife and two children.