About Encore Sustainable Architects

Architecture, Historic Preservation & Sustainability

At ENCORE, our mission is to detect, restore, create and beautify.

Our Work

Encore is a boutique architecture design firm specializing in historic preservation, adaptive reuse and sustainability. Our team is led by veteran architect W. Ward Bucher, AIA, APT and consists of architects, preservationists and sustainable designers with advanced degrees, licenses and certifications. Among our architecture services, we provide Historic Restoration, Sustainable, Housing, Commercial and Institutional design. We also have developed core competencies in government approvals, historic and sustainability documentation and construction administration services. 

Encore’s Principal Architect, Ward Bucher, is a registered architect in Washington, D.C., Maryland and Virginia with over 50 years of experience with historic, new and green buildings. He uniquely approaches each of his projects with a holistic approach to design. Ward and his teams have worked as lead architect and supporting historic architect on buildings at all levels of historic designation from local to National Historic Landmarks including nonprofits, museums, offices and retail to multi-family housing. Under the Secretary of the Interiors’ Standards and Guidelines, Encore meets the Professional Qualifications for both Architecture and Historic Preservation. 

Over the years, the firm has been awarded numerous honors, including several AIA DC Chapter’s Historic Resources Merit Awards and The Architect's Newspaper Best Design Award for their historic renovation work on the Menokin project. The firm is involved in a variety of architecture and preservation organizations, including the D.C. Preservation League where Bucher was a past president,  Preservation Maryland at which he currently serves on the board and the Easton Historic Commission on which Designer Ernest Demby serves. Community service and pro bono projects, such as the Webb’s Hope house, play an important and consistent role in the culture of the firm.

What Others Are Saying

Amanda & Will Asmus

Thank you for your guiding hand in helping us to bring clarity to our home. We appreciate every hour and moment we have with you.

Amanda B. Coleman-Phelps
President & CEO, Nelson Coleman Jewelers

From day one of working with Ward and Joe I felt like I was in the only customer they had and I know that’s far from reality but that’s how much time and attention they paid to me and my project. This was not a small project! We were turning a building built in 1865 into a retail jewelry store complete with two 7000lb safes. 

I never felt inadequate when asking a question, they always made me feel confident. I know that working with specialized teams can feel intimidating but I never felt that once. I highly recommend Encore Sustainable Architects and I can’t wait to be able to work with them again!

Nelson Coleman Jewelers - Frederick Location

Kate Kubit, VP, Elm Street Communities

Learning about the electric and lead paint reinforces just how out-of-compliance the buildings on this job are. I’m so very pleased that we went with the cold dark shell concept and kept communicating this to all the stakeholders.

Thank you for your help in working though the idiosyncrasies of the project – you have been a tremendous help throughout this surprising complicated job.

Dana Johnson, Managing Director, Reinvestment Fund 

When you are part of a project like this, you see one part, from your perspective, at the beginning. But you’re financing a dream – a collective one... I remember walking through the dust and debris early on in the project, and now it is just beautiful. Functional. Welcoming. The team was visionary in seeing the potential of the Belnord Theatre and executing its transformation. This is a group that will pay huge dividends in the community they serve.

Belnord Theatre

Don Bibb, Executive Director of the Talbot Housing Authority

The Housing Commission of Talbot was honored to have had the assistance of Mr. Ward Bucher of Encore Design to be part of the renovation and design team on the well documented Buffalo Soldier House. This project was an undertaking of such historic significance that we needed the best architect who was familiar with historic guidelines and sensitivity to the renovations. This is where Mr. Bucher stood out among all others. His detail to the needed work and expert guidance during the construction made the project the noted success it ended up being. 

Buffalo Soldier House

Carlene Phoenix, President of Historic Easton

Very professional, knowledgeable, resourceful, dependable and outstanding customer service. When ever we have a question or concern their response is timely and with patience. We have been working with Encore Sustainable Architects since 2013 on a Historic African American Church Preservation Project and could not have hired a better company. 

Asbury United Methodist Church

Ann Lawler, St. Luke's Episcopal Church

I'm enormously impressed with your dedication to get this finished in time, given the very short time frame that we started with and the extraordinary circumstances brought on by the pandemic.

Bob Brehm, Project Manager, Organizational Assistance LLC

It is amazing what we’ve created out of that property.  It was the perfect location, but the wrong building for this Center – structural issues, space limitations and historic requirements made it a challenge, but the team rose to, and conquered, the challenge.

Belnord Theatre

Amanda Shores Davis, Executive Director, Star-Spangled Banner Flag House and Museum

In 2017, the Star-Spangled Banner Flag House and Museum began plans for extensive exterior repairs and preservation of the historic building and sought the services of a local preservation architect. Encore Sustainable Architects came highly recommended by other Baltimore preservation organizations and museums. Encore conducted a building survey and acted as the liaison between the Museum and contractor from the bid process through the completion of phase one. While the fabric of the building is in good condition for being nearly 230 years old, the historic Flag House required painting, fabrication, and replacement of shutter dogs, capping of both chimneys, window light replacement, and considerable masonry restoration. For the first time in more than fifty years, the Flag House would be getting a facelift, and Encore saw us through every step of the process.

It was a pleasure to work with Ward and the rest of the Encore team! We look forward to continuing to work with Encore on phase two of this project to rebuild the Museum's historic iron and masonry wall.

Star-Spangled Banner Flag House

Noah E. Waters, PhD, Mayor of Eagle Harbor, MD

Excellent work!! You put us on the map. Thank you.

Aquasco-Woodville Historic District Survey

Rebeccah Ballo, Historic Preservation Program Supervisor, Montgomery County Planning Department

Thank you Ward for the great work on this project!

Woodside Neighborhood

William Hernandez

They've helped me out on a couple of projects in the past, and they did a superb job on both projects. That's why I've rehired them to help me with my latest project.

I strongly recommend them for your next construction project.

Ken Fisher

Encore's performance exceeded the project expectation in every way.

They kept up with a fast paced schedule, within the contract budget.

Their knowledge, professionalism and quality of work were excellent.

Susan Giddings

As a small, non-profit house museum, we depend on knowledgeable, ethical professionals to provide us guidance as we take on the challenge of restoring an preserving our 1753 farmhouse and tavern. Not only did they complete the property inspection and assessment as contracted, but Ward took the time to educate us along the way about building techniques and materials. We plan to continue our relationship with Encore Sustainable Architects as preservation partners.

Mark James

Encore Sustainable Architects has provided excellent architectural services to our various affordable housing projects in the DC and Baltimore regions. Their knowledge of sustainable design and development practices has helped our firm meet our comprehensive green building goals. Customer service is outstanding and they go the extra mile to exceed our expectations. I recommend them highly!

Tom Riford, Assistant Secretary of Maryland’s Department of Commerce

This terrific historic preservation project is deserving for visitors and residents to see. Encore did a great job saving and reimagining the Dr. Horace Willson House!

Dr. Horace Willson House

Encore-Sustainable- Architects-Ward-Bucher


Ward has built a career designing and preserving spaces people love. He has extensive experience in adaptive use of existing buildings throughout the United States and has won numerous awards in his architectural practice. He has helped multiple clients receive millions of dollars in historic tax credits. Ward received his Bachelor of Building Science and his Bachelor of Architecture degrees from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute. He wrote The Dictionary of Building Preservation and has over 50 years of experience as a registered architect.

We believe that more buildings deserve another chance to perform…
more sustainably and beautifully than originally constructed.

Resources & News


Architect Joseph Wojciechowski Appointed to Bel Air Historic Preservation Commission

Architect Joseph "Joe" Wojciechowski Encore Sustainable Architects is excited to share that Architect Joseph "Joe" Wojciechowski has been appointed to ...

Maryland Historical Trust Honors Project with Excellence in Commercial/Institutional Rehabilitation Award

As part of Preservation Month (May 2022), the Maryland Historical Trust (MHT) presented awards for noteworthy accomplishments in the preservation ...

Panel Discussion: Restoring Community: Preservation as an Economic Driver

Encore Sustainable Architects Ward Bucher moderated a panel at the 2022 Maryland Economic Development Association (MEDA) Annual Conference. The theme ...

Affiliations & Partnerships