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‘Terra’ is more than mere ground; it embodies the past, origins, and identities, while ‘Novel’ signifies the present, emergence, and what has arisen from the past. ‘Terra’ holds our stories and cultures; within that resides our history, interventions, and collective memories, while 'Novel' represents the new that can make symbiosis with its past. Novelty is not extravagance but a new quality emerging from its land. ‘Terra’ is the context, and ‘Novel’ is the text.

In a unique moment in history unfolding, we are witnessing the impact of human activities daily. Despite negative consequences, this is an opportunity to reconcile with our surroundings through the use of materials and techniques, working with locals, and exploring what each context can offer. With this approach we envision architecture that harmonizes with its context, enabling adaptability to change and creating places that respect individuals' proportions and emotions.

Novel Terra is an architectural design and research studio with experience across various project scales and geographical regions, including North America, Europe, and Asia. Our practice integrates design disciplines from architecture and interiors to urban design and landscape transformation. We prioritize responsible sourcing and innovative techniques to craft vibrant, joyful, and resilient living spaces. By merging our vision at Novel Terra with a diverse range of services, we endeavor to create places that sustain, inspire, and endure.

We are currently located in Providence, Rhode Island, and actively managing projects throughout the Boston area, across Massachusetts, Rhode Island, Southwest Florida, and Europe.

Mahla Ebrahimpour, SAR/MSA

Mahla is a registered architect in Sweden with a diverse international background. She earned her master's degree in Architecture in Sustainable Urban Planning and Design from the KTH Royal Institute of Technology in Sweden, where she was awarded a two-year Scholarship for Global Professionals. Prior to her studies in Sweden, Mahla graduated with honors from the National University of Iran, Tehran, with a master's degree in architectural engineering. She completed her Bachelor's degree in Architecture from the Art University of Isfahan, Iran.
Before her time in Europe, Mahla worked in various architecture firms in Iran, contributing to award-winning projects in the Persian Gulf region, and East Asia. After completing her second graduate degree in Sweden, she moved to the Netherlands and worked as a project architect in Amsterdam. Additionally, she has experience teaching at the Amsterdam University of Arts, Academy of Architecture.
Mahla has experience working on interdisciplinary design and research projects. She is particularly drawn to studying the social, political, and ecological aspects of projects and integrating this knowledge into her design practice. In 2023, Mahla relocated to the United States and established her own practice with Nathaniel Carden, continuing her dedication to the field of architecture and design. Mahla possesses meticulous attention to detail, sensitivity to context, and a passion for exploring innovative materials and techniques. For her, each project is a path to discover something new, imbued with thoughtfulness and artistry.

Nathaniel Carden, AIA 

Nathaniel has over a decade of experience in the architecture field, spanning a diverse range of project types. He holds a dual undergraduate degree in Architecture and Finance from Roger Williams University, complemented by a Master’s degree in Architecture from the University of Oregon with a specialization in sustainable urban design.
Nathaniel’s professional journey has taken him across the east and west coasts of the US, as well as Europe, where he has contributed to award-winning projects of various sectors and scales at Northeast Collaborative Architects (RI, CT) and MWA Architects (WA, OR, CA).
In recent years, Nathaniel has been operating his own architecture practice, extending his research, design, and consulting services worldwide. He is a member of the American Institute of Architects and is certified by the National Council of Architectural Registration Boards.
Nathaniel excels in both creative and technical realms of thought. As the operations director at Novel Terra, his role covers everything from business administration to all phases of design, QAQC, regulatory compliance, construction observation, and beyond. He is deeply passionate about fostering new modes of collaboration, pushing boundaries, and upholding integrity in all endeavors.

Honors & Awards

2024    Honorable mention_Buildner, Iceland Ski Cabin, SNOWFIRE
2023    1st place_Europan 17, Living Cities/2, Skellefteå, Sweden, SAFESCAPE
2021    1st place_CBDX series competition, B(OR)DERL(AND)S, ECOTONE
2021    Publication_ University of Calgary, School of Architecture, Planning, and Landscape, CBDX: B(OR)DERL(AND)S
2020    Honorable mention_CBDX series competition, Cities for All, MAED^UP

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