Charlie Simmons of Charlie & Co. Design


Growing up in St. Paul, Minnesota, Charlie was exposed to the wide variety of architectural styles that define Minnesota’s capital city. As a child, he spent some of his free time sketching the grand Summit Ave. Victorian houses from the “Gilded Age” on loose-leaf paper, and by the time he was 10 years old he knew that architecture was his calling.

As an avid winter sportsman, Charlie found his way to Montana State University in Bozeman, MT, where he received his Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees in architecture, while also studying Interior Design, History (and back-country skiing). A self-described Modernist at heart, Charlie began shaping his own architectural philosophy into simple yet powerful spaces. After graduating in 1997, he returned to St. Paul to begin his professional career working at a nationally renowned architecture firm focusing on retail and hospitality design. Later, his passion for residential architecture led Charlie to start a new chapter in his life and design work.

After nearly a decade at the region’s premier residential architecture firm, Charlie left to found Charlie & Co. Design Ltd., where he continues to produce award-winning designs, foster strong client relationships and occasionally…sketch Victorian houses on loose-leaf paper.

Colby Mattson of Charlie & Co. Design


Colby Mattson brings more than 20 years of high-end, residential design experience to Charlie & Co. Design. Over the years, he had the privilege of designing and managing projects ranging from small kitchen remodels to large estate homes – and everything in between.

Colby and Charlie Simmons collaborated on many projects while working together at another local firm early in their careers and found that they shared a common passion for thoughtful design and strong client relations. After Charlie left in 2007 to start his own practice, it was not long until Colby followed suit.

In his free time, Colby enjoys the outdoors, traveling and honing his dad-jokes with his wife and two sons.

Colby graduated from the University of Minnesota’s College of Design with a Master’s Degree in Architecture.

Maria Larenas of Charlie & Co. Design


Maria brings over two decades of residential design and project management experience to C&Co. Her thoughtful design approach, attention to detail, and strong “client-first” philosophy ensure the success of her work.

Maria is originally from Chile and has always been interested in the connection between architecture, culture and local traditions. She’s passionate about helping clients realize their dreams and translate their ideas into places that are meaningful and unique to the way they live.

Outside of work, Maria loves to travel, visit her family in Chile and spend as much time outside in the summer biking, walking and enjoying time with friends.

Maria holds a Bachelor of Arts in Architecture with a minor in Cultural Studies and a Master of Architecture from the University of Minnesota.


Anthon Ellis of Charlie & Co. Design


Growing up across the border in Green Bay, WI, Anthon began his career by coupling his love for design and the Packers, (we won’t hold that against him), by drawing Lambeau Field over and over again. This translated to his desire of one day becoming a sports architect, which ultimately transformed into a passion for residential architecture after visiting several of Southern California’s most notable early modernist homes on an educational trip.

Upon graduating in 2008 from Kansas State University with a Master of Architecture, he spent the next several years working at award-winning high-end residential firms in Los Angeles, CA. After exhausting all of his free time proudly bumming on the LA beaches, he agreed to trade one ocean for 10,000 lakes, and made the move back to the Midwest with his wife and daughter.

Anthon holds a wide range of project experience including concept design and management through construction administration. He understands that context drives the design of any project, but that the true architectural identity is realized in the details. Working through a series of unique parameters presented by an individual project, he enjoys developing a solution that exceeds the specific needs of each client.

He is a licensed Architect in the State of Minnesota.


Doug Tang of Charlie & Co. Design


<< Currently on sabbatical >>

Growing up in the expat hub of Taipei, Taiwan, Douglas Tang has always been fascinated with the diverse mix of cultures on the island and the cityscape that reflects that. A firm believer in firsthand experiences, Doug enjoys exploring foreign architecture in different countries.

Douglas received his Bachelor of Science in Architecture from the University of Minnesota. While in school, he attended the Rome and Istanbul architecture study abroad program where he learned from the classical masters of the European cities.

Outside the office, he enjoys running outdoors in the Twin Cities, doing spontaneous urban sketching, and playing on his guitar. He also has a soft spot for espresso drinks and cozy café seats.

Jonathan Mason of Charlie & Co. Design


Jonathan draws from his experience as an artist and a craftsman to inform his approach to architecture. He has a Bachelor’s degree in Fine Arts from MCAD and a Master’s degree in Architecture from the UMN.

Before going to graduate school, he worked in construction, developing a hands-on sense of the building process. In grad school, he received the Design Excellence Award, the Ellerbe Becket Portfolio Award, and the Design Democracy Fellowship. Since grad school Jonathan has 9 years of residential design experience and has worked on numerous award-winning projects. These complementary sets of knowledge and experience combine to give him a great foundation in aesthetics, craft, and understanding of the building process.

He describes his approach:
”In my architectural process, the goal is to find that elusive balance between the clients’ dreams and the project’s constraints—and within that, to find the most efficient and elegant solution possible.”

In his free time, Jonathan, can be found running or cycling or tinkering in his studio, but his greatest joy is to be with his wife and two kids, hiking in the local parks, skating at a neighborhood rink, or playing/ teaching his kids chess. He lets them win… for now.

John Yau of Charlie & Co. Design


With over 20 years of high-end residential and commercial design experience, John brings vast knowledge of building science and construction to Charlie & Co. Design.

Born in Hong Kong, John is fascinated with cross-cultural comparisons between Eastern and Western societies, specifically their architectural styles. In his off time, John swaps his business suit and loafers for lycra and cleated shoes, enjoying the many bike trails around the metro area.

John holds an advanced degree in Architectural Design with certificates in Construction Drafting and Interior Design from the College of Charleston and Trident Technical College.


Patrick English of Charlie & Co. Design


Growing up outside Omaha, Nebraska, Patrick’s interest in the creative industry started with arts, crafts, and Lego blocks. After moving north and graduating from the University of Minnesota College of Design with a Bachelor of Design in Architecture, Patrick worked in the zoning department for the City of Saint Paul.

Before joining our team, he worked for 3 years helping design new homes, remodels, and additions around the Twin Cities. In his free time, he enjoys riding his motorcycle, mixing up craft cocktails, and getting his hands dirty in the garden. He lives in Minneapolis with his partner, their wolfhound mix, and black cat.

Erin Bongard


Growing up in Excelsior, MN, Erin’s passion for architecture began as a child with the desire to design and build treehouses. Over the years, this love for creating unique spaces inspired her to pursue a degree in Architecture at Kansas State University (go Wildcats!), where she holds a Master’s Degree in Architecture and a Minor in History. As a recent graduate, she looks forward to growing her design knowledge and pursuing her licensure in Architecture.

Outside the office, Erin holds a 4th-degree black belt in Tae Kwon Do, enjoys walks outside, and loves a good mystery novel.

Max Gendler


Max grew up in Papillion, Nebraska where he found an interest in designing intimate spaces for people to inhabit. After learning how to draft and model homes in high school, Max went on to the University of Kansas to get his BA in Architectural studies and then furthered his education at the Illinois Institute of Technology in Chicago, Illinois where he received his Master of Architecture degree. After working in Chicago on a range of architectural typologies, Max comes to Charlie & Co. Design eager to return to his passion for residential architecture and to use his experience to support the C&Co. team in designing award-winning homes.

Outside of the office, Max loves to spend time outdoors climbing, hiking, camping, and everything in between – especially playing and singing songs around a campfire with his friends.

© Charlie & Co Design, Ltd. | 1601 Utica Ave. South, Unit 212 | St. Louis Park MN 55416 | 612.333.2246