About

We have designed and built our clients’ dream homes, favorite restaurants, ideal offices, and cherished local hangouts for the past 20 years. We seek to wed practicality and professional rigor with art; to combine skill and passion.

The reputation we have built, like the quality of our projects, is reflected in every detail and finish, from our meticulous architectural drawings, to our custom, intricate millwork and decorative finishes. Our clients trust us to deliver unparalleled craftsmanship and creativity to every job. 

Our guiding philosophy is to blend contemporary technology and environmentally-sound techniques in design and construction with the most up-to-date building practices, while staying true to the history and architectural legacy of a building or home. 

We are as nimble as we are comprehensive, having managed large-scale, ground-up construction projects, to light interior renovations with the same level of dedication and oversight.

In any role that our company may play in your project, we share your vision, and will continue to do so, until it comes to life. 

We know your needs; we built our own homes.  

Our Team

Jeff Marianni

Jeff Marianni, Owner & Founder

Jeff’s expert knowledge of design and construction is a family affair. Having grown up in a household of contractors, Jeff learned early on the importance of nurturing an architectural eye and strong sense of interior design in order to be a better builder, a lesson his father practiced in his own design/build firm. 

Jeff grew up on project sites but it was at his first job at a cabinet maker at the age of 14 where he began honing his skill in bespoke finish work and intricate detailing. Having started his design and build firm more than 20 years ago, Jeff’s extensive project experience includes luxury, ground-up homes, extensive kitchen and bath renovations, restaurant build outs, office retrofits, institutional projects, and the design and manufacture of bespoke furniture.

Anesti Zakos, Senior Project Manager

As senior project manager, Anesti ensures that all of Rocco Design + Build projects adhere to agreed-upon budgets and schedules. He manages all aspects of construction, from scheduling, estimating, specifications and material quality to labor, subcontractor work, and code compliance. 

Anesti is also a painter, a sculptor, and a furniture maker & restorer; he believes his fine-arts  work both informs and is informed by his long experience as a builder. Before joining Rocco Design + Build, Anesti ran his own custom carpentry company and worked as a designer in an Ithaca-based architectural firm. He holds a Bachelor of Fine Arts from Ithaca College.

Anesto Zakos
Dillon Pranger

Dillon Pranger, RA, Design Director 

Dillon’s design direction informs all of Rocco Design + Build’s work. Responsible for all architectural services from initial schematics and visioning through to and construction administration, Dillon is integral in ensuring that all work aligns with our client’s architectural vision. 

Before joining Rocco Design + Build, Dillon practiced architecture with renowned design offices KPF and Eisenman Architects. He has taught extensively at Cornell, Harvard, and Syracuse, and holds a Masters in Architecture from Cornell University.

Shimels Dantew, Project Lead

Shimel’s career in construction began in his native Ethiopia where he was a master welder for the single-family residential and furniture markets. In the past decade and a half since joining Rocco Design + Build, Shimels has become a Project Lead, and manages the construction of major repositioning projects such as the highly-customized Cayuga Heights Kitchen. Shimel’s repertoire includes tiling, finish carpentry, trim work, and custom millwork, particularly cabinetry. He lives in Ithaca with his two beautiful children. 

Shimels Dantew
Isaac Streit

Isaac Streit, Project Lead & Foreman

Having been exposed to construction since the ripe age of nine, Isaac’s decades of experience includes ground-up construction and the gut renovation of more than 50 homes. As Project Lead and Foreman for Rocco Design + Build, Isaac manages projects from initial planning to final completion, as he did for the Demuynck kitchen. Isaac’s expertise includes rough carpentry, framing, electrical work, and trim work. In his spare time, Isaac volunteers at an after school program for middle and high schoolers in Ithaca.

Lally Varela, Project Engineer

Lally is currently earning her Bachelor’s in Theater Production and Design with a concentration in carpentry at Ithaca College, a continuation of her set production education at a specialized high school for the performing arts. For Rocco Design + Build, Lally helps with carpentry, demolition work, and even welding, but her focus is in exterior and interior painting.

Lally Varela
Issac Marianni

Isaac (Ike) Marianni, Project Engineer

Ike began working with his father at age 10 and has thus collaborated on  the majority of Rocco Design + Build’s projects in the past 10 years. While Ike can perform most aspects of construction, he is particularly adept in framing and rough carpentry, which he did for the gut renovation and expansion of the Crossmore Cottage and newly-renovated Odyssey bookstore in downtown Ithaca. When not on a job site, Ike spends his spare time restoring old cars.

Viktor Hamaan, Project Engineer 

In the two years since joining Rocco Design + Build, Viktor has come to excel in flooring, building porches, tiling, and roofing, including the roof for Crossmore Cottage. While Viktor’s experience with construction began in childhood – he helped build his family’s home – his diverse professional background includes a brief stint on a pecan farm in New Mexico! Viktor is currently earning his Bachelors in Political Science from SUNY Cortland.

Viktor Hamaan
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