Meet the Architects
October 29, 2009
Patrick Ahearn, AIA
Patrick Ahearn Architects LLC
Phone: (617) 266-1710
Years in Business: 35
WHAT IS THE CHALLENGE YOU FACE MOST OFTEN IN A PROJECT? Zoning is usually a major factor. It often dictates the design direction that a project can develop.
HOW DO YOU MANAGE AND COMMUNICATE THE PROJECTS’ BUDGET DURING THE PROCESS? We create an initial budget based on current historical data and update the budget throughout the design process.
WHAT SERVICES DO YOU PROVIDE DURING THE CONSTRUCTION OF THE PROJECT? We provide complete construction administration services including site visits, review of requisitions and client interface.
WHAT IS YOUR FIRM’S DESIGN PHILOSOPHY? Historically motivated design that responds to the way people want to live today.
WHAT IS THE GREATEST VALUE IN WORKING WITH AN ARCHITECT?The timeless quality and value that is inherent in working with a licensed design professional.
WHAT DISTINGUISHES YOU FROM OTHER PRACTITIONERS? I practice what I would call non-ego driven architecture. My new houses have a patina of age and my renovations live like new homes are today, open and alive.
WHAT IS YOUR MOST NOTABLE RECENT PROJECT? A multi-generation family compound located on 50 acres in Litchfield County CT.
WHAT IS THE MORE SIGNIFICANT CHANGE YOU’VE SEEN IN CLIENTS’ REQUESTS OVER THE PAST TWO YEARS? More indoor/outdoor living spaces, covered porches with fireplaces, bars, wine rooms for entertaining, etc.
WHO INSPIRED YOU TO BECOME AN ARCHITECT? Since I was 5 years old, I wanted to be an architect or a car designer. I chose the architecture path but remain passionate about classic cars.
DO YOU WORK ON PROJECTS OUTSIDE OF NEW ENGLAND? Yes, I have completed homes in California, Colorado, Florida, St John, US Virgin Islands, and in England. I am also licensed in 18 States.
WHAT IS THE CHALLENGE YOU FACE MOST OFTEN IN A PROJECT? Dealing with regulatory and/or site constraints often poses the most challenges. Oddly enough, this is usually a challenge that we welcome because it can lead to an interesting and creative approach to the design.
HOW DO YOU MANAGE AND COMMUNICATE THE PROJECTS’ BUDGET DURING THE PROCESS? We discuss general construction costs per square foot early in the design process. Cost per square foot can vary greatly but we have a good understanding of what it takes to build a well-designed high-quality home.
WHAT SERVICES DO YOU PROVIDE DURING THE CONSTRUCTION OF THE PROJECT? We assist a builder with understanding the concepts behind particular details as well as answering specific questions. We feel it is important to assist the homeowners in understanding the construction process and to help them bridge the visual gap between what is drawn on paper and what is constructed on site.
WHAT IS YOUR FIRM’S DESIGN PHILOSOPHY? We strive to develop the best possible design for each project and to develop a very thorough set of drawings so that the contractor can fully understand all the nuances of the design.
WHAT IS THE GREATEST VALUE IN WORKING WITH AN ARCHITECT?Architects are specifically trained to deal with complicated space planning and issues. Homes that are designed without the use of an architect often could benefit from the extra level of planning and detail refinement that architects can provide.
WHAT DISTINGUISHES YOU FROM OTHER PRACTITIONERS? TMS often designs quite complicated details and building forms and we understands that if a detail is complicated, then it needs to be as practical to build and clearly conveyed to the builder.
WHAT IS YOUR MOST NOTABLE RECENT PROJECT? I am working on a home that is nearing completion on the North Shore. This is one of three spectacular homes, directly adjacent to each other, and owned by three different members of the same family. This home is somewhat different in character than others in the area; it is primarily stucco with generous amounts of stone and large scale exterior details to compliment the mass of the house.
WHAT IS THE MORE SIGNIFICANT CHANGE YOU’VE SEEN IN CLIENTS’ REQUESTS OVER THE PAST TWO YEARS? We have seen some trending regarding exterior finishes that have moved toward a more contemporary aesthetic as well as incorporating more materials such as reclaimed wood in interior surfaces other than floors and beams.
WHO INSPIRED YOU TO BECOME AN ARCHITECT? I started the journey towards becoming an architect as a teenager. i always enjoyed art but I also realized how much I enjoyed learning how things were put together. Specifically I found that I was intrigued by the complexity and variety of different types of architecture. I saw architecture as the perfect mix of art and science.
DO YOU WORK ON PROJECTS OUTSIDE OF NEW ENGLAND? TMS has designed homes in other parts of the country. It is not our primary focus to work outside of New England but we have designed homes in the Midwest, Wyoming, and Alabama.
Polhemus Savery DaSilva Architects Builders
East Harwich, MA
Phone: (508) 945-4500
Years in Business: 19
WHAT IS THE CHALLENGE YOU FACE MOST OFTEN IN A PROJECT? Reconciling multiple competing interests like detail vs. limited budget; space needs vs. footprint limitations; privacy vs. openness to landscape/view; what she wants vs. what he wants...
HOW DO YOU MANAGE AND COMMUNICATE THE PROJECTS’ BUDGET DURING THE PROCESS? As an integrated architecture and construction firm we have an experienced and highly accurate in-house estimating staff that works closely with our architectural staff from the start of every project. We have never met a client who does not wish to control costs so we deliberately discuss budget with every design decision.
WHAT SERVICES DO YOU PROVIDE DURING THE CONSTRUCTION OF THE PROJECT? As an integrated architecture and construction firm, we are both architect and general contractor on our projects. For clients who do not want to manage a multi-source process on their own, we offer significant value through thoughtful, creative, ethical and highly organized single-source responsibility.
WHAT IS YOUR FIRM’S DESIGN PHILOSOPHY? We draw from a broad spectrum of architectural knowledge, including architectural history, to create fresh interpretations that accommodate functional and lifestyle needs. We seek designs in harmony with the land; appropriate to both immediate context and the continuum of architectural history; optimizing light and view; and responsible toward natural and human resources.
WHAT IS THE GREATEST VALUE IN WORKING WITH AN ARCHITECT? The best architects are both problem solvers and artists. They produce fine art that is also practical. They condense multiple, often conflicting, needs into beautiful, thought provoking, timeless, well-resolved wholes. These skills add great value to clients’ projects.
WHAT DISTINGUISHES YOU FROM OTHER FIRMS? We are an intellectually and artistically rigorous integrated architecture and construction firm. We provide our clients with a single source for thoughtful design, well-crafted construction and long-term maintenance. Our process is highly organized and thoughtfully managed to maximize beauty, function and value.
WHAT IS YOUR MOST NOTABLE RECENT PROJECT? Our firm in general, and many of our projects specifically, have won local, regional and national awards for design, construction and business management. Our most notable project, however, is yet to come. It is the next one.
WHAT IS THE MORE SIGNIFICANT CHANGE YOU’VE SEEN IN CLIENTS’ REQUESTS OVER THE PAST TWO YEARS? Client sophistication and expectations have grown throughout our 20 years of practice and they continue to. They do more research and demand clarity in all their interactions. We welcome this as it is the way we have always insisted on working.
WHO INSPIRED YOU TO BECOME AN ARCHITECT? I always wanted to be an architect. My mother was an amateur painter whose works often depicted complex spatial and geometric relationships. I loved them, and I was also very excited by construction sites. Architecture brought these passions together.
DO YOU WORK ON PROJECTS OUTSIDE OF NEW ENGLAND? Occasionally. We designed two houses for a client that vacationed on Cape Cod, discovered a landscape much like that of the Netherland’s North Sea district in which they live, and felt we would be perfect architects for that context. We also recently designed a large addition to an antique farm house in up-state New York.
Colin P. Smith, AIA
Colin Smith Architecture, Inc.
Phone: (781) 274-0955
Years in Business: 11 (20 years’ experience)
WHAT IS THE CHALLENGE YOU FACE MOST OFTEN IN A PROJECT? It’s important to reconcile the homeowner’s wish list with their budget. Balancing this combined with a meaningful design process is how we achieve beautiful results.
HOW DO YOU MANAGE AND COMMUNICATE THE PROJECTS’ BUDGET DURING THE PROCESS? We budget check during all phases of design. Our design process is flexible so that if a budget issue occurs, adjustments are made quickly without impacting the design quality.
WHAT SERVICES DO YOU PROVIDE DURING THE CONSTRUCTION OF THE PROJECT? We are very involved during construction, coordinating all the aspects of the project. In addition, we review full scale architectural details, fabrication drawings and interior finish selections.
WHAT IS YOUR FIRM’S DESIGN PHILOSOPHY? We search for opportunities within the limitations of a project, through exploration, testing concepts, and refining those ideas to solve multiple objectives with the fewest moves possible. This is essential to good design.
WHAT IS THE GREATEST VALUE IN WORKING WITH AN ARCHITECT?We are spatial story tellers; weaving landscape, architecture and interiors with one’s dreams and their memories to create unique places that our clients will enjoy for years.
WHAT DISTINGUISHES YOU FROM OTHER PRACTITIONERS? The type and scale of work we create is very diverse, it keeps us objective, while avoiding the pitfalls that come with producing repetitive projects.
WHAT IS YOUR MOST NOTABLE RECENT PROJECT? Much of our work is historically charged. We recently completed a cottage renovation originally designed by architect and landscape architect Charles E. Platt.
WHAT IS THE MORE SIGNIFICANT CHANGE YOU’VE SEEN IN CLIENTS’ REQUESTS OVER THE PAST TWO YEARS? Integrating smart technology and home automation components that offer ease of use functionality controlled from cell phone apps.
WHO INSPIRED YOU TO BECOME AN ARCHITECT? I am a product of the 1970s, so it’s no coincidence that my earliest inspiration was Mike Brady of The Brady Bunch!!
DO YOU WORK ON PROJECTS OUTSIDE OF NEW ENGLAND? Yes we have however, New England remains our focus because of its rich architectural heritage.
Chuck Sullivan, AIA
sullivan + associates architects
WHAT IS THE CHALLENGE YOU FACE MOST OFTEN IN A PROJECT? Trying to fit a gallon into a quart jug. Managing client’s wish list/expectations within their budget.
HOW DO YOU MANAGE AND COMMUNICATE THE PROJECTS’ BUDGET DURING THE PROCESS? Communication is key. Budget is one of the first conversations we have with a client. Sometimes it’s a major component, sometimes not. We work closely with the client and their contractor along the way.
WHAT SERVICES DO YOU PROVIDE DURING THE CONSTRUCTION OF THE PROJECT? We provide everything from construction observation to interior design services. Over time we’ve developed strong working relationships with each hand that touches the project, from framer to landscaper.
WHAT IS YOUR FIRM’S DESIGN PHILOSOPHY? Listen to the client. Serving the client’s vision and refining it is as important as knowing and complying with building setbacks, codes, and zoning by-laws. We focus on creating livable, comfortable spaces where generations can live together through the seasons.
WHAT IS THE GREATEST VALUE IN WORKING WITH AN ARCHITECT? As a client, working with an architect to transform your dream into reality can provide a roadmap and piece of mind in terms of managing costs, maximizing use of space and materials, and optimizing views and interaction with the landscape.
WHAT DISTINGUISHES YOU FROM OTHER PRACTITIONERS? We’re nimble. We have talented staff members that can work on larger scale second home projects, or on smaller remodels of existing buildings. Our award-winning staff is internationally trained and multi-generational.
WHAT IS YOUR MOST NOTABLE RECENT PROJECT? Beach Road Restaurant on Martha’s Vineyard. We designed State Road Restaurant, one of President Obama’s favorites, so when the restauranteers wanted a companion restaurant, they reached out to our team to remodel the existing building, and to maximize its waterfront location.
WHAT IS THE MORE SIGNIFICANT CHANGE YOU’VE SEEN IN CLIENTS’ REQUESTS OVER THE PAST TWO YEARS? First and second-floor master suites, where the one typically initially serves as a guest room, and provides options for a variety of future scenarios. Walk-in pantries, in conjunction with open kitchens, that allow for everyday necessities to be stored away out of sight.
WHO INSPIRED YOU TO BECOME AN ARCHITECT? I grew up in the construction business; architecture was a way for me to remain in the field while bringing in an artistic element and to be involved in decision making, from site relationships to final details on the interiors.
DO YOU WORK ON PROJECTS OUTSIDE OF NEW ENGLAND? We design primarily in New England, and have been asked to design projects in New York, Idaho, Texas, and California.