Scott Simons Architects.
The people and businesses we partner with are extremely important to the work that we do.
The projects we work on are always a collective effort, and would not be successful without the quality work performed by everyone involved.
Throughout the years, we’ve had the chance to work with some very talented people and firms. This month, we’d like to highlight one of our favorite local industry partners, Scott Simons Architects. Scott Simons Architects is a highly professional firm that produces remarkable work, and it is our pleasure to have had the chance to work with them.
Lately, we’ve been spending a lot of time with Scott Simons Architects, as we’ve worked side by side on the All Saints Parish multipurpose event facility in Brunswick, ME. The project broke ground in Fall of 2017, and since that time, we’ve gotten to know the entire Scott Simons Architects firm a bit better. Here’s what we’ve learned:
Who Is Scott Simons Architects?
Scott Simons Architects began in 1995 and is made up of a group of professional architects and planners. They consider themselves to be a design studio and 3-D problem solvers. Scott Simons Architects works closely with clients to help projects achieve their human potential.
Scott Simons Architects believes in listening to their clients and tailoring each project to meet their needs. Owner Scott Simons said:
“It’s their building, not ours. We allow it to grow as we go.”
Simons believes they get a lot of complex projects because they’re exceptionally good at working to come up with simple solutions to complex problems.
The team at Scott Simons Architects is genuinely driven to help clients solve their architectural planning problems. They work hard to come up with creative solutions to solve the client’s problems and challenges as much as possible.
“By the time [a project] gets to us, [the client has] been thinking about it for a while. They [may have] run out of space, and have a need for a new or bigger space to serve a purpose… We help them determine where will it live, and work to support their goals, helping them to create something that fulfills a specific need.”
Reaching Human Potential
That each project reaches its “human potential” is a unique goal of Scott Simons Architects. They work with clients to determine how they can solve a problem with a building that goes beyond walls and doors. Scott Simons Architects gave the All Saints Parish building as a great example of working to make a project reach its “human potential.”
“[The building] will help the campus as well as the people that are using it. It will solve all the functional problems the parish currently faces, as well as support the mission of the church. The building materials compliment the church with regards to colors, design, and structure, as well.”
A Passion for Architecture
When asked how Scott began working in the field, he said, “I was always drawing. I was an art major [BA in Fine Arts with major in studio arts] but I didn’t know for sure what I wanted to do with it until around the age of 20. I took classes in architectural design and it resonated with me, and then I went back to school for architecture.
A previous partner at Orcutt Simons, Simons started his own company in 1995 when his former business partner decided to retire. As an 11-person studio, each architect has their preference when it comes to project types. Simons said, “We like to work with the clients. The project doesn’t really matter.”
Simons indicated that he does enjoy working on projects surrounding arts/performing arts centers in particular and that the firm does a lot of work for these types of facilities, in addition to non-profits and educational facilities. Simons said he enjoys the complexity and challenge of designing spaces for large groups of people to come together.
“We like [non-profits] because [they are] mission-driven,” said Scott. “[Like in the case of the All Saints project], the mission is to build a community around worship. The building will serve a lot of people and will have a large impact on the community.”
Right now, Scott Simons Architects is working at the Waynflete School in Portland, on the new Lower School, with an expected completion date of summer 2018. The Lower School renovations will almost double the size of the previous Lower School and will add a library, amphitheater, and much more.
The firm is also working on a dormitory at Plymouth State University in NH, and phase two of the Casco Bay Ferry Terminal. They’re also designing an innovative school in Saco, ME called The Ecology School.
Scott Simons Architects has won many awards throughout the years. They were recently recognized for their work on the Brattleboro Music Center, receiving the AIA Maine Citation Award for their work on the facility. The center helps teach young children how to play classical music.
At the 2018 AIA Awards for Architecture, Scott Simons Architects received 3 awards, plus the People’s Choice Award. Simons said:
“These awards are pure recognition by people we have a lot of respect for. The architectural community in Maine is great, and the competition is high. It means a lot to us when we get an award…Everyone participated in the building, so it was great for all of us [at the studio].”
As a small studio, Scott Simons Architects likes to promote from within. Ryan Kanteres was recently promoted to Senior Associate at Scott Simons Architects. He has been with the firm for 5 and a half years and has been working hard and doing well since he joined Scott Simons Architects.
Scott Simons said, “Ryan does a great job teaching the younger architects how to work on things and manage projects. His new position comes with additional responsibilities, as he now plays a key role in the studio.”
What Makes a Project Go Well?
According to Simons, the answer is simple: “When everyone is passionate about the project.” You can feel things gel sometimes with a project. Sometimes the ideas are hitting the mark with the client and we’re getting a good feel for what the client wants.”
Simons added, “when there’s a shared goal among all the people involved – the client, the building community, the architect, and the contractor – things tend to go much more smoothly.”
Working with Ouellet Construction
“We watched [Ouellet Construction] build the Gulf of Maine Research Institute. We’re located one block up the hill from the building. We thought the project came together pretty nicely. We’ve known about them for a long time, and it finally lined up for this project,” said Simons.
He added, “We’re really happy with the work they’re doing. The building is going to be incredible.”
Scott Simons Architects is a professional and reliable firm and we enjoy working with their entire team. We highly recommend them to anyone looking for an architect and hope to continue to work with them on projects in the future.