HMFH Architects

To know HMFH is to know its people. We are avid learners, who feed off the constant buzz of creativity and exchange, inspiring a culture of connectivity. We believe it’s our passion that drives us to the best design solutions and our expertise and experience that make it possible.

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Mirtha Suero

Mirtha Suero

Assistant Office Manager

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Mirtha  Suero

Some of my favorite places in Boston are the Boston Public Library, Rose Kennedy Greenway, and the Boston Children's Museum. From a parent's perspective, I think it is a wonderful place for kids.

Our People

Mirtha Suero

Assistant Office Manager

Mirtha performs the herculean task of keeping everyone’s needs in balance and making sure it all gets done. And she does so with an extraordinary amount of patience and tenacity. She has an insider’s knowledge of how HMFH’s designs work, having attended two schools designed by our firm, and has a sense of humor that strengthens our firm’s culture and reinforces HMFH’s deeply held belief that people are at the heart of why we do what we do.

If you weren't working in architecture, what would you be doing?

I would like to be helping immigrants and might work for a non-profit organization that either helps adjust immigration status or helps immigrants adjust to life in the U.S.—particularly Massachusetts—by connecting them with all the resources the state has to offer.

Philip Lane

Philip Lane

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Philip  Lane

My architecture thesis, which explored the craft of architecture resulting in the form of a brewery, has morphed into a full-blown obsession of brewing beer at home.

Our People

Philip Lane

Philip’s interest in becoming an architect began at a young age. When other kids were watching cartoons, he was drawn to the hands-on nature of DIY shows like those on HGTV. He continued hands-on explorations during the three consecutive summers he interned at HMFH before joining the firm full time. He has built many of HMFH’s models and enjoys developing renderings and other graphic materials that help our clients visualize projects in design. During his long commutes, Philip is often drawing up plans to realize his dream of owning a brewery.

What do you like most about HMFH?

Seeing the appreciation and enthusiasm HMFHers have for the creation of spaces that are not only used by our clients, but loved by them too.

Monika Tomala

Monika Tomala

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Monika  Tomala

I am in architecture because I love the feeling of creativity and the opportunity to learn and discover something new every day.

Our People

Monika Tomala

Monika believes that design is essential for everyone, not only because it helps organize the space around us, but also because it allows people to explore their creativity and imagination. Since graduating from Silesia University in Poland, she has had the opportunity to work on a variety of projects and competitions, including hotels, apartment buildings, historical renovations, banks, and labs. One of her favorite projects was her Master Thesis project – a “sponge” museum that invited her to explore design on a bigger, conceptual scale where the only limit was her imagination. Monika’s constant curiosity paired with her technical experience makes her an instrumental member of our project teams, assuring that our architectural concepts are not only realistic and buildable, but inventive and playful.

If you weren't working in architecture, what would you be doing? 

I would be a teacher.

Liza Bouton

Liza Bouton

Associate and Marketing Manager

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Liza  Bouton

It's incredibly rewarding to work somewhere that I get to witness the creative process every day. Translating that process and its outcomes into compelling stories is my mission because when it's successful, people connect, learn, and share.

Our People

Liza Bouton

LEED AP

Associate and Marketing Manager

Liza's penchant for list-making and organizing is evident in the many sticky notes that define her workspace. She explored roles in several fields before joining HMFH and likes the fact that architecture bridges art, sustainability, and urban planning among other fields. She loves to tell our firm's stories, and does so through the firm's many forward-facing efforts. She has an ability to keep her head in many projects at once, and keep the firm's long-term efforts moving forward, perhaps one of the trickiest things to do in a creative environment. Though she lives and works in Cambridge, Liza is quite fond of the state of Vermont where she was born and raised. Her collection of flannel shirts pay tribute to these roots, as does her love of snow and the quart of pure Vermont maple syrup that is a staple in the office refrigerator.

Andy Villalba

Andy Villalba

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Andy  Villalba

Design allows us to elevate our everyday lives by creating a connection to the places we inhabit.

Our People

Andy Villalba

Andy began his career in a different field but was driven to architecture by a craving for creativity and a belief that design has the power to elevate our everyday lives. He enjoys the research aspect of architecture, which he adeptly combines with his technical knowledge to creatively solve design challenges.  Andy’s competitive side became evident when he joined our afternoon planking group and might stem from the fact that he used to play soccer semi-professionally and holds monthly cooking competitions with his friends.

What are some of your favorite spaces in (or around) Boston? 

Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum and Castle Hill on Crane Estate

The commitment to making great spaces for teaching and learning is manifest in the culture of the studio and the design process.

Alicia Crothers AIA, LEED AP

Anthony Azanon

Anthony Azanon

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Anthony  Azanon

My grandma used to tell me: 'there are always big lessons to learn in small tasks.' To this day, I find joy in everything I set my mind to do regardless of scale of importance.

Our People

Anthony Azanon

For Anthony, architecture provides the tangible skills that allow him to become more aware of the built environment around him. As a first-generation immigrant from Guatemala with a Bachelor in Architecture from RISD, he sees the role of design as a powerful tool to instigate change within systems of oppression and a way to analyze and implement new, equitable solutions. His thesis work focused on the development of Emergency Housing in Guatemala in the aftermath of the volcanic eruption in June, 2018 and finding ways to build using bamboo and rammed earth to create stability and modularity.

What is the last book you read? 

Infrastructural Ecologies by Hillary Brown & Byron Stigge

Laura Wernick

Laura Wernick

Senior Principal

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Laura  Wernick

I believe good design has the power to enhance people's lives and make the world a better place, one project at a time.

Our People

Laura Wernick

FAIA, REFP, LEED AP

Senior Principal

Laura’s belief in the power of the environment to impact student success informs all aspects of her professional practice. Her knowledge of the physical, social, emotional and pedagogical basis of education and her leadership in school design results in innovative schools, influences her colleagues and shapes the culture of the firm. Working closely with educators, Laura begins each project by initiating a process to fully understand the education community’s aspirational goals, programs and culture. Whether integrating social services into an urban middle school, developing maker spaces for independent schools or leading a groundbreaking effort to unify vocational and academic programs, Laura incorporates ideas from an array of stakeholders and draws on her depth of experience to arrive at unique and exciting solutions for each project.

When she’s not designing learning spaces on the ground, Laura’s head is in the clouds. Literally. She uses her airplane and glider licenses to continually explore new horizons.

Has your career taken you anywhere you didn't expect?

I think what I least expected and one of the things I have enjoyed the most is getting to know so many wonderful educators who care so deeply about what they do and are always finding ways to do it better. I see their professional dedication and creativity as being quite parallel to that of so many of the architects with whom I work.

David Roach

David Roach

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David  Roach

I love that architecture blends both the Arts and Sciences; the creative and the pragmatic.

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David Roach

When asked what advice he would give aspiring architects, David suggests not overlooking the value of practical knowledge, noting that an understanding of how a building gets put together makes one a better designer. He has become intimately familiar with the details through his 20 years of experience in architecture and planning in the institutional realm. David loves the two opposite ends of the design spectrum: the development or building details and urban design/planning, and has an affinity for the narrow streets and pocket parks throughout Boston’s historic residential neighborhoods – especially Charlestown, Beacon Hill, and the North End.

Why are you an architect? 

I’ve always been a ‘jack of all trades, master of none’ kind of person. I think the role of the architect personifies this aphorism perfectly. We are both artists and scientists who blend the two tradition to enable abstract creative ideas to be transformed into physical realities.

James Liebman

James Liebman

Associate

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James  Liebman

I believe our job as architects is to collaborate on a clear design vision upon which the entire client, stakeholder, design, and construction team can base critical decisions, forming a durable consensus. Clearly seeing that vision in a completed project is a thrill and a huge source of pride.

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James Liebman

AIA, LEED AP

Associate

Throughout 20 years of experience, James has focused on urban and campus buildings and the public spaces around them. While living in Glasgow, Scotland, New York City, Philadelphia and Boston, James has worked on a range of project types to assist clients in meeting and defining new institutional goals which embody his clients’ identity and aspirations. At HMFH, he is a trusted advisor and mentor. His understanding of the technical aspects of architecture together with his ability to efficiently and effectively convey a design vision, whether with clients, consultants, colleagues, or in public forums, has helped garner community support for several of the firm’s major projects. James began a successful program at HMFH to regularly deliver hot meals to a local homeless women’s shelter and it is this ability to bring people together to better the world around him that is reflected in much of his work.

What advice would you give to aspiring architects?

Find something you love outside of architecture, make time for it, and do it with others.

George Metzger

George Metzger

Senior Principal

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George  Metzger

It's all about people... the needs of end-users, the vision of clients and the creativity of colleagues... good architecture is a collaborative process that evolves and engages.

Our People

George Metzger

AIA

Senior Principal

Through leadership and a commitment to collaboration, the design teams George leads create spaces that promote, enhance, and support community. He believes community ownership, engagement in the process and the success of the finished project are the best measures of success. A skilled leader, George guides clients, communities, designers, and builders to achieve solutions that consistently exceed expectations, earning him the role of friend and trusted adviser to clients and colleagues. For more than four decades, he has nurtured and challenged his colleagues to ensure that the firm remains committed to its clients, true to its values, and open to change. He is particularly proud to have led the firm from its beginnings as a small, all white male practice to the diverse workplace and certified women-owned business it is today. As President of the Boston Society of Architects (BSA), he championed the BSA's role in shaping public policy that promotes good design and improves the built environment for all, a fitting legacy for the fourth George Metzger architect in his family.

What do like most about working at HMFH?

I have always appreciated the serious informality of the office, our respectful treatment of staff, clients and business partners, and our culture of professional development and constructive teamwork. In my years at HMFH, the firm, the profession and the practice all have evolved constantly in response to technology, public policy, regulation and social need.

 

Sheena Dignean

Sheena Dignean

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Sheena  Dignean

Design of space takes up too much time in my head to not be an architect.

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Sheena Dignean

Sheena’s belief that good design not only makes life more functional, but also more beautiful, is reflected in her approach to architecture. She considers the design of a building from the outside in, and from the inside out, given her background in both Interior Design and Architecture. Had she not been drawn to architecture, Sheena might have worked in an animal sanctuary or become a drummer in a hard rock band, but says she loves design because it impacts people every day. Her design of a public theater space in Benin, Africa, and Sealab project in Boston make it clear that she is also deeply aware of the role architecture has in building community.

What advice would you give to aspiring architects?

Learn as much as you can from those around you.

Alexandra Gadawski

Alexandra Gadawski

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Alexandra  Gadawski

I have always been fascinated by the process of turning an idea into a tangible object.

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Alexandra Gadawski

LEED AP

Alexandra has an extensive knowledge base from the range of research projects she’s tackled so far in her career, from consumption patterns, greenhouse gas emissions and energy costs, to developing more sustainable cities. As part of the Techstyle Haus team, she recently leveraged her knowledge to design and build an entry for the Solar Decathlon in Versailles, an exploration of the potential of textile membranes in high performance residential buildings. She understands that design is in the details, from working out daylighting of an interior space to space planning and programming projects.

What is one thing your co-workers might not know about you?

I enjoy printmaking, particularly creating copper plate etchings and monotypes.

Lori Cowles

Lori Cowles

Principal

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Lori  Cowles

When design solves challenges efficiently, effectively and elegantly, the final design outcome seems inevitable.

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Lori Cowles

AIA, ALEP, LEED AP

Principal

Lori's energy is driven by her commitment to designing meaningful civic buildings and nurturing a creative, collaborative and aspirational design firm. Lori’s big-picture-small-picture skills are well matched to her work with master plans and feasibility studies, both of which require generating and considering multiple solutions to design challenges and sufficiently investigating and evaluating the details of each solution. Lori’s ability to articulate a vision for an entire project makes her a valuable presenter at public meetings, where she is instrumental in gathering and integrating community ideas and garnering support. Lori’s professional engagement extends to her leadership of the Cambridge Chamber of Commerce Outreach Committee, deepening HMFH’s involvement in the Cambridge community.

Why do you think design is important?

Design touches every aspect of every person's life, and when done well it creates moments of joy, ease, and comfort.

Suni Dillard

Suni Dillard

Associate

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Suni  Dillard

When spaces work well, you enjoy them and use them often – good design is about function and joy, not one or the other; both.

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Suni Dillard

AIA, LEED AP

Associate

Suni is a true advocate. In the office and through her sketches and renderings, she advocates for thoughtful design; in her roles on multiple NCARB committees and HMFH’s sustainability committee, she engages in discussion about the role of architects and how their work should relate to context and environment; and in her kitchen she is a constant advocate for culinary excellence. She’s obsessed with food blogs, and as the champion of our office “bake-off” competitions, we can vouch for her incredible talent.

Why are you an architect?

I love what I do. I love creating places – not just spaces – but places for others.

Alan Pemstein

Alan Pemstein

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Alan  Pemstein

I enjoy the challenge and excitement of watching design become a reality.

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Alan Pemstein

AIA, LEED AP

Alan is at ease in the many environments an architect’s role demands – from team meetings with consultants in the office, to walking the site with contractors. His voice is often heard through the office while he works out details with others on the team, but it is often punctuated with laughter. He believes that life is challenging enough and that where we live, work and learn should be as inspirational as possible, a goal and mission he works to achieve not only for his own children and grandchildren, but for all. Alan often inspires us with his travel stories – from sailing in the Galapagos to hiking the Amalfi coast.

What are some of your favorite spaces in and around Boston?

Maparium, Christian Science Center, Interior of Boston Symphony Hall, Mount Auburn Cemetery

John Miller

John Miller

Founding Principal

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John  Miller

I enjoy all aspects of the architecture profession and civic engagement...and I never tire of the collaborative process necessary to make good buildings and good policy.

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John Miller

FAIA

Founding Principal

John’s personal legacy is one of collaboration and consensus building, and this legacy has infused HMFH’s identity as a firm. As a founding principal, John led many of the firm’s significant projects, including the preservation of a beloved historic building for the Lincoln School in Winchester, the humanizing effect of natural light for urban Charlestown High School, and the bold geometry of Coastal Cement Corporation. Projects under his leadership have been honored with numerous awards, including two Walter Taylor Awards, the American Association of School Administrators’ highest honor.

John’s near fifty years of experience make him a valuable resource both in and out of the office. He has maintained active civic and professional engagement throughout his career, guiding public policy that affects the built environment including tackling international issues of accreditation reciprocity and participating in his own neighborhood’s zoning board. More than twenty years ago, John was a founding member, and continues to co-chair, the BSA’s Educational Facilities Committee, a group that facilitates dialogue between architects and policymakers by working with the Massachusetts School Building Authority (MSBA) to establish regulations and standards for public schools in the Commonwealth.

 

Inhwan Choi

Inhwan Choi

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Inhwan  Choi

I like the fact that HMFH really cares about kids’ educational spaces.

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Inhwan Choi

AIA

Walk by Inhwan’s desk and the odds are pretty good that he’ll either be huddled with a few people on his design team, working collaboratively on a design detail, or he’ll have an infectious smile on his face and be making his entire studio laugh with a quiet joke. Inhwan’s prior work has spanned the globe and project types, from mixed use developments, airports, and higher ed throughout the U.S., to planning and design work for a parsonage in Myanmar, but it’s Korea where his family is that might have the greatest draw. Inhwan says he’s an architect because he can communicate through architectural drawings, but if he wasn’t, he might express himself through fine arts – sculpture and paintings.

Why do you think design is important?

Because we will get an uncomfortable, complicated, and expensive space or object without design.

Nick Ambrogio

Nick Ambrogio

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Nick  Ambrogio

One of the reasons I love architecture is being able to imagine all the different social scenarios that can happen in a future space. It feels like a direct and easily understandable way to be a part of the future.

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Nick Ambrogio

Nick seems to do it all. A student at the Boston Architectural College, he joined HMFH in a front office role where he seemed to have an intuitive sense of how to make our office operations run smoothly. His passion for architecture and talent as a designer made the transition into the studio a natural fit. A conversation with Nick comes easily; he is interested in everything from classical music, to cooking, to analyzing architecture from the point of view of both an architect and user which may be why his desire to host a podcast seems so fitting.

What do you like most about HMFH?

Our Friday morning “Wake Up Pin Up” and all that it symbolizes: good communication, sharing, traditions, productive criticism.

Mike Saganich

Mike Saganich

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Mike  Saganich

I feel strongly about environmental issues; seems like a crazy thing to take chances with.

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Mike Saganich

Mike balances a strong design sensibility with technical expertise to develop solutions that meet functional, aesthetic, and sustainability goals. His passions extend from working on vintage bicycles to meeting the demands of climate change through energy-conscious design projects. Having grown up with a parent in the building industry, Mike has been around construction sites and doing hands-on building projects since an early age. He was a key team member on the design of a net zero field house in Putney, Vermont built more than a decade ago and has continued to advocate and push our sustainable practice forward while working on projects at HMFH.

What are some of your favorite spaces in (or around) Boston?

I like wandering through the Harvard campus over by the Science and Law schools. The plaza at the Christian Science Center is cool too.

Tracey Clarke

Tracey Clarke

Project Accounts Manager and Associate

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Tracey  Clarke

Architecture has many facets that make it all come together, some of it behind the scenes. Knowing I have a role in this creative process is very rewarding.

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Tracey Clarke

Project Accounts Manager and Associate

Tracey may be best known for her exceptionally tidy and organized office. She believes “it is all in the details” and when not examining budgets and contracts, or admiring the design details in HMFH's projects, she may be found repositioning a crooked picture somewhere in the office. She is perhaps one of those rare people that is both left and right brained. She has both a knack for the numbers and organizational strategies, making her an incredible asset to the accounting department, and for interior design and art, which allow her to appreciate the visual aspect of architecture.

What do you like most about HMFH?

The fact that I love what I do, the place where I work, and the people I work with. Not many people can say that.

Arthur Duffy

Arthur Duffy

Senior Associate & Stockholder

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Arthur  Duffy

I love to work through the process of early design through construction...then to do it all over again with a new project, each time learning many new things and improving all along.

Our People

Arthur Duffy

AIA

Senior Associate & Stockholder

Arthur joined HMFH while still in architectural school almost twenty-five years ago. Today he is our detailing guru, known and valued by colleagues, contractors and clients for his encyclopedic technical knowledge. Through his role as a philosopher-teacher and mentor of architectonic practice, his values and best practices have become intertwined with the office's practice. He plays a key role in developing office-wide standards for construction documents and ensuring that all projects adhere to those standards through careful quality control monitoring. His resourcefulness and attention to detail are evident as he tirelessly tackles tough design challenges and explores alternatives to find solutions that meet clients' needs, reflect clients' cultures and maximize value.

Tell us something your co-workers might not know about you:

I take pride in being a high-energy defensive specialist when I play basketball.

J. Cameron Christopher

J. Cameron Christopher

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J. Cameron  Christopher

The friendly, knowledgeable, energetic employees of HMFH re-establish the conventional definition of ‘work’.

Our People

J. Cameron Christopher

Cam is often the first person to give a cheery good morning to whomever he sees in the office. He graduated with a degree in Architectural Engineering Technology from Vermont Technical College and if he didn’t study architecture, he may have pursued physiology because he loves how the human body and emotions work. He is an expert at how things go together, which is evident in the many physical and digital models he has generated for HMFH projects. He sees architecture as an opportunity to engage with the fields of design, technology, business, art, ecology, and people.

What do you wish you had more time to do?

Whenever I have a few spare hours, I enjoy exploring the watercolor medium.

 

Mario Torroella

Mario Torroella

Founding Principal

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Mario  Torroella

The element of surprise in a building is necessary to give it life, humor and interest, which are different ways of saying individuality. The building becomes more interesting to be in when one is able to learn and appreciate the different components that add up to a totality. The user becomes more identified with the building, and a sense of place becomes a reality.

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Mario Torroella

FAIA

Founding Principal

As Design Director, Mario’s nurtures a creative spirit that infuses the firm’s recognized attention to detail and focus on how buildings work. By establishing clarity of purpose for a given space, Mario deftly guides a project team through the sensitive development of buildings that, in their human scale and appropriateness of use, create a strong sense of place with clear navigation. Bright colors, shifting daylight and unexpected window connections create an element of surprise, imbuing a building with life, humor and interest. Under Mario’s design direction, HMFH projects have been honored for excellence in school design, historic preservation, adaptive reuse and housing, including six Walter Taylor Awards and three K-12 Educational Facilities Awards from the Boston Society of Architects. An accomplished artist, Mario's paintings and tapestries have been exhibited throughout the United States and abroad including solo shows in San Juan, Puerto Rico; Nantes, France; and Boston. His work hangs in The Museum of Contemporary Art of Vélez-Málaga, Spain and can be viewed at www.torroellaart.com.

Justin Viglianti

Justin Viglianti

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Justin  Viglianti

Design is the difference between unpleasant and enjoyable spaces.

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Justin Viglianti

RA

Justin brings his love of the city and urban environments to the forefront of architectural design and master planning. He believes the best projects are able to bring people together in unexpected ways. After spending several years on the other coast where he earned his Master of Urban Design from University of California, Berkeley, Justin returned to Boston. His work focuses on improving the public realm – whether designing and implementing a parklet in Oakland, California, or re-designing a bicycle store and repair shop here in Cambridge, MA. He currently teaches students of architecture about urbanism at the Boston Architectural College and Massachusetts College of Art and Design.

Which websites do you check regularly?

Archinect, Fast Company, This American Life, What Revit Wants

Robert Williams

Robert Williams

Senior Associate

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Robert  Williams

HMFH is filled with architects of all backgrounds and special expertise. It is an office with tremendous resources and a great reputation.

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Robert Williams

AIA, LEED AP

Senior Associate

Robert's sense of humor is positively infectious and makes him a natural leader in collaborative environments. He is a skilled project architect, who joined HMFH after a career in finance. He sees the big picture but understands its the details that make it all come together. He is instrumental in refining project budgets to better meet client needs. In overseeing the simultaneous construction of three new elementary schools, Robert's skillful juggling of the often competing concerns of schedule, budget and program resulted in a trio of award-winning schools that came in on time, under budget and to rave reviews.

What are you “known for” around the office?

I am a very competitive person and like to turn everything into a competition.

Vianely Franco

Vianely Franco

Project Coordinator

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Vianely  Franco

Architecture is the living memory that the world has about how each generation has lived, and that is fascinating for me.

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Vianely Franco

Project Coordinator

Vianely’s patience and perseverance may be key to her ability to maintain focus in a busy, collaborative environment and to find solutions to seemingly intractable challenges, qualities that she also points to when asked what fictional character she might identify with, and why (her answer: Hermione Granger from Harry Potter). As a Project Coordinator, she is essential to our planning and project activities, and draws on skills gained through a range of prior experience including work for the Dominican Senate. She has a background in interior design, project management, and a Bachelor of Architecture from the Universidad Autónoma de Santo Domingo.

What is the best piece of advice you've received? 

From my Dad: “Your journey is yours; don’t compare it to anybody else’s and be proud of it.”

Paul Belanger

Paul Belanger

Controller

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Paul  Belanger

I appreciate that HMFH treats its employees so respectfully.

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Paul Belanger

Controller

In Paul’s role overseeing the firm’s finances, he completes financial reporting, forecasting, and management to ensure that HMFH’s creative efforts are grounded in fiscal responsibility. You’ll find him in the Downtown Crossing area on most weekends, frequenting theater productions; when he’s not at a speaker series or Broadway in Boston show, he may be engaging in his other passions including cooking, gardening and biking.

What is one thing your co-workers might not know about you?

I worked here over 20 years ago.

Peter Rust

Peter Rust

Associate

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Peter  Rust

Good design can solve, or at least help alleviate, many of the world's problems, including environmental issues, social justice issues, and people's quality of life.

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Peter Rust

AIA

Associate

Pete can often be found working away with giant headphones on, which is not necessarily to block out the sound, but because he is a music enthusiast. He grew up in rural Vermont but lived in New York City for 10 years and considers himself at home in both environments. Pete is fascinated by the history of architecture and knocked our socks off with his knowledge in a Boston Society of Architects “What the Sketch” competition, a type of architectural Pictionary. His focus at HMFH is on our higher education projects, but Pete is also well versed in cabinet making and woodworking.

Why are you an architect?

It's almost always interesting. I'm always challenged and I have learned so much about the world through my job.

Aarjith Janardhan

Aarjith Janardhan

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Aarjith  Janardhan

The versatility of an architect’s profession and the process of transforming lines on paper to structures with scale are some of the reasons why I chose architecture.

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Aarjith Janardhan

Having family involved in art and engineering may have made his entry into the architectural profession inevitable, but it was during his parents’ home renovation when he found himself at the site daily that Aarjith really learned the details. Through his work designing single and multi-family residential buildings, as well as health and commercial projects, Aarjith has been engaged in all phases of design from conceptual through site supervision. He loves being outside, and with his background in athletics and love of soccer, he’s quickly become an integral member of HMFH’s softball team.

What are some of your favorite spaces in (or around) Boston? 

The late I.M. Pei was one of my favorite architects so the Hancock tower at Copley Square is special to me. It’s a tough question as Boston has many beautiful spaces; the beauty of the city is that the same space is transformed throughout the year as the seasons change.

Melissa Greene

Melissa Greene

Associate

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Melissa  Greene

I enjoy the challenge of working within tight budgets and still creating beautiful buildings. I love that the end result of all the hard work we do is a space that is not just occupiable but that is engaging...schools that kids are excited to go to every day.

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Melissa Greene

AIA, LEED AP

Associate

Melissa's design sense and attention to detail are evident in the playful, engaging learning environments of her projects. Known for her tenacity when presented with a complex design challenge, Melissa is skilled at refining the details while strengthening the overall design of a building. Eager to expand the dialogue about colleagues' work in the office, Melissa launched the firm's successful Wake Up Pin Up sessions, a lively, coffee- and bagel-fueled format for sharing ongoing projects at HMFH.

If you weren't working at HMFH what would you be doing?

My only other dream job would be to take care of the pandas at the zoo.

Julia Nugent

Julia Nugent

Principal

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Julia  Nugent

The beauty of design is an underlying order countered by unexpected juxtapositions—a harmonious environment with moments that surprise, delight and challenge.

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Julia Nugent

AIA, LEED AP

Principal

Julia is passionate about design. An architect and planner with more than 30 years of experience, Julia leads HMFH’s higher education practice. Julia approaches design with an interest in the larger philosophical and community implications of architecture and what she calls the 'geeky details' to create inspiring and achievable design. She couples this social understanding with quantitative information to find the best solutions, tackling master planning challenges and developing solutions to improve student life and academic environments.

What's your personal design philosophy?

To be a good architect, you have to believe that your buildings matter to the end user and that the architecture will elevate their personal experience. They will be happier and more engaged, not just because you've solved the practical needs (which is essential), but because you've taken care to create a beautiful and meaningful space for them.

Julie Darling

Julie Darling

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Julie  Darling

Buildings are such an integral part of the human experience. Architects are necessary to inform that experience.

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Julie Darling

AIA

Julie is a Massachusetts native who grew up on a 50-acre farm raising cows, pigs, chickens and rabbits before attending Wentworth Institute of Technology for both her Bachelors and Masters in architecture. Julie is enthusiastic about how the latest technology can aide the design and construction process, and enjoys assisting her coworkers with software utilization for documentation and coordination. She loves working in her garden, exploring the Middlesex Fells Reservation, and, if she wasn’t an architect, she’d probably swap out her heels for a pair of hiking boots and head for the Appalachian trail.

What is the best piece of advice you’ve received?

Every big task can be broken down into smaller tasks, and smaller tasks are always easier to tackle.

Sam Landay

Sam Landay

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Sam  Landay

The quality of our lives and interactions with each other is closely related to the quality of the spaces around us; it’s important that we design those spaces well.

Our People

Sam Landay

Sam’s interest in the design and fabrication of products extends beyond architecture to music, food, and furniture design. He spent a significant amount of time during college in shop where he learned skills that have helped him transition seamlessly to his role on our design teams. His expertise in bringing ideas and architectural concepts to life through model building, laser cutting, and 3D printing helps clients visualize design. Sam is also a highly accomplished violinist; he started a few months before turning four and still practices regularly, a testament to his tenacity.

What is the best piece of advice you’ve received?

In school I was told to never work alone. Design problems are often complex, so by surrounding yourself with creative people, you’ll be exposed to a variety of design approaches that can help tackle those problems.

Stephen Friedlaender

Stephen Friedlaender

Founding Principal

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Stephen  Friedlaender

Good leadership and good design both take patience, understanding an the willingness to evolve.

Our People

Stephen Friedlaender

FAIA

Founding Principal

Steve's integration of architecture with educational planning reflects his belief that excellence in architecture requires more than simply good design – good communication is also paramount. He directed the firm's educational planning and programming process on many significant projects, translating clients' space needs and program goals into workable and buildable plans that result in harmonious solutions. Under Steve's leadership, HMFH received its first Walter Taylor award in 1976 for the groundbreaking Brewster Elementary School. He continues to inspire HMFH's current practice through his exploration of new technologies and design initiatives and his active participation in charitable and civic realms. In his current civic roles outside the firm – as Life Trustee of the New England Conservatory and Chair of the Conservatory's Campus Facilities Committee, Steve expands his commitment to improving the dialogue between architects, owners and users.

Devin Canton

Devin Canton

Associate and BIM Manager

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Devin  Canton

I love art, construction and technology...put them together and you have well-designed buildings that inspire.

Our People

Devin Canton

AIA

Associate and BIM Manager

Devin Canton is a skilled project architect, technician and teacher who has led the firm in its integration of BIM best practices with design standards and training HMFH colleagues to use technology to elevate design and ensure project success. Devin uses 3-D modeling to fully integrate architectural and engineering components and bring clarity to the design process, helping clients understand how future buildings will effectively facilitate teaching and learning. A key member of the firm's Standards and IT working groups, Devin draws on years of design experience, his strong organizational bent and his passion for technology to further the firm's goals including building and refining a standards library that supports all project teams and ensuring the smooth and seamless executive of BIM. Devin serves on the BSA Membership Committee and is an active member of AIA Central Massachusetts.

If you weren't working at HMFH what would you be doing?

Gardening.

 

Vickie Barrile

Vickie Barrile

Accounting and Benefits Administrator

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Vickie  Barrile

As a parent with three school age children I take pride in the thought and detail that go into HMFH school designs.

Our People

Vickie Barrile

Accounting and Benefits Administrator

Vickie’s organizational skills paired with her positive disposition make her an asset not only in the accounting department, but in the firm. The best piece of advice she says she’s ever received is that “the one constant in life is change, roll with it” and seems to do just that as she tackles the daily challenges of organizing our financial records and ensuring that we all have our timesheets submitted on time.

What was the last thing that made you laugh?

Conversations over dinner with my family.

Philip “Pip” Lewis

Philip “Pip” Lewis

Principal

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Philip “Pip”  Lewis

A well-planned environment enriches the lives of its users and inspires them to higher levels of aspiration and achievement.

Our People

Philip “Pip” Lewis

AIA, LEED AP

Principal

Pip enjoys solving difficult design problems, especially complex, thorny, urban ones. He works very closely with clients to help them wrestle with challenges including budget, design, logistics, and community concerns. Through engagement and iteration, he arrives at successful solutions that exceed expectations, frequently in unexpected ways. He knows how to reduce the risk of a complex renovation project or a tight site in a sensitive neighborhood while shaping the design to enrich the lives of both users and neighbors. He works tirelessly because he knows the ultimate beneficiaries – students – prosper when they attend great schools that fit seamlessly within their communities.

What do like most about working at HMFH?

The high ethical standards all around, high quality design work, and the fact that building schools is a feel-good way to spend a career – we get to work on lots of successful building projects.

Hannah Goldman

Hannah Goldman

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Hannah  Goldman

Design can show us the state of the world, and ways in which we can improve it in a material way.

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Hannah Goldman

Hannah handles the daily needs of our office with grace, wit, and a notable amount of patience. Perhaps it’s the fact that she is one of four kids and grew up in a slightly chaotic environment that prepared her to work in fast paced environments. Or her appetite to learn new things, which is evident in the fact that one of her favorite books as a kid was an encyclopedia atlas and the expansive and ever-growing queue of podcasts she subscribes to. Hannah has a B.A. in Art History and recently finished her M.A. in Architectural History at the University of Virginia School of Architecture.

What are some of your favorite spaces in Boston?

I love the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum. I really like that the museum balances talking about the art and the origins of the museum and its benefactor. A lot of my M.A. work focused on intention and patronage, so the ISGM is right up my alley!

Matt LaRue

Matt LaRue

Senior Associate & Stockholder

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Matt  LaRue

Because we construct the environments we live in, design is constantly around us and often a source of happiness. When design falls short, we lose that source of joy.

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Matt LaRue

AIA

Senior Associate & Stockholder

Matt is an award-winning designer who skillfully integrates sustainability with program needs and overall design. He combines a strongly logical process with a creative and consistent pursuit of the details – the exact light, color, pattern and material – that enriches and breathes life into each project. Through his design leadership and more than fifteen years of experience designing schools, housing and other institutional facilities, projects become joyful places for learning, living and working. In addition to working at HMFH, community and urban activism, and spending time with his family, Matt teaches the Level 5 Studio class at Northeastern University's School of Architecture, where he coordinates studio coursework with a sustainable building-systems course.

Why are you an architect?

Practicing architecture allows you to wrestle around in the realm of the abstract, but then it rewards you with this physical thing that will stand for a long time.

 

Vassilios Valaes

Vassilios Valaes

Senior Associate & Stockholder

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Vassilios  Valaes

It is always a delight to interact with products, spaces and buildings that have been designed with the user in mind.

Our People

Vassilios Valaes

AIA, LEED AP

Senior Associate & Stockholder

Vassilios is a passionate architect whose meticulous care is inspired by his enthusiasm for every aspect of his work as a project manager and project architect. Vassilios's strength as a collaborative problem-solver creates strong working relationships with clients, fellow designers and our consultants, enabling him to respond to clients' needs by engaging the firm's considerable collective resources and knowledge. His dedication and conscientious care builds trusted relationships with school and municipal leaders and his management of multiple successful projects with clients is a testament to the strength of his relationships.

If you weren't working at HMFH, what would you be doing?

Sailing.

 

Ania Matteson

Ania Matteson

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Ania  Matteson

Some of the best advice I received is to 'do what you love, and love what you do.'

Our People

Ania Matteson

Ania believes that each project presents unique opportunities to develop distinctive architectural solutions and has demonstrated this in her work for both higher education and public K-12 school clients. Don’t let her monochromatic wardrobe choices fool you, Ania’s creative architectural solutions include some of HMFH’s most color-rich, engaging environments. She also has a passion for traveling, which has taken her to Turkey, Europe, Japan, Mexico, Thailand as well as home to Kraków, Poland where she grew up and earned a masters in architecture and urban design from the Kraków University of Technology. Recently Ania and her family adopted two guinea pigs and discovered the delightful phenomenon of “popcorning.”

What do you like most about HMFH?

Knowing that our work creates inspiring spaces for children to learn, grow, and have fun.

Alicia Crothers

Alicia Crothers

Associate

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Alicia  Crothers

The design and craft of making spaces and objects is essential to creating better environments.

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Alicia Crothers

AIA, LEED AP

Associate

Alicia’s breadth of experience and expertise benefits all in the office; she has worked on programming, conceptual design, planning, project management and all phases of design. When not found at her own desk, she’s often at someone else’s, collaborating, mentoring, brainstorming, or swapping stories from her past and she’s got a lot of stories – from experiences working in Haiti at the UNESCO World Heritage Site to sailing across the Atlantic.

What advice would you give to aspiring architects?

Take out your ear-buds and listen to the interaction of others around you. There is a lot you can learn by listening.

I like how inclusive my fellow staff members are. Everyone is invested in your success as much as theirs. It feels like a truly collaborative and inviting atmosphere.

Sara Rosenthal AIA, LEED AP

Jaime McGavin

Jaime McGavin

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Jaime  McGavin

I am most proud of the drawings and paintings in my academic portfolio because my interest in visual arts is what led me to exploring the field of architecture when I was younger.

Our People

Jaime McGavin

Asked what advice Jaime would give to aspiring architects she said, “to be ready for a new challenge every day” which seems to mirror the attitude she brings to the office every day. She embraces challenges big and small, from conceptualizing resilient designs to withstand future sea level rise, to reviewing submittals and RFIs. Jaime received her Master of Architecture from Roger Williams University and has degrees in Visual Arts and Architectural History as well, a background that makes her well-prepared to convey design concepts to clients though a range of graphics. Perhaps the secret to her even-keeled approach and optimism is the way she starts her day – an almost daily sunrise run along the esplanade.

What websites do you check regularly?

Dezeen, NPR (music section), and ArchDaily

Tina Stanislaski

Tina Stanislaski

Principal

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Tina  Stanislaski

Good design creates beauty and joy, and enriches our lives.

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Tina Stanislaski

AIA, LEED AP

Principal

Tina combines her architectural skill with talent for communication and public presentation, enabling her to gauge a community's needs, articulate design concepts and goals, and foster stakeholder support. She has lead a variety of educational projects with a balanced sensibility and focus, often overcoming the challenges of financial, space and schedule constraints with design solutions that exceed clients' expectations. Her thoughtful, collaborative approach earns her colleagues' admiration and trust. Not only is she a respected leader in the office, but also co-chairs the Boston Society of Architects K-12 Educational Facilities Committee and was invited to serve with Governor Deval Patrick and the Gun Violence Task Force to pass gun control in Massachusetts, specifically in schools.

What's your personal design philosophy?

Always think about design in three dimensions like sculpture. I try to design and create buildings where the user has many vantage points into spaces to allow them to appreciate the space from below, above, and places in between. This creates joy and surprise.

Hazel Ryerson

Hazel Ryerson

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Hazel  Ryerson

I believe that good design is Universal Design and creates healthy, welcoming places for all types of people.

Our People

Hazel Ryerson

From the beginning of her career, Hazel’s design work has focused on improving the physical environment for accessibility, safety, and wellness. Driven by a love for the problem-solving aspect of architecture, her experience has focused on Universal Design in a range of project types. Her passion for improving the places we inhabit is also evident in the focus of her thesis which looked at integrating the design of a riverfront park and aquatics center with passive systems for cleaning and restoring the health of the polluted river. When not in the office, Hazel can often be found hiking in the White Mountains, working on her house, or creating abstract watercolor paintings.

If you weren’t working in architecture, what would you be doing?

I’d run an architectural salvage yard.

Holly Miller

Holly Miller

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Holly  Miller

The built environment impacts how we locate ourselves in the world in both subtle and obvious ways.

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Holly Miller

AIA, LEED AP

When asked what the best piece of advice is that she has received, Holly said, “there is no ONE right answer,” which seems fitting given her collaborative approach to architecture. Though her world vision has evolved, her commitment to becoming an architect and shaping the world around her hasn’t; she decided she wanted to be an architect in third grade and has more than 20 years of experience designing learning environments. Satisfying a need to both think big and to be detail oriented, Holly loves the range of experiences she has as an architect, from thinking about how students learn to resolving a complex detail during construction. She provides design leadership, maintains client relationships, and coordinates consultants and internal teams, thriving on the collaborative nature of the design industry.

What advice would you give to aspiring architects?

Draw the world around you!

Gary Brock

Gary Brock

Associate

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Gary  Brock

I believe strongly in designing and building sustainably. I realize it isn’t a perfect world, but we should try when we can to make it so.

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Gary Brock

AIA

Associate

Gary’s passion for learning is evident in his efforts to make architecture more sustainable. He is part of HMFH’s sustainability committee where he explores new technologies and materials, develops guidelines to integrate high performance design into our projects, and develops strategies to quantify the outcomes. He is an adjunct faculty member at the Boston Architectural College where he teaches the Building Technology Course in conjunction with the comprehensive studio for the Distance Master of Architecture Program. When not teaching, he is often exploring the depths of Google or reading with his kids.

What was the last thing that made you laugh?

My kids – how can a drawing of “nostril man” not make you laugh?

Andrea Yoder

Andrea Yoder

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Andrea  Yoder

My interest in being an architect came from my interest in traveling.

Our People

Andrea Yoder

AIA, LEED AP

Andrea finds her inspiration as an architect from her many travels and appreciation of the different forms buildings take around the world. She hopes one day to go to Antarctica, a dream that has grown from an interest in Charles Shackleton and penguins. She practices for this adventure by winter hiking, a hobby she says she likes because she loves snow and the cushion it provides if you fall. But it’s rare that Andrea falls, more often than not she’s leading – whether in a design review in the office, or as co-chair of the Women in Design ABX committee and member of HMFH’s sustainability committee.

What websites do you check regularly?

Blogs about tiny houses, Ask This Old House, Apartment Therapy, Sciencemag.org, anything cooking related

Caitlin Osepchuk

Caitlin Osepchuk

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Caitlin  Osepchuk

Be persistent, never give up. You may not end up where you think you want to be, but you'll get where you need to be.

Our People

Caitlin Osepchuk

AIA

Caitlin originally wanted to be an orthopedic surgeon but after taking a high school drafting class, found her love for architecture. She thoroughly enjoys solving puzzles, which translates into her ability to find optimal adjacencies and fully immerse herself in space planning and design projects. A graduate of Roger Williams University, and native of Ocean Grove, New Jersey, Caitlin has spent most of her life by the ocean and plans to move to an island and be a dive master when she retires from architecture.

If you weren't working in architecture, what would you be doing?

Probably working with animals, either fostering or as a veterinarian.

Missy Kennedy

Missy Kennedy

Marketing Coordinator

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Missy  Kennedy

I love to write both professionally and personally—per the latter, about women’s lives, places, and nature.

Our People

Missy Kennedy

Marketing Coordinator

Missy’s background in publishing, marketing and graphic design make her an asset in the marketing department where she thrives on both the creative and the organizational tasks. Introduced to architecture through her work in visual design for ArchitectureBoston magazine, Missy loves to write and find the right visuals to help elevate a narrative. Missy’s dedication and determination is evident in her commitment to HMFH’s running club, and keeps us on our toes and consistently moving forward.

What is one thing your co-workers might not know about you?

Growing up, I always thought I wanted to be a shark biologist. I even started college as a marine biology major but changed it before the end of my first semester. Sharks are still my favorite animals.

Rosemary Park

Rosemary Park

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Rosemary  Park

I have a deep passion for social justice and believe that our roles as architects is to help change society for the better.

Our People

Rosemary Park

AIA

With experience in a range of sectors – from universities, to assisted living, to affordable housing – Rosemary’s career choice is driven by her belief that architecture can help change society for the better. She also believes in good food, and finds fulfillment in both. She grew up in a family that worked in the food industry, and is a self-proclaimed foodie. Whether exploring the effect of different cooking methods on taste or understanding how our minds perceive space and color, Rosemary also loves learning about the science behind everything.

What do you like most about HMFH?

HMFH's passion for creating wonderful schools.

Sara Rosenthal

Sara Rosenthal

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Sara  Rosenthal

Don't be afraid to advocate for yourself with humility.

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Sara Rosenthal

AIA, LEED AP

Sara has always been interested in reorganizing objects in her immediate space, and her choice to become an architect was perhaps solidified in the third grade when she wrote a report on an architect’s career path. Since then, she moved from South Florida to Boston, earned her M.Arch from Northeastern University, powered through the licensure process, and contributed to HMFH’s educationally-driven designs that inspire hands-on learning. She’s also explored hands-on work in her own studio coursework, using everything from soldered wire, formed concrete, handmade paper, poured wax and chip and museum board to create models.

If you weren't working in architecture, what would you be doing?

Working for a 3D animation studio like pixar.

Deborah Collins

Deborah Collins

Senior Associate & Stockholder

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Deborah  Collins

Nothing is more difficult than making something look simple. I have a sugar packet that I found in Dublin, in Gaelic it says 'What fills the eye fills the heart'.

Our People

Deborah Collins

AIA

Senior Associate & Stockholder

Deborah brings sensitivity, care and attention to detail to both her design work and in her interactions with clients and team members. As the leader of HMFH's internal design committee, Deborah's design sensibility impacts every project. Her unassuming and collaborative approach resonates with clients and colleagues. She works hard to guide clients through a fully-informed decision-making process resulting in thoughtful designs that are elegant, efficient and cost-effective.

What are you “known for” around the office?

I'd like to think that people look to me to advocate for design.

Erica Metzger

Erica Metzger

Senior Associate and HR and Operations Manager

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Erica  Metzger

I am proud that the buildings and spaces that we design are invaluably worthwhile, important and improve the lives of people and communities.

Our People

Erica Metzger

Senior Associate and HR and Operations Manager

With patience, grace and diplomacy, Erica not only keeps the office's operations running smoothly but also creates an atmosphere that is warm and welcoming for employees and visitors alike. With a tenure dating back to school breaks, Erica understands the inner workings of our firm like no one else and has an uncanny ability to anticipate issues before they create problems. From practical matters such as professional registration, HR issues and equipment leasing to morale-boosters like the occasional afternoon ice cream break, Erica deftly manages all aspects of office operations with equanimity. Often the office's first face for clients and vendors, Erica's kind smile greets everyone who steps into HMFH's lobby, reminding us that the success of our architectural practice is built on a foundation of strong management and human kindness.

What are you “known for” around the office?

When people come to me for assistance or advice, they know that I will always do my best to listen and help.

Stephanie MacNeil

Stephanie MacNeil

Associate

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Stephanie  MacNeil

I got the travel bug after a semester abroad in Germany and honeymoon in Australia… I love to experience new places and see how other cultures live their daily lives in very different and yet often very similar ways.

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Stephanie MacNeil

AIA, LEED AP

Associate

Stephanie’s favorite childhood show was This Old House, where she learned that “building it!” is her favorite part of any project. Her greatest thrill is walking the job site and seeing the studs come together, the direct result of working out and scrutinizing each and every detail. She married her high school sweetheart after college and together they dove into the challenge and adventure of renovating their first home. They’re now on to home number two. When not renovating her home, Stephanie is an active member of the USGBC MA Chapter and the organizer of HMFH’s annual bowling night.

What advice would you give to aspiring architects?

Look at and try to understand every building detail you can! You can learn so much just by understanding the way that building elements come together.

Colin Dockrill

Colin Dockrill

Senior Associate and Graphic Designer

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Colin  Dockrill

I'm always drawn to contrasts, whether its colors playing off each other, the balance between heavy text and white space, and most of all that sweet spot where you see all the light that makes up the shadows that make a composition sing.

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Colin Dockrill

AIGA

Senior Associate and Graphic Designer

Colin's design influence can be seen in the firm's print materials and presentations as well as in finished buildings. He works closely with design teams to select colors, materials and furnishings; to promote wayfinding and orientation; and to give each building that unique character that engages its occupants. Whether in the design of dynamic floorscapes, painterly tile murals that enliven major interior spaces, visually clever directional graphics, or memorials to historic events or cherished citizens, Colin helps give form to HMFH's belief that each building should reflect the culture and values of its community. His tenacious pursuit of design in unexpected elements has contributed to the firm's long list of design awards not just for our buildings, but for terrazzo flooring, creative lighting, and other elements that make our projects unique and valued by our clients.

What keeps you busy outside of work?

I’m constantly seeing old, unfinished home renovation projects spur new ones. I imagine I’m layering, like Olmsted, my community garden plot in Boston and a bigger, better spot in Nova Scotia. I am a seasonally-motivated runner; Couch-to-5k is my friend. I imagine I should be a real artist not a 9-5 one, while I plan travels for myself, no matter how small. Escape is as exciting as the stamps in my Canadian passport and my excess vacation time is as elusive as my favourite childhood trauma – Bigfoot.