about us


focused on the power of collaboration

Founded in 2011 by Principal Elisa Winter Holben, WINTER HOLBEN began as an independent design firm focused on placemaking. As Elisa's portfolio expanded from large-scale retail environment programs to campus wayfinding systems and community spaces, she became increasingly inspired by the power of multidisciplinary design and collaboration, particularly between designers and architects. After successfully collaborating on key projects, including the award-winning 3S Artspace, her husband, Principal Architect Brandon Holben, AIA, joined as a partner in 2015, sharing the same vision. Together, they have fostered a culture of design excellence and a collaborative small studio ethos. Since then, the firm has grown into a highly skilled team providing award-winning design across a wide range of industries.

Winter Holben architecture and design, team at work, brewery

how we work

Our passion is bringing your vision to life through a highly collaborative approach. Whether you are a chef-owner building your first restaurant, a seasoned property developer, a museum director or a retail executive, we’ll help create (and elevate) the environments and experiences you’ve envisioned for your project. Our “small studio, big experience” approach brings together a high standard of design with a friendly, customized process. We’ll have fun together along the way – our process for each project is unique, but always focused on:

  • Understanding your specific project objectives and vision
  • Analyzing contextual parameters and technical requirements
  • Delivering multiple ideas and iterating based on your feedback
  • Taking a consultative and communicative approach at every step

community involvement 

We are dedicated to the Seacoast Maine and New Hampshire region where we live, work and play - as well as to our global community of design professionals. It is a priority for us to engage with organizations that make the Seacoast (and our global design community) special, giving support through donations, board participation, sponsorship, discounted design services and more. Organizations we have supported include: 

3S Artspace
AIGA Maine
Black Heritage Trail NH
Creative Mornings Portsmouth
Cross Roads House
The Dance Hall

Fair Tide
Footprints Food Pantry
Kittery Little League
Labrie Family Skate at Puddledock Pond
Rice Public Library
Seacoast Science Center

Shapleigh School
Strawbery Banke Museum
Soul Models
TedX Portsmouth
Traip Academy
USS Albacore Submarine Museum