How We Design for an Evolving Maine

Responsible and Optimistic Growth

There is no doubt that spring is the season of growth.The variety of projects we have emerging right here in our backyard of Kittery, Maine is indicative of change, vision, and a true blossoming in our state. We see our own business evolving as we embark upon an ambitious project at 3 Walker Street which will house our new studio, an art gallery, and three residential units, two of which are affordable housing units that will be the first of this kind in the Kittery Foreside. 

This mixed-use building is a worthy example of what is possible here in Kittery, a thriving downtown space replete with phenomenal restaurants, shops, and small businesses. Whenever change arrives, it can be difficult for a community to reckon with what may be lost and what may be gained. We believe that what we are building will be representative of the kind of change that improves and strengthens the fabric of our community. 

Community within a thriving downtown, of course, does not exist without its people. We are keenly aware of the fact that folks (like our own employees!) already struggle to find affordable and comfortable housing. This need is bound to increase as issues of climate change affect migration to the area while zoning laws and state policies remain challenging and slow to be updated. However, we see the need for housing as both a hurdle and an opportunity. Maximizing the density and use of downtown projects like 3 Walker is critical for slowing down urban sprawl, protecting green space, and maintaining the character and energy of a downtown location. The addition of affordable units that are thoughtfully designed directly addresses the housing hurdle and sets an example for what can be done elsewhere. 

Similarly, our contemporary waterfront living project on Badger’s Island and our redevelopment of the Foreside Inn demonstrate our approach to holistic design that enhances a community. We integrate innovation, purpose, and aesthetics with people and place through an appreciation of context, materials, and sustainability. Our focus on design and respect for history allows us to create unique environments that balance traditional elements with contemporary accents—a reflection of Maine and deference to its evolution. 

The topography of Maine is full of contrasts. Mainers come from a variety of backgrounds and eclectic experiences. The beauty of our rugged coast and quaint villages serves as an inspiration in our work and will continue to attract newcomers. The landscape will continue to change. There will be growing pains as we find ourselves in such a transformational moment. But us Mainers? Our heartiness and perseverance will serve us well. As designers, builders, and creators—we believe in responsible and optimistic growth, knowing that our work here impacts not only ourselves and our neighbors today but generations of Mainers to come.