Studio

Introduction

Morehouse MacDonald and Associates is one collaborative design studio. All projects are setup with a Principal-in-Charge (John S. MacDonald) who provides comprehensive project stewardship, setting design direction and remaining continuously involved with a project’s design development all the way through construction and final move in.

Supporting the Principal-in-Charge, a project team is assembled and led by a ‘project lead’ who functions in the combined capacities of project architect and project manager. This key member is responsible for developing the project’s design intent, through schematics and carried into a series of deliverables culminating in the final construction documents. Leading, managing and coordinating the work of all team members and consultants—plus managing all project data—is also central to this person’s key role.

At MMA the same core team that begins your project will remain with the project from inception through construction—ensuring continuity and design intent is fully materialized.

The MMA Design Process

At MMA each project is approached similarly but in an adaptive and flexible manner, responding to the particular needs of each client, client brief, site, and set of conditions for the project’s deliverables.

The MMA design process varies as needed to best serve the interests of each client, but the firm has a strong tradition of providing high-quality visualization as part of its processes.

The MMA design process varies as needed to best serve the interests of each client, but the firm has a strong tradition of providing high-quality visualization as part of its processes—from beautiful traditional hand drawings like shown here to computerized animations and walkthroughs that help clients experience ‘virtually’ spaces, forms and sites.

As an open studio, various members participate in ‘as-needed’ short bursts to core teammates delivering assistance and expertise—therefore every project at MMA has full access to the totality of expertise the firm can bring to bear on a single situation. The firm’s senior staff members collectively possess over 80 man-years of specific expertise in designing high-end single family residences, across every region of the United States.

Computer Technology in the Studio

To support our studio’s general methodologies, MMA utilizes the latest tools in computerized software and hardware, including years of expertise in leading cloud-based software tools. Our clients and our teams can always access all ‘essential’ project data, files, and drawings via computer, tablet or smartphone—at any time, from anywhere in the world.

MMA avails itself of both 2D and 3D CAD (computer-aided design) software with both 3D modeling and rendering for project visualization, in addition to superb in-house traditional hand rendering methodology (see image above). To further visualize projects for our clients and for review boards we often deploy animated walk-through movies and physical models.

The firm also works very closely with many of the expert trades in the industry, such as leading woodworkers in New England. We sometimes provide these companies, via the general contractor, with digital data that can then drive CNC (computer numerical control) routers that cut MMA designs out of wood, metal or other materials. Custom details built into stone mantels and front doors, including low-relief sculpture, can be developed and delivered as part of our process.

To learn more about the MMA design process and studio technologies, visit the blog posts below:

Be sure to follow our News page to read more articles in the future that delve into our design processes and see work coming up on the boards!

Sustainable Design

Our firm’s design work has always been conscientious of the needs of the natural environment. That concern begins the moment we step foot onto a client’s new site. While we analyze the site for design opportunities, we are experienced at recognizing limitations and work to provide responsible ‘house siting’ in relationship to wetland and conservation areas. MMA is experienced at working with botanist and landscape experts to guard against damage to eco-systems and habitats.

All our designs employ a broad range of strategies to limit energy usage, and in the Northeast in particular we seek to decrease the energy needed to heat homes. We encourage sustainable building techniques and practices and have LEED accredited professionals on staff.