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MARY MEAGHER DESIGN
23 Melrose Avenue
Jamestown, RI 02835
TEL: 401.423.0882
E: tiptoparch@msn.com
 

Who I Am and What I Do

For as long as I can remember I have been interested in buildings. I was drawing plans and elevations at age eight. I received my BA from Harvard, magna cum laude in Visual and Environmental Studies. I started my architectural design practice in Jamestown, Rhode Island in 1987, a year after I received my Master’s Degree in Architecture from MIT. Over the years, my focus has been primarily residential design, with projects ranging from small renovations and additions to new homes of various sizes. Well over 100 projects have been built, many of them in Jamestown but also throughout southern Rhode Island and Massachusetts. Among my commercial projects are three restaurants, a wellness center and various types of education facilities.

One of my fundamental principles is that good design should be affordable. By that I mean not just that my fees are lower than average or that I can structure my services to accommodate just about any budget, though both of those are true. I also mean that good design makes for a more functional building, one that does more for less, that doesn’t need expensive gimmicks to work well or fancy decoration to look good.

There are many aphorisms that architects have developed about design: form follows function, less is more. One of my favorites is one of the oldest, from Roman architect and engineer Vitruvius: “ firmitas, utilitas, venustas” — that a structure should be well made, useful, and delightful. These are the qualities I believe every project should possess, but the result will differ depending upon the client’s preferences and the site’s requirements. I enjoy my interaction with clients and encourage them to give me as much input as they can. I then integrate their needs and the site’s possibilities in developing the ideas and working out the design. And I work closely with builders to ensure that the process goes smoothly and the result is what we imagined.

I provide a range of design services from preliminary assessments of an existing house, building or site through schematic design and design development, to the construction documents from which a client can get a bid and a building permit, and the final interior details. A client can partake of any or all of these design services. In addition, I have appeared before Zoning Boards, Planning Commissions and Historic District Commissions in Cranston, Jamestown, Middletown, Narragansett, Newport, North Kingstown, and South Kingstown in Rhode Island and Winchester, Massachusetts. I am also very familiar with the requirements of state agencies such as the Coastal Resources Management Commission and the Department of Environmental Management.

Of the more than 130 projects that have been built from my designs, I have selected a few for you to explore. But the best way to view a house or any building is to walk through it, so I would be happy to accompany you on a tour of some of the projects, should you be interested in visiting them.