Letter from the Editor – December 2012
When her home on the banks of the New Meadows River was finished, the homeowner threw a big party. She made paella over an open fire, and invited friends, relatives, and those who had a hand in the design and construction over to break bread and spread seeds on the green roof. It was as much a planting party as a thank-you party. Architects Will Winkelman and Eric Sokol recall the gesture fondly: “Oftentimes,” says Winkelman, “projects just sort of taper off. The painter walks out the door and the homeowner moves right in. This was nice closure. The literal capping off.”
We hear this kind of story often. Homeowners forming relationships with their architects, builders, craftspeople, electricians, landscapers. Recently, David Hadley, CEO of Pella New England, visited our office. While talking about the company’s recruiting campaign for architectural designers through the University of Maine network, he mentioned the incredible talent that exists in Maine, and the community that goes along with it. Through our work on Maine Home+Design, we know it’s a community that is always expanding.
In Maine, building homes is not just a transaction; it’s a personal relationship between the homeowners and those they seek to make their vision a reality. An architect’s skills are important, of course, but in Maine so too are character, approach, drive. Who they are when they’re not designing or building matters just as much as how they design or build. And we often hear the same about homeowners: the best projects, many architects will say, are the ones in which the homeowners are active participants who have ideas and vision, whose kids you still ask about long after the punch list is complete.
For every beautiful project we feature on the pages of our Architecture Issue, there is a crew of incredible individuals with their own stories. For this reason, we chose to put an architect rather than a project on this year’s cover. Great architecture, after all, doesn’t exist in a vacuum—it’s what happens when individuals come together in collaboration to create.