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The 13 Best Residential Architects in Maine

18 Min Read

Maine is known for its Atlantic coastal views and outdoor recreation. It takes the right home to truly enjoy the Maine lifestyle. We have gathered a list of the best residential architects in Maine to help you find a reliable firm.

We chose these firms for their knowledge, expertise, and reputation. We hope that this list will make it easier to make your dream home a reality.

Kaplan Thompson Architects

102 Exchange St. Second Floor, Portland, ME 04101

When it comes to home design, Kaplan Thompson Architects believes that beauty and sustainability go hand-in-hand. Their team combines the artistry of architecture with the practicality of sustainable design to produce high-quality, low-impact designs. They apply their technical expertise and modern aesthetic to residential new builds and renovations, as well as multi-family housing, educational facilities, and restaurant and retail spaces across New England and beyond.

Kaplan Thompson believes in a team process where every client can have their specific needs met, their individual aesthetic embraced, and their budget respected. The firm works closely with clients through every phase of design and construction to create spaces that feel simultaneously inventive and familiar. From hand sketches to photo-realistic 3D renderings, its designers ensure that the architectural process is as personal and engaging as the final structure itself.    

The firm’s portfolio is built proof of what can be achieved through a collaborative approach and focus on sustainability. Their residences vary in form and function to meet the unique demands of those who live in them, but all are considerate of the environment they are creating and the environment into which they are built.

Designs such as the Blackwood House celebrate the use of local and natural materials, connections to nature, and the beauty of surrounding landscapes. For this team, challenging sites are seen as opportunities for creative problem solving; unconventional geometries are occasions to create unique built-ins and living spaces; and harsh climates are reason to test just how energy- and cost- efficient a building can be. 

Established in 2006 by Principals Phil Kaplan and Jesse Thompson, Kaplan Thompson Architects has received national recognition for its achievements in high-performance construction and innovative design. The firm designed one of the first LEED Platinum Net-Zero homes in New England and was named to the ARCHITECT50 Top 50 Firms in Sustainability for two consecutive years. Its projects have been the recipients of numerous AIA Maine and AIA New England Design Awards, as well as been featured in publications such as the New York Times, Boston Globe, and Maine Home + Design.

Whitten Architects

37 Silver St., Portland, ME 04101

Whitten Architects considers itself an expert on New England architecture. The firm is deeply rooted in the region, drawing inspiration from its varied landscape and rich heritage. With over 35 years in the industry, it believes that good residential architecture is a reflection of the home’s inhabitants and a site-specific design. The firm’s designs also demonstrate a respect for the land the home is built on. 

As a result, the firm is well known for its thoughtfully designed homes in Maine. Its team of architects and designers has hands-on experience in residential architecture and construction, offering the best service imaginable. Its expertise in Contemporary, Cottage, and Farmhouse architecture is unparalleled. 

Photo by Trent Bell Photography

The team has worked on a wide variety of projects, including camps, cottages, and historic renovations. These include the Damariscotta River View Cottage. The design incorporates natural wooden surfaces and a predominantly white palette for a bright and comfortable interior. 

Whitten Architects received the 2021 Honor Award for Excellence in Architecture and 2019 Honor Award for Design Excellence from AIA Maine. Its designs have been featured in Dwell, Maine Home + Design, and Green Building & Design. 

Founding Principal Rob Whitten, AIA, studied architecture and planning at the University of Pennsylvania before establishing Whitten Architects in 1986. He has more than 30 years of experience in New England residential architecture. 

Elliott Architects

86 Main St., Blue Hill, ME 04614

Elliott Architects believes that architecture expresses something authentic and essential about its place, time, and owner.

As a firm, it aims to achieve a clarity of design that strikes the perfect balance between tradition and modernity. It also views sustainability as integral to the design and construction process. The search for clarity and balance informs all of the firm’s projects in Maine. 

The firm specializes in residential design and renovation along the Maine coast and nearby islands. Its expertise in Contemporary and Cabin architecture is unparalleled. Its portfolio includes some of the finest homes in the Pine Tree State, including their House on a Wharf, a stunning lakefront home with a minimalist design. The home features natural wood surfaces, oversized windows, and a restrained palette for an elegant but inviting atmosphere. The firm received the 2021 Honor Award from AIA Maine for the project. 

Elliott Architects is also the recipient of the 2020 Honor Award for House on the Thorofare and Retreat on a Pond’s Edge. It also received Special Mention for Private Residential at the 2021 Architizer A+ Firm Awards. Its designs have been featured in New England Home, Dwell Magazine, and Maine Home + Design

Owner Matthew Elliott studied architecture at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign and the University of Pennsylvania. He established the firm in 1994 and has more than 26 years of experience in residential architecture.

Knickerbocker Group

P.O. Box 142, 3 Builders Sq, Boothbay, ME 04537

Knickerbocker Group believes that thoughtfulness and attentive listening are integral to the design process. The firm takes a collaborative approach to residential architecture, listening to the wants and needs of each client. The firm also views the home as a unique and deeply personal space. This philosophy allows the Knickerbocker team to create client-driven designs that reflect the homeowners’ tastes and preferences.

The firm offers comprehensive architecture, interior design, and construction management services. Clients can engage the firm for one or all of these services, depending on their project requirements. Known for exceptional woodwork, the team is extremely knowledgeable about Cabin, Ranch, and Victorian architecture. 

The design group’s extensive portfolio includes Stoneview Barn, a barn home situated on a saltwater farm. To renovate the barn, the Knickerbocker Group engineered a support system with Douglas fir glulam beams and roof trusses. The team also installed a glulam curtain wall system for panoramic views. The highlight of the design is the tread stair made of steel and reclaimed white oak barn beams.

The firm won the 2019 AIA Maine Residential Adaptive Reuse Design Award and AIA People’s Choice Award for Stoneview Barn. Its designs have also been featured in Down East Magazine, Martha Stewart Living, and Maine Home + Design.  The firm was established in 1978. 

Principal Rick Nelson, AIA, has managed $22 million worth of residential design projects for MBNA. He has extensive knowledge of high-performance green buildings, neighborhood development, and residential design. He studied architecture at the Norwich University School of Architecture in Vermont.


28 Maple St. Suite 202, Portland, ME 04101

BRIBURN delivers timeless, enduring, and environmentally-friendly designs. Their design philosophy, Architecture for Life, focuses on human experiences and the daily lives of a home’s occupants. The firm prioritizes natural light and excellent ventilation to create delightful living spaces. 

As an award-winning firm, BRIBURN specializes in energy-efficient, planet-positive home designs in Maine. It has delivered numerous net zero, net positive, and passive house projects in the state. 

These include some of the finest Contemporary and Cabin-style homes in the area. 

One of the firm’s projects is the Royal River Home + Studio, a single-story new construction home in North Yarmouth. The design goal was to create a clear demarcation between the living space and artist’s studio while connecting the indoors to the outdoors. The firm accomplished this through a combination of landscaping and hardscaping throughout the 2,000-square-foot property. 

BRIBURN’s awards include the 2018 AIA Maine People’s Choice Award in the Single Family Residential category and the 2018 Environmental Ally of the Year Award from Maine Environmental Education Association. Its designs have been featured on HGTV and in Maine Home + Design and the Portland Press Herald.

Founding principals Christopher Briley, LEED AP, CPHC, and Harry W. Hepburn IV, AIA, LEED AP, lead the team of design professionals at BRIBURN. Christopher is a founding member of the USGBC Maine Chapter and a founding board member of passivhausMAINE. Harry has over  24 years of experience in residential design. They established the firm in 2012.

David Matero Architecture

49 Centre St., Bath, ME 04530

David Matero Architecture strives for exceptional and environmentally appropriate designs that are a true reflection of the client. Formerly known as DayMatero studio, the firm provides renovation and new construction design and planning services. It also offers emergency architectural services to clients who realize too late that they need an architect’s expertise. 

Whatever the project’s size, DMA offers highly personalized service. The team takes a hands-on approach from conceptualization to construction. This makes them the leading choice for clients who need more intensive design guidance. 

The firm is an authority on a variety of architectural styles, including Cabin, Ranch, and Contemporary architecture. Its extensive portfolio includes some of the finest residential, retail, and dining spaces in Maine, such as the Get Away, a stunning waterfront home. The design incorporates planked wood ceilings and walls to complement the forested area surrounding the home. Window walls, skylights, and oversized windows allow for plenty of natural light. 

DMA won the 2017 Downeast Magazine Reader’s Choice Award for Best Architect in Maine and the 2016 Best of Houzz Design. Its designs have appeared in Decor Maine, Maine Homes By Downeast, and Maine Home + Design

Principal David Matero, AIA, LEED AP, has more than 40 years of professional experience. He is a member of the Portland Society of Architects, Sagadahoc Preservation Inc., and Main Street Bath. He established the firm in 2010.

Winkelman Architecture

41 Union Wharf Suite 4, Portland, ME 04101

Winkelman Architecture delivers tailored and uniquely fitting home designs. The firm believes that residential architecture should be responsive to both the site and the client. The firm takes a thoughtful and measured approach to design, carefully evaluating zoning, environmental, and contextual factors that affect the design. Then it overlays the client’s program, creating spaces with the desired functionality, furnishings, and views.

The firm views home design as a dynamic experience. It takes movement, usage, and the surrounding environment as important considerations in the design. This design philosophy has helped Winkelman Architecture become one of the leading firms in Maine. 

The firm specializes in Contemporary, Cabin, Ranch, and Victorian architecture. Its portfolio includes some of the most memorable homes in the state, such as Whipplewood, an artist’s home on Watchic Pond. The design incorporates wood, steel, and concrete materials that blend seamlessly into the forested landscape. 

Founding Principal Will Winkelman, AIA, has over 35 years of industry experience. He has been a registered architect in Maine since 1989. He studied architecture at the University of Houston and established the firm in 2007.

Winkelman Architecture is the recipient of the 2021  AIA Maine

Design Honor Award. It also received the 2020 Merit Award from  AIA New England. Its projects have appeared on Dwell, Maine Home + Design, and Maine Homes By Downeast.

OPAL Global

137 High St. PO Box 567, Belfast, ME 04915

OPAL believes that residential architecture can help create a brighter and more positive future. It exclusively designs buildings following Passive House principles, making it a rarity among architectural firms. It provides access to a team of architects and designers with a passion for sustainable building. The firm strives to make all of its buildings energy-positive as a way of giving back to the environment.

OPAL takes a rigorous and exacting approach to the design process. It views design and performance as one and the same. It studies the home’s relationship to its environment to enhance building performance and esthetic appeal. As a result, the firm is a leader in the Passive House movement.  

The firm has worked on numerous landmark projects. These include the first Passive House certified residence in Maine and the first Passive House certified college residence hall for Unity College. It has also worked on some of the finest Contemporary and Cabin-style homes in Maine. 

The firm won the 2019 AIA Maine Citation Award for its Quebec Street Residence, a 3,000-square-foot, energy-efficient, custom home. The home features triple-glazed windows and an air-sealed wood frame for maximum efficiency and insulation. It also features elegant interiors with a restrained palette and minimal trim. 

OPAL also received the 108 Honor Award at the AIA New England Design Awards and Best New Home from  Fine Homebuilding Magazine for the Wellesley Residence. Its projects have been featured in Forbes, Maine Magazine, and Maine Home + Design. It was established as GO Logic’s architecture half in 2005 before becoming an independent architecture firm in 2019.

Co-Founder and Executive Partner Matthew O’Malia, AIA, is a leader in Passive House design in the United States. He landed a coveted spot in Architect Magazine’s Architect 50 list in 2018. He studied environmental design at Miami University and architecture at Staedelschule Kunst Akadame in Frankfurt.

Kevin Browne Architecture

202 US Route 1 Ste 202, Falmouth, ME 04105

KBA creates timeless home designs inspired by Maine’s unique coastal setting. It integrates modern amenities and efficiencies with classic New England architecture. It takes a client-focused approach to design, providing complete guidance through each phase of the process. The result is a rich and memorable experience that exceeds clients’ expectations. 

KBA responds to clients’ needs through active listening and open communication. It is also mindful of clients’ budget restrictions throughout the process. This allows the firm to deliver impressive results without cutting corners or sacrificing quality. 

KBA specializes in residential new construction and renovation in Maine. Its knowledge of Contemporary, Farmhouse, Cabin, and Ranch architecture is unrivaled. It also has a deep understanding of home building and construction detailing. 

Its portfolio includes Downeast Cottage, a one-story home located on the shores of Big Lake. Once a seasonal lakeside camp, the cottage was renovated to maximize water views and improve insulation for year-round comfort. The team created an open floor plan with a cathedral ceiling, triple-glazed windows, and shiplap walls. The exterior features Maibec cedar shingles that complement Big Lake’s wooded shoreline. 

Principal Kevin Browne, AIA, is a Certified Green Professional with more than 20 years of experience in residential architecture. He has also worked as a drafter to project architects and associates. He studied architecture at Norwich University in Vermont. 

KBA was established in 2008. The firm’s designs have appeared in Art Maine, Maine Homes, and Maine Home + Design.

Barrett Made

65 Hanover St, Portland, ME 04101

Barrett Made understands that home construction can be overwhelming. The firm makes it easier and more convenient for clients by offering a wide range of design-build services. It integrates the design and construction aspects of the project to minimize gaps and shorten the process. As a result, the firm delivers projects faster and more efficiently while customizing the experience.

The firm’s designs are clean, thoughtful, and timeless. It strives for transparency and collaboration in the design process. This approach allows it to deliver award-winning designs that raise the bar for residential architecture. 

Its portfolio includes some of the finest Cabin and Contemporary-style homes in Maine. These include House on a Ridge, which won the 2019 AIA Maine Residential Merit Award. The 2,800-square-foot home features Nordic design elements with a minimalist feel. The Maine cedar exterior blends seamlessly into the forested landscape. The birch and soapstone interior creates an elegant and inviting atmosphere.  

Inc. 5000 ranked Barrett Made #3812 among America’s Fastest-Growing Private Companies in 2021. MaineBiz also ranked it among the Best Places to Work in Maine. The firm’s projects have appeared in Dwell, Décor Maine, and Maine Home + Design

Vice President and Director of Design Services Matthew Ahlberg, AIA, has more than 13 years of industry experience. He leads a team of architects and design professionals at Barrett Made. He studied architecture at Syracuse University and graduated magna cum laude.

Mottram Architecture

P.O. Box 212, Thomaston, ME 04861

Mottram Architecture specializes in energy efficient and zero energy home design. Its team believes everyone should have access to good design, and in Maine that also means staying warm and comfortable in your home. The firm’s intention and ultimate goal is to design healthy, efficient, and durable homes in a soulful and creative way. It believes that homes affect our lives in social, economical, and environmental ways. The firm’s design philosophy follows the guidelines of “The Pretty Good House”. This architectural firm is based in Maine but is licensed to practice architecture in Maine, Pennsylvania, Utah, and New Hampshire. For Mottram Architecture, an integrated design approach and the coordination of all systems are what make up a home. Many homes are beautiful, but all homes should be comfortable and require less effort to maintain.

Its portfolio includes some of the most distinctive homes in Maine. Along with fine architecture, these homes are some of the most energy-efficient in the area. These include Tula Modern, an Energy Star home with double stud walls, triple-paned windows, and all LED lighting. At 2,292 square feet, the home features ducted and non-ducted heat pumps and energy recovery ventilation (ERV).  

Founding principal, Emily Mottram, received her Bachelor of Architecture degree from Penn State University and is a Registered Architect in Maine, New Hampshire and Pennsylvania; she has also previously been registered in New York and Texas. Emily is a member of the National Council of Architectural Registration Boards (NCARB), the Maine Indoor Air Quality Council (MIAQC), and the Natural Resources Council of Maine (NRCM), the state’s leading organization working to protect and preserve the environment. As an educator, she teaches building science and sustainable design at a local community college and has served as a consultant for projects in a secondary school trade program. In addition to running her firm and teaching, she hosts the weekly podcast E3: Energy and Efficiency with Emily and co-hosts the live-streamed BS* + Beer Show, a weekly building science show for professionals and “civilians” alike. She established Mottram Architecture in 2009. The firm has been featured in Fine Homebuilding, Décor Maine, and Green & Healthy Homes Maine.

Kennebunk River Architects

1662 Post Rd, Suite B6, Wells, ME 04090

Kennebunk River Architects delivers world-class residential designs for lakefront, coastal, and rural sites. The firm is dedicated to architecture that blends seamlessly with the surrounding environment and enhances the unique characteristics of the property. This design principle has helped KRA become one of the most sought-after firms in Maine. 

The firm takes a collaborative and highly personalized approach to the design process. It customizes the experience for clients in need of professional guidance. By building a close working relationship with clients, the firm discerns their needs and preferences for exceptional results. 

With more than four decades of combined experience, KRA has worked on a wide range of residential and small to mid-sized commercial projects. These projects include some of the finest Traditional, Contemporary, Coast Shingle, and Cottage-styles homes in Maine. The firm’s in-depth knowledge of architecture allows it to design in any style.  

Lords Point is a fine example of KRA’s work. This seasonal Shingle-style home is perched on a coastal bluff with panoramic ocean views. At 3,484 square feet, the home features open living spaces and a rooftop deck that offers views of the water and nearby coves. 

Principals Rob Freedman, CGP, and Mike Bedell are licensed in Maine and New Hampshire. Rob is a Certified Green Professional with extensive experience in retail, mixed-use, and medical projects. Mike has an engineering background, having worked as the lead technical and project architect for other firms. 

KRA’s designs have appeared in Maine Home + Design, New England Home, and New Hampshire Home. The firm was established in 2014.

ARQ architects

1 Government St, Suite 2, Kittery, ME 03904

ARQ architects is a Maine-based firm that delivers projects throughout the United States. The firm is committed to progressive and sustainable design solutions. It believes that residential architecture should enrich the lives of those who inhabit the home. The firm cultivates dynamic relationships with clients, consultants, and builders for the best results. 

ARQ provides extensive programming, master planning, and community engagement services. The firm also offers the full range of architectural services. Its clientele ranges from residential to institutional clients across the U.S. Its residential portfolio includes some of the finest Contemporary, Cabin, and Ranch-style homes in Maine. 

The firm’s outstanding projects include Keen, a historic property on the Maine coast. The firm renovated and reworked the old structure while preserving as much of its character and history as possible. The result is a Contemporary home with the straightforward sensibility of classic New England architecture. 

Principals Lucinda Schlaffer, AIA, LEED AP, and Paul Bonacci, AIA, LEED AP, have over 35 years of industry experience. They are licensed in nine states. They established ARQ architects in 1985.