Growing up in northern Vermont, designer Alyssa developed an appreciation and love for the agrarian vernacular—the classic “big house, little house, back house, barn”—a typology that grew from the necessity of the climate and its challenges. Her earliest influences were from her parents, who designed and built her childhood home, as well as her hands-on Waldorf education. In fourth grade she and her classmates learned how to timber frame, and the continual engagement of Waldorf education around understanding form and movement shaped her perception of architecture. At four years old, she began taking her father’s sketchbook and adding to it; she recalls at five drawing a classic square and triangle-roof house with a fully designed drainage system from the roof all the way down through the yard and into a pond. These childhood experiences led her toward design as a career.
After earning her masters degree from Roger Williams University, Alyssa began working for Hutker Architects in Cape Cod, Massachusetts, specializing in custom high-end residential. After moving to Maine in 2011, she built a small “off-the-grid” timber-frame cabin, exploring construction techniques and resources. While away from her cabin, she worked with local architects and builders in the midcoast, studying Maine’s vernacular architecture. In 2014, she relocated to Portland to join the sustainably focused team at Briburn. In doing so, Alyssa found her stride in the more urban Portland architectural community. Most recently she worked with Barrett Made and had a view into the construction side of Portland’s built environment.
Alyssa currently sits on the board of Architalx and is the President of Portland Society for Architecture. She is passionate about interior and exterior architectural design, as well as exploring the relationship between spaces and their users. Alyssa believes that all architectural design begins with truly understanding a site. She is drawn to the idea of embracing the simplicity and beauty of the landscape and letting the architecture—from design to material palette—speak for itself. Her ambitions are based on continuing her knowledge in vernacular and socially responsive architecture.
In addition to designing, Alyssa enjoys spending her time outdoors, exploring and adventuring with her husband, Wes, and pup, Poppy.