Groundbreaking Begins on RWU'S SECCM Laboratories Building


BTGA is excited to announce that work will begin Monday, August 6 on Roger William's University School of Engineering, Computing and Construction Management (SECCM) 28,000 square foot Laboratories building.

Expanded laboratory and classroom space will provide engineering, computer science, and construction management students with a state-of-the-art learning environment. The building is designed to foster community through collaborative learning, flexible interaction, and hands on experiences. The SECCM lab spaces allow for learning methods from traditional to experimental, group to individual, social to hands-on. Spaces will provide an educational experience that engages and satisfies the demands of the programs including room for learning labs, group study and individual projects.

A formal groundbreaking ceremony is expected to take place in October. 

BTGA’s outdoor oasis adds to home’s resale value, gets ink in two publications

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Brewster Thornton was commissioned to create an outdoor kitchen pavilion where once a sloped backyard garden existed. That elegant living space became one of the home’s unique selling points, as showcased by the Providence Journal in its real estate review in December.

The same home was featured in the September issue of So Rhode Island, where the writer referred to the outdoor space as an “oasis.” 

The stone fireplace stands as a focal point that unifies the outdoor kitchen, the dining area, bar, and lounging space. The al fresco patio “room” is surrounded by white pillars, rising from stone supports, that carry the distinctive barrel-vault ceiling overhead.

Learn more about the home and see photos of the outdoor kitchen on the ProJo’s website. The So Rhode Island feature is also online.

Vets Home Wins Achievement Award

The Rhode Island Veterans Home has won its third award, a Project Achievement Award, from the Construction Management Association of America, New England Chapter. BTGA worked closely with Gilbane Building Company, the construction manager, for a successful project completion last fall.  The award came in a category for projects over $50 million.

The organization said the following about the competition:

“Each year project teams take on the toughest challenges the New England Region can throw at them.  From the design and engineering to the construction means and methods, all the players in this industry have a role to play to bring about the required solutions.  CMAA New England wants to recognize this dedication and hard work by acknowledging the projects and the project teams that make it all happen.”

The award was presented in Boston at the organization’s 24th annual awards luncheon on May 9. Barbara Thornton, AIA and Partner at BTGA (second from right), joined other team members at the ceremony to receive the award.

Learn more about the project and see additional images on our website

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New RI Vets Home Receives Another Award

The RI Veterans Home received the “Lead by Example Energy Award” on May 2 for the incorporation of clean energy technologies. This 208-bed community in Bristol, which opened in the fall of 2017, was a joint design effort between Brewster Thornton Group Architects of Providence and SFCS of Virginia.

Receiving the award on behalf of Brewster Thornton was Nathaniel Ginsburg, AIA and lead project architect on the Home. Ginsburg also lead a tour of the buildings and described the energy-efficient components that went into the design. 

This latest accolade, awarded by the Rhode Island Office of Energy Resources, acknowledges the use of clean measures that help reduce energy usage and address greenhouse gas emissions in a way that supports RI’s economic, energy, and environmental goals.  The six single-story residential buildings encircle a two-story Commons building on the 45-acre site and incorporate heating and cooling systems that are 20% more efficient than code, high-efficiency lighting and controls, and a photo-voltaic array to generate renewable energy.

 From left: Nathaniel Ginsburg of Brewster Thornton, Carol Grant of the Office of Energy Resources for the State of RI, Kasim Yarn of Veterans Affairs, John Sinnott of Gilbane, Cecelia Hallahan of DCAMM, Sam Bradner of Peregrine, and Carole Cornelison of DCAMM

From left: Nathaniel Ginsburg of Brewster Thornton, Carol Grant of the Office of Energy Resources for the State of RI, Kasim Yarn of Veterans Affairs, John Sinnott of Gilbane, Cecelia Hallahan of DCAMM, Sam Bradner of Peregrine, and Carole Cornelison of DCAMM

BTGA Welcomes Gina Anderson


Gina Anderson joins our BTGA team as an experienced Job Captain. A graduate of New England Institute of Technology, she has more than 18 years of experience in commercial architecture.  Among her most notable efforts are her contributions to the design of the new Cranston Police Station, renovations to the Providence Jewish Community Center and renovations to the Roger Williams Medical Center Emergency Department.  A Rhode Island resident for about 25 years, Gina served in the U.S. Air Force and now lives with her husband in West Warwick, RI.

Lynne Heinzmann Joins BTGA Staff


BTGA welcomes Lynne Heinzmann, Senior Project Architect.  She brings with her nearly 30 years of experience designing and overseeing both residential and commercial projects. Throughout her career, she has worked on everything from house additions to new multi-million-dollar corporate headquarters buildings. Most recently, she oversaw interior renovations to Providence’s Dwares Jewish Community Center and the complete overhaul/modernization of the Johannes Virks Building in Cranston for the RI Department of Health and Human Services.  In addition to her architectural experience, Lynne adds a bit of celebrity to our office, having recently authored Frozen Voices, a historical novel about the 1907 sinking of the Steamship Larchmont off Block Island, which was published by New Rivers Press in 2016 and won the Fairfield Book Prize. She was also recently featured on WADK 1540 AM/MIXX 99.3 FM in Newport to discuss her new book.

BTGA wins Best in RI for Vets Home Design


The new Rhode Island Veterans Home has won top honors in the International Interior Design Award, New England Chapter, competition.  The facility, which opened last fall in Bristol, was a collaborative effort between Brewster Thornton Group Architects and SFCS, Inc. of Virginia.

The 11th Annual IIDA New England Interior Design Awards were presented on March 14, 2018, at which time the team won "Best in Rhode Island". More information is provided on the IIDA's website about the winners in each category.   See more photos of the Vets Home project on this website. 

Providence Business News also announced the winners in its April edition. 


David Brusset, local architectural critic for the Providence Journal and known for his blog "Architecture Here and There", reviewed the Lincoln Woods State Park buildings opened this past summer. BTGA was pleased to receive such high praise from a fellow architecture lover who recognized our attention to creating beautiful, long lasting designs. Check out the full blog post at the below link!

BTGA recognized during AIARI 2017 Design Awards

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Brewster Thornton Group Architects received recognition for its design of the Lincoln Woods Beach Complex during the 2017 AIARI Design Award competition. BTGA received a citation in the Institutional Category. BTGA Associate and out-going AIARI President Christen Robbins was on hand to accept the award for the company during the awards ceremony on December 7.

The 2017 Design Awards was a juried competition, receiving 40 entries in its 10 categories. To learn more about the all winners of the competition, visit the AIA Rhode Island website. To learn more about the new buildings Lincoln Woods, visit our project profile page.

BTGA Associate and 2016 AIARI Chapter President recognized for service

 Robbins (right) receives recognition. See related blog entry.

Robbins (right) receives recognition. See related blog entry.

On December 7, Brewster Thornton Group Architects Associate Christen Robbins, among other past-presidents, received the Morse Stone Fellowship from the Rhode Island Chapter of the AIA, in recognition of her service as chapter president for 2016. This is the first year that the chapter has conferred this fellowship on past presidents. The fellowship acknowledges efforts to promote fellowship and mentorship within the chapter. Robbins was also recognized for her service as a director/officer from 2013 to 2017 as she now transitions off the AIA Board of Directors.

During her tenure, Robbins presided over the relocation of the chapter to a new space at 38 Empire Street and the chapter’s participation in the RWU Block Party. She helped promote and nurture a partnership between the GreenRI tradeshow and IIDA. She supported efforts that led to the successful partnership between the Summer Expo and Roger Williams University and Tremco. She guided revisions to the Chapter Bylaws to bring them into alignment with AIA National. In addition, she spearheaded the Open House/City Talks with Bonnie Nickerson and Brett Smiley from the City of Providence. Among her last official accomplishments was the successful 2016 Design Awards program.   

As past-president, she assured a smooth transition of the next president and participated in the planning of GreenRI 2017 and the 2017 Design Awards.  She also participated on the Communications Committee, which produces the Chapter’s Bulletin.  Looking ahead, Robbins will continue involvement as a member through the Chapter’s Communication and Design Awards committees.

ACE Mentor Program Tours Brewster Thornton


Brewster Thornton Group Architects hosted 21 students from the ACE Mentor Program on the evening of November 15 for a tour of their offices on Chestnut Street. Architects Mary Brewster and Patrick Connors led the tour and offered students insight on the field of architecture to help them explore a potential career in the industry. Students in the high school level program are currently interested in the architectural, engineering and construction professions.

To learn more about the ACE Mentor Program in Providence, visit their website.

Timeless Beauty… Priceless (Almost)


On Sunday, November 12, two of the three homes whose sales were noted in the Providence Journal’s “Homes” section were designed by Brewster Thornton Group Architects. The homes - located in Narragansett and Buttonwoods – captured each original owner’s tastes and requirements, but did so with a timeless quality that has appeal for today’s families. The investment in creative design and quality construction continues to pay off, whether it be elegant solutions in a renovation or thoughtful design details in new construction.

See the ProJo's Sunday edition for notes on home sales in Rhode Island.

ProJo Covers State-Of-The-Art Veterans Home in Bristol, RI


In anticipation of the new facility’s ribbon-cutting and grand opening on November 11, the Providence Journal wrote an article about the 208-bed Veterans Home complex that residents have already begun to occupy.  

The design features residential-style accommodations rather than following the traditional institutional model. Brewster Thornton Group Architects, in collaboration with SFCS Architects of Virginia, envisioned the “home” as a cluster of buildings that will provide veterans an assortment of daily services without ever leaving the site.

Read the ProJo’s article and learn more about the Brewster Thornton’s work on the Veterans Home.

Architectural Blog Features Review of Lincoln Woods Beach Pavilion


On his website blog, “Architecture Here and There,” David Brussat, an experienced writer and architecture critic, describes the three new buildings on the shores of Lincoln Woods’ Olney Pond as a revival of the Shingle Style and considers how they “add much to the lakeside’s beachly ambiance.”

Read his review and learn more about our design of the award-winning beach pavilion structures at Lincoln Woods State Park.

BTGA’s Craftsman-style home featured in the Providence Journal

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Mary Dorsey Brewster, AIA and founder of Brewster Thornton Group Architects, was featured in the Providence Journal this summer for her Craftsman-style design of a 3,500-square-foot home in Jamestown, RI. The home’s private setting on a cul-de-sac provides the family four bedrooms, three baths, two half baths, a front porch and a detached studio. Originally a custom-built home, the current owner noted that the privacy, interior, and “bones” of the house easily convinced her that it would be the perfect home for her family. The home is now on the market for sale.

This home also won the Grand Award in the 2002 Builder’s Choice Design and Planning Awards.

Read more about this house and its design on our site and in the recent ProJo feature.

Waterfront Carriage House Featured in New England Home Magazine

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New England Home Magazine celebrated one of Brewster Thornton Group Architects’ homes in the September-October 2017 issue.  BTGA founder Mary Dorsey Brewster, AIA, designed an authentic waterfront carriage house to complement her Jamestown client’s manor house. The property’s stunning views were the driving force behind the structure’s design. The storage area on the ground level houses vintage cars and an exercise room; above, urbane guest quarters open to the view.

See those breath-taking views and the stunning architecture on this site, and also read “Garage Chic” in New England Home Magazine.  

BTGA wins Rhody Award for Historic Preservation


Preservation work on the R.I. State House Dome in Providence has won the Stewardship Award in the annual Rhody Awards in the Historic Preservation category. Brewster Thornton Group Architects served as architect on the team for all the work with Martone Inc. as contractor in the latest stage, interior plaster and mural restoration. Previously, BTGA investigated leak issues and designed a program of water testing and site monitoring. Mitigation of leaks and condensation was crucial to the preservation work and painting that followed.

The Rhody Awards honor those who make a difference by protecting the state’s historic places. The award will be presented during a celebration on October 22, 2017, at the Water Fire Arts Center in Providence.

Learn more about the dome project on our site, and visit Preserve RI for more on the Rhody Awards.

BTGA Partner Discusses Job Market, Healthcare with PBN

Barbara Thornton, AIA, talked with Providence Business News recently as part of the Providence Business News Summer 2017 Business Survey, which ran in the September 22-28, 2017 issue. Thornton, a partner at BTGA, stated that finding qualified job candidates in the current market is challenging. She cited local public education among the reasons. She also discussed reasons why BTGA chose its current healthcare coverage for employees.

BTGA takes two design awards in RI Monthly’s annual competition

In the RI Monthly’s Annual Design Awards, Brewster Thornton Group Architects took Gold for its design of the new Lincoln Woods Beach Pavilion complex in Lincoln and Bronze for a private residential retreat in Barrington!

The competition jurors determined the Lincoln Woods project to be “rich and well done” and noted how the three new buildings had been “designed with a classic style in mind, communicated through the use of simple rustic materials including granite, timbers and metal roofs.”

Describing the Barrington retreat as a “step outside the box [that led] to the most successful results,” the jurors stated that the design was a “rustic-chic getaway that got high marks for its cohesive design and playful approach.”

The October issue of RI Monthly is out now. Learn more about the Lincoln Woods project and the Barrington retreat on our website.