BTGA Participates in The Great Inflatable Race

The health and wellness of our staff is paramount to BTGA. We collectively help to maintain a stress-free working environment that provides various methods to exercise our minds and our bodies, both as individuals and as a team.

 On June 8th, members of our staff participated in The Great Inflatable Race at the Seekonk Speedway in support of local charities. This fun run promotes bringing communities together, a goal BTGA strives for in every building we design. Proceeds go towards programs that support positive social change. We can’t wait for the next one!

 Find out more about these races nationwide at


Ground Breaking Begins on BTGA's New Seekonk Animal Shelter

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On Wednesday, April 3rd the Town of Seekonk held a groundbreaking ceremony for the new Seekonk Animal Shelter designed by Brewster Thornton Group Architects (BTGA). The televised event was a major milestone for the Town which has been working hard for years to make its vision of a new building a reality. 

The existing shelter, which was undersized and well past its useful life, cares for over 400 animals every year. The new shelter will provide Seekonk Animal Control with modern facilities now and into the future. BTGA worked closely with Animal Control and the Seekonk Save-A-Pet Society to create a shelter that provides animals with outstanding care and comfort as they wait for their forever homes.

The design of the shelter is based on the principles of a fear-free environment, essential to the animal’s health and well-being. Working within a tight budget, BTGA developed a floor plan that maximizes efficiency and accommodates a range of uses, including re-configurable partitions in the kennel and a lobby that doubles as a gathering space for educational tours. Other design features include:

  • Spaces arranged for the acoustic separation between cats and dogs.

  • Separate isolation spaces for sensitive or sick animals.

  • Sight lines that provide security and protection for both humans and animals.

  • Natural light designed into each space.

  • Areas that allow the dogs to play outside and the cats to roam free in the “Cat Room”.

Construction is scheduled to be completed in early 2020.

Live Stream Construction Progress on RWU, SECCM

A live stream showing construction progress on Roger Williams University’s School of Engineering, Computing and Construction Management building is now available for viewing.

BTGA wins the 2018 Rhody Award for Historic Preservation for Eleanor Roosevelt Hall

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Preserve Rhode Island awarded BTGA the 2018 Rhody Award for Historic Preservation for our Eleanor Roosevelt Hall, URI Kingston project.

Named after First Lady Eleanor Roosevelt, this brick building at the heart of the URI Kingston Campus was constructed in 1938.

BTGA was charged with restoring the exterior of the building by replacing windows, chimneys, slate and copper roofs, gutters and downspouts, and entry doors, to resolve exterior masonry issues while reducing future maintenance demands.

Although the style of the building reflects colonial Williamsburg, the materials used were modern – including asbestos-containing mastics under slates and flashings

Completed in February 2018, the restoration of Roosevelt Hall increased occupant comfort and energy efficiency, restored shell integrity, returned visible elements to their historic roots, and reduced future maintenance costs. The thoughtful use of durable but historically sensitive materials was a strategic choice to extend the building life by reducing the need for frequent attention in a campus with restricted maintenance funding.

Congratulations to all involved in this project!

BTGA Welcomes Andrea Braga, Marketing Coordinator


BTGA welcomes Andrea Braga, our new Marketing Coordinator. Andrea is a native of Rhode Island with 15 years’ experience offering a broad range of services in marketing and design, technical copywriting, and research and development. Her marketing experience includes seven years with an architectural and engineering firm in Edinburgh, UK as well as other related industries. She studied graphic design at the Edinburgh College of Art and is currently a student at Rhode Island College.

Rhode Island Monthly features BTGA’s Play Time Paradise


When the clients wanted “fun”, BTGA worked hard: The firm created an entertainment space that delivers relaxation with a quiet refinement. Previously disparate buildings behind the main house, this group of cottage elements has been joined in a seamless flow. Rhode Island Monthly featured the award-winning amenities in its June 2018 issue.

BTGA designed and renovated the compound to include a guest house with roof deck, treehouse, game room, pool cabana, and an outdoor dining area with overarching pergola. The magazine described the interiors as having “an Arcadian, lodge-like feel while still maintaining an air of sophistication.”

The magazine also awarded Bronze to this project in its 2017 Rhode Island Monthly Design Awards competition. The June digital issue can be found on the magazine’s website.

BTGA Welcomes Cameron McCormick, Senior Project Architect


BTGA welcomes Cameron McCormick, Senior Project Architect. Cameron is originally from Illinois where he worked for over fifteen years as an architect on projects that varied in scope and size and covered different sectors, including retail, education, recreation, government, industrial, business/office, multi-family, and food service. Among the many programs he is proficient in are Revit, ACAD, CoMcheck, Bluebeam, and BSD SpecLink. He holds a Masters in Architecture from the University of Illinois and a Bachelors of Science in Architecture from Southern Illinois University. Cameron now calls North Smithfield, RI his home.

Groundbreaking Begins on RWU'S SECCM Laboratories Building

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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.

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.