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John A. Coons



“Design is for you and me—for us. It’s not some abstraction springing wholly out of self. As Hugh Stubbins once said, ‘If only architects like it and the public hates it, it is an architectural failure.”

John is a natural builder. Addicted to creating things, he carries an unrelenting passion for solving problems in the physical world with solutions that embody strong ideas, evoke powerful emotions and are legible to everyone—not just the designer.

As a Principal, John offers more than 30 years of experience in planning, design, project management and business development. He believes that successful, sustainable design engages all members of the team as early as possible in the planning and design process. His inclusive, interdisciplinary approach has resulted in projects notable for their contextual sensitivity, programmatic responsiveness, economy, commitment to sustainability and award-winning design quality.John has worked with public, private and corporate clients all across the nation. His campus project experience includes learning environments, student housing, dining commons, student centers, recreation/wellness centers, parking structures and campus master plans. John earned his Master of Architecture at the University of New Mexico, School of Architecture and Planning, and he received his Bachelor of Arts at Bowdoin College.

John’s most memorable architectural moments include visiting the Alhambra in Granada, Spain and experiencing Canyon de Chelly in Arizona. He believes the commonality of these two places lies in a deep, spiritual quality that resonates on a profoundly emotional level.John enjoys spending time with his wife and family: his two sons, their wives, a grandchild named Oscar and a black lab named Seamus. He likes travel; food and wine; museums, galleries, and the performing arts.  Rome is his favorite city. Still, he intends one day to stay at Hotel de Glace (the Ice Hotel) outside of Quebec City.

Advice John Still Lives By:
“You might not get rich being an architect, but the profession allows you to live richly.”