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Meet Sam Kachmar of Sam Kachmar Architects in Cambridge

Today we’d like to introduce you to Sam Kachmar.

Founded in 2007 by Sam, they create architecture that reflects their values: honesty, simplicity, creativity, and quality. They enjoy collaborating with their clients to create architecture that meets the demands of daily living and provides a sense of well-being.

Their Architecture and Construction management focuses on designing and executing elegant, sustainable solutions to every kind of building challenge. They’re LEED certified and work to ensure that every one of their projects interacts responsibly and symbiotically with the environment.

Sam grew up in Massachusetts sweeping floors for high-end residential construction projects. Sam worked as a carpenter in high school on projects for Payne Bouchier, Bensley Construction, Thoughtforms and other local builders.

After graduating from Syracuse Architecture School in 2002, he worked in Cambridge for Marcus Gleysteen Architects and then in Aspen, Colorado for Poss Architecture and Planning before returning to Massachusetts with his wife. After working for some of the area’s best builders and Architects, he now runs on his own Architecture firm in Huron Village, Cambridge, MA.

Overall, has it been relatively smooth? If not, what were some of the struggles along the way?
It has been a challenge to establish an identity as having a sustained skill set in both Architecture and Construction, people inherently want to pigeon hole and assign a certain position to people they interact with, when someone does not fit into a someone else stereotype, that can challenge peoples preconceptions.

I always had a talented artistic side, and worked to nurture this while I was being treated as a stereotypical “builder”. Many times in the early phases of my career I would be told by my supervisors/bosses that I had to choose one industry or another, that I couldn’t be good at both. I pride myself on being an Architect who knows how to build, I can and am good at both Architectural design and construction. I don’t actively practice as a builder anymore, but the lessons that I learned creating other architects visions in the field were invaluable in shaping my own understanding of how to communicate with the myriad of clients, subcontractors, and tradesman that it takes in a team to put a project together.

I am grateful for the challenges that I been presented with throughout my career as I feel that each obstacle, or challenge that has presented itself, has given me an opportunity to learn something new, and add another facet to my skill set and provide me with a more rounded perspective.

Alright – so let’s talk business. Tell us about Sam Kachmar Architects – what should we know?
Sam Kachmar Architects is a locally owned Cambridge Architecture Firm dedicated to helping clients create spaces that will last a lifetime. We focus on New Construction, Renovations, and Additions. Our mission is to embrace our clients’ ideas and deliver them into houses that are beautiful, pragmatic and sensitive to their environment.

We work on Projects ranging from Multimillion dollar Estates to Compost Bins, Garages, Decks, Etc.

What sets us apart from other Architecture firms in the Cambridge area is that we are a small (3 person) firm that is a boutique firm focusing on high end residential work in the Huron village area. We are known for creating pragmatic solutions to issues for historic home renovations, for example, when much of the historic housing stock in Cambridge was built, kitchens were a space for the hired help, not the family hub that they are in this modern day, We help our clients create seamless solutions to live a modern day lifestyle in homes that hope to keep some of their historic majesticness while accommodating a family lifestyle of today.

I am most proud of our company celebrating its 10th anniversary this year, some years have been slower than others, but just getting that far in this process feels like an accomplishment in itself.

Any shoutouts? Who else deserves credit in this story – who has played a meaningful role?
I am grateful to everyone who has helped me learn and grow throughout my career. My first supporters were my parents, my Mother is an Artist and my Father was a finish carpenter. I absorbed both of these traits and ended up becoming an Architect combing the pragmatic aspects of my father’s craft, with the creativity of my mother’s art.

Working as a carpenters Helper when I was very young, Lovell Parsons, a builder and grandfatherly presence, taught me a lot about craft, proportion, and respect of history. In college my professor Francisco Sanin, gave me great guidance and pushed me to become a better architect, I will always be grateful for his efforts to teach me to never accept good enough, and to strive to always improve.

Marcus Gleysteen at Marcus Gleysteen Architects helped mentor me when I first graduated from college, he taught me how to design a really good kitchen, and how to draw upside down in a meeting so that you are drawing right side up for the client.

At Poss Architecture and Planning in Aspen Colorado, Andy Wisnoski always took care to teach me the finer details of the mountain homes that we worked designing, and how much effort goes into making a well-designed project look simple.

Oliver Bouchier at Payne Bouchier taught me the value of theater in the industry, utilizing his skill set to analyze, and work through challenging projects with an infectious optimistic attitude.

Richie Roberts, David Brookes, and Eric Hill at Brookes and Hill taught me how to always be learning, and how to work with people to effort to get the best craftsmanship and effort from them.

Keith Moskow and Robert Linn were kind enough to include me in their Studio North Design build sessions, where they taught me the value of teaching young architecture students how to create your visions, and to value the crafts that help bring your vision to reality.

My wife Maggie has been my biggest supporter over the years, always helping me gain and grow my confidence in myself and my abilities, I am forever in your debt for helping me reach my potential.

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