James H. Collins, Jr.

In architecture there is a great  tradition of mentorship. In our new office we wanted to break the environment down into smaller work groups. And we like the idea that senior people and junior people work together. They all sit together and work on the same problems, the same projects in a very intimate setting.

Architecture is the most public art; it exists in the physical environment and changes it. Everyone interacts with it, demonstrating that design is everywhere, all the time.

James H. Collins, Jr. FAIA, LEED AP Principal

Since joining Payette in 1979, Jim has applied the best principles in lab planning and design to create environments that respond to the changing nature of scientific inquiry. His quest to advance the collaborative dialogue between designers and users is marked by a concomitant shift in both the way science is taught in academic settings, and applied in the laboratory.

On many campuses, Jim has elevated the role of science in ways that reconnect and repair campus fabric, as evidenced by an important body of projects that make science more visible and accessible. His leadership in adapting campus planning and lab planning organizational concepts to the way scientific advancement principles have changed has set new standards in both architectural practice and research settings.

As President of the firm (1998-2013), Jim defined Payette’s exemplary model of practice, which balances technical pragmatism with creative design vision. Jim brought increased focus to the firm’s design and sustainable initiatives. His body of work is singularly focused on the advancement of the architectural profession as a vital partner in defining new ways to support scientific advancement. Jim, who holds B.S., B.Arch and MBA degrees from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, was elevated to FAIA in 2009 in recognition of his achievements in design. See Jim speak with the AIA about the future of architecture and Payette’s practice.