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Scott Merrill Wins the 2012 Seaside Prize

January 5, 2012 by SoWal Staff

The Seaside Institute will award this year’s Seaside Prize to Scott Merrill, a nationally recognized architect with local ties to the place where the Seaside Prize originated. The Seaside Prize is awarded annually to individuals or organizations that have made significant contributions to the quality and character of our communities.

The ceremony will take place as part of the Seaside Prize weekend events, which is being held on Friday, January 27th and Saturday, January 28th in Seaside, Fla.

Architect and lead designer for Merrill Pastor and Colgan Architects, Merrill is a graduate from the University of Virginia and Yale University, where he earned his masters in architecture in 1984. Merrill began his career working for two Washington, D.C., firms, McCartney Lewis and Cass & Pinnell, followed by a stint in Seaside where he served as its town architect from 1988 – 1990.

During that period, Merrill designed the first row of rental cottages along the coast. Those cottages became known as the Honeymoon Cottages. He went on to design the Motor Court, the Seaside Chapel, several individual homes in Seaside, the Rosemary Beach Town Hall, and, as of yet, un-built mixed-use buildings in Alys Beach.

In 1990, Merrill started his own practice in Vero Beach, Fla.  George Pastor joined the firm in 1991. David Colgan started work there in 1994 and runs the branch office in Atlanta. Both became partners in the firm.

Merrill's first project as a sole practitioner received a national AIA Design Award in 1990. In 2000, the firm's first group of buildings received a national AIA Urban Design Award. Their first public building received a national AIA Design Award in 2004 followed by the Arthur Ross Award from the Institute of Classical Architecture in New York that same year. Their projects have been recognized for their design 14 times by the Florida Association of the AIA.
Recent work includes projects in New Zealand, St Petersburg, Dammam, San Francisco, Abu Dhabi, Edinburgh, the Caribbean, New England, Canada, Great Britain, and Al Ain. Sites range from coastal plains, to Audubon easements and historic landscapes; from the desert to the sub-tropics; from historic districts, to central business districts, college campuses, ocean fronts, archipelagos, and mountainsides.

Much of this work has been in master plans by Miami land planners Duany Plater-Zyberk and Company and has included studies of courthouses, office buildings, university precincts, transportation facilities, public institutions, housing, hotels, churches, markets, conference facilities, and mixed use buildings. The studies involve urban infill, perimeter expansions, the development of brownfield sites, and new districts. They address the design of blocks, streets, squares, semi-public spaces, courtyards and alleys.

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