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Architecture Student Works Directly with Clients & Learns Process of a Small Residential Firm on First Co-op

Mitchell Godett on-the-job with BNA. Photo by Benjamin Nutter.

Mitchell Godett, an undergraduate School of Architecture student, is currently on his first co-op at Benjamin Nutter Architects, LLC (BNA), where his role focuses on measuring and drawing the existing conditions of various projects. Benjamin Nutter Architects is a small architecture firm, established in 1984, that works to combine contemporary and traditional designs. Its Massachusetts studio is located in Topsfield, but Mitchell and his colleagues do not tend to stay in one place!

“My role involves being on site at some great locations, including a major home renovation in Kennebunkport, Maine which included lifting, and moving a historic barn, rebuilding its foundation and returning it and measuring and documenting a Civil War era root cellar at a farm in Boxford, MA,” Mitchell explained. “Site visits have truly been a highlight of this co-op experience.”

In addition to site visits, Mitchell has had the opportunity to work directly with clients, gaining important client-relations skills that will be crucial throughout the rest of his architecture career.

“I meet with clients on site and in the office with my supervisor, Benjamin Nutter, to review design goals and possible limitations. It’s also great to meet with prospective clients and see how someone envisions their project,” he explained. “I’ve learned how to talk to them about what would be the best design changes for long-term use, something many people struggle to do, as well as being able to present multiple options to them either about their budget or overall design.”

These close collaborations with clients make the completed building which start from drawings and are brought to fruition, even more rewarding. Additionally, since it is a small firm, Mitchell has the opportunity to get exposure to various projects that the other registered architects in the firm are working on.

“Working for a small firm has been great; you always know what is going on in the office and what projects are underway,” he described.

While this is Mitchell’s first co-op, his CAMD classes have prepared him well; he is using SketchUp and AutoCAD, and sketching out floor plans daily.

“Plus, the iterative process in studio is used here at the firm as we go through design ideas in multiple meetings with various clients,” Mitchell described, “so it’s great to have had plenty of studio experience.”

 We look forward to hearing how the rest of Mitchell’s co-op at BNA plays out! Congratulations on a successful semester so far.

Benjamin Nutter Architects, LLC is a full service residential, educational and commercial design firm with offices in Topsfield, MA and Portsmouth, NH. Applying over 30 years of experience and innovation, they work closely with clients to meet their needs, be it a contemporary design, period restoration, storefront rehabilitation, or commercial facility. Their architectural services include extensive three-dimensional computer modeling, recommendations regarding energy efficiency, design-phase construction planning, and budget evaluation.