Way, way back in 1980, two ambitious young architects hopped off their drafting stools at WM Design Group and formed their own firm.
Tom Samyn and Ward D’Elia set up shop in a lightly-renovated, old post and beam sugar house on a single-lane dirt road in Holderness, NH. It sounds like a pioneer story and actually, that’s just what it was. Tom and Ward shared a desk, their suppers, and Tom’s high school manual typewriter. “We’d work till eight or so, eat dinner and then work until midnight," D’Elia remembers (though that may be an uphill-both-ways-to-school kind of story). The fledgling firm’s first commission was for an underground house, their second for the home of a friend who is still a client today. Their knowledge of early sustainable design snagged them their first commercial project, condos in Watervillle Valley, NH. D’Elia says, “We knew we were taking off when we were arguing about whether or not to purchase an electric typewriter.” For the record, Tom was for the purchase, Ward was against it. They bought that typewriter and never looked back. Eventually outgrowing the sugar house and each getting their own desk in the renovated gristmill that, to this day, houses the offices of Samyn-D’Elia Architects, P.A.