Shepley Bulfinch, a national architecture firm known for design excellence and innovation with offices in Phoenix, Boston, and Houston, announced today that Robert (Bob) Simmons, AIA, LEED AP has joined the firm as a Principal. A dynamic leader in campus life design throughout the nation, Bob has been central to the design of over a million square feet of campus life projects, including arts and performance spaces, university centers, and dining commons, for many prestigious institutions. His work includes transformations of iconic buildings at Harvard University, MIT, the University of Chicago, and Vanderbilt University. After 30 years of practice focused in large part on higher education projects, Bob joins Shepley Bulfinch to continue to build on a successful portfolio of projects for colleges and universities.
“We are delighted that Bob has joined Shepley Bulfinch,” said Carole Wedge, FAIA, LEED AP, president of Shepley Bulfinch. “His strong focus on campus life projects in all phases of design, as well as his leadership, will be a true asset to the firm. Bob has earned the respect of the profession through his dynamic mix of design innovation and a service excellence that fosters client loyalty. He shares our commitment to creating environments that promote collaboration, intellectual curiosity, academic excellence and a healthy student lifestyle.”
Formerly a principal and partner with Bruner/Cott & Associates, Bob founded his own firm in 2016 before joining Shepley Bulfinch. His recent projects include design of the new $35M West Campus Dining Commons at the University of Tennessee (UT) in Knoxville, a 1,300-seat dining facility that is the centerpiece for UT’s new west campus residential quadrangle, and the 900-seat University of Massachusetts Lincoln Campus Center. This project won IIDA New England’s Educational Interior Award in 2016.
“I was drawn to the youthful energy and horsepower of Shepley Bulfinch, a firm in an exciting metamorphosis, with its wealth of talent and rock-solid reputation, along with the firm’s mix of projects from sectors that require maximum political prowess, inventiveness, and solid execution,” said Bob. “With my experience I hope to expand the bandwidth of Shepley’s higher education sector and look forward to working with a firm with such impressive technical depth, design ambition, and energy. This is an exciting time in architecture. The significant breakthroughs we are witnessing in the areas of sustainability, technology, materials, project delivery, and biophilic design represent a raft of opportunity for campuses to incubate new ideas. Lessons learned in campus life projects, whether in dining, housing, living or learning, can be applied almost everywhere.”
Bob earned his Bachelor of Architecture from Carnegie-Mellon University and is a member of the Boston Society of Architects (BSA), the Society of College and University Planners (SCUP), the National Association of College and University Food Service (NACUFS), the Association of College Unions International (ACIU), and the National Association of College Auxiliary Services (NACAS). A sought-after speaker on campus issues, Bob often presents on campus transformation, sustainability, and the trends and future of higher education, housing and dining – sharing his expertise with clients, students and colleagues.