Laurie Keene is a member of the American Institute of Architects and has worked on multiple award-winning projects in and around Rhode Island. While she began her study of architecture at the College of the Holy Cross, she found her passion for coastal architecture at DiMauro Architects in Jamestown, where she spent the first decade of her career before earning her license and founding her own firm last year, Keene Architecture in Wakefield.
From the beginning, she credits her grandmother with introducing her to the nuances of design and importance of creating comfortable spaces. Laurie feels that “being part of the creation of a home – the beginning of a story – where people will gather with friends and family is really one of the most rewarding parts of my career.”
A recent project Laurie designed was published in Coastal Design Magazine, highlighting the remake of a 1900s shingle style estate that maximizes ocean views and embraces multigenerational family gatherings “I love to create balance and harmony, but also play with visual tension, juxtaposition of styles, and hierarchy among spaces,” explains Laurie of her process, which results in homes unique to each client and site. There are a lot of different elements that go into home design, from studying the site to laying out floor plans to proportioning the massing of the building itself, and a great source of inspiration for her is looking to architects of the past whether it’s examining the Pantheon in Rome or the Isaac Bell House in Newport.
At Keene Architecture, Laurie and her team use a combination of hand sketching as well as the latest 3D technology to communicate and translate ideas, with the goal of crafting a home that will be enjoyed for generations. A signature element of their projects is the seamless integration of home and land to create a structure that feels organic to the space around it. Whether it’s “infusing the interiors with natural daylight or maximizing the view from as many rooms as possible, I work to ensure the layout flows visually and practically– all while having fun.”