Tom Butcavage

FAIA, LEED AP BD+C
Principal, Washington, D.C.

Longing for space of his own to garden, Tom moved from New York City to Washington DC, where he has since been practicing architecture and gardening for nearly three decades.

Tom is a Principal and Higher Education leader in our Washington, DC studio. He is recognized for his ability to guide the design process from start to finish and has delivered award-winning projects from student centers to law schools, and from libraries to instructional facilities.

Tom is committed to research-informed design to create enduring academic buildings that shape experience, community, and learning. Tom is currently applying the findings of a rigorous three-year research project that assesses the impact of design on student engagement and learning outcomes. Some of Tom’s transformational projects include Georgetown University School of Medicine’s Dr. Proctor Harvey Teaching Amphitheater, the Media and Journalism School at UNC Chapel Hill, and the recently completed American University Washington College of Law.


University of California, Hastings College of Law

Tom’s focus on legal education happened rather accidentally early on when he was assigned to the Indiana University Law School project because someone mistook him for another employee. This project would become the first of more than two dozen law schools that now make up a rich portfolio of award-winning university law projects.

“It’s funny – there are a lot of parallels between gardening and architecture. I was trained as a designer to refine alternative scenarios. And gardening is kind of the same way. It’s very much in motion. You move stuff around and some stuff works and some stuff doesn’t work. That process of refinement—it’s very similar.”
University of Delaware Student Center Feasibility Study
Fun Fact

Before his graduate degree in architecture from Columbia University, Tom studied biology with the hope of becoming a plant taxonomist.

University of Delaware Student Center Feasibility Study