5 Under 40 Awards 2016: Caleb Johnson

August 29, 2016


Introducing Caleb Johnson one of New England Homes “5 Under 40” winners for 2016.


Photograph by Bruce Rogovin

Capturing the true essence of each project is at the core of Caleb Johnson’s work. Searching the site for clues and consulting with his clients leads to a design process focused on showcasing the intersections of wood, steel, concrete, and glass in a way that best reflects each building’s intrinsic beauty.

Sustainable practices are as much a part of the Maine-based architect’s process as ensuring that the building will stand up against the wind. Wood is locally milled and cut whenever possible, and structures are solar-ready with insulation-packed, air-tight building envelopes. Still, it is always the building’s context and the client’s reality that ultimately guide Johnson’s work: “The principles by which I design will come through in whatever I do, but there is so much more than my whim,” he says.
Johnson is less focused on particular styles than on fundamental aesthetic principles. “We’re still searching for beauty and aesthetic, but we want to weed through what might be a trend and build something lasting that will be appreciated for generations,” he explains.

Photograph by Nick Lavecchia

Photograph by Nick Lavecchia

In Biddeford, where his firm is based, Johnson works as both architect and developer as part of ongoing efforts to revitalize the town’s historic buildings for present and future generations. Not only is he helping to improve the image of the city itself, he is also having an economic impact on it by bringing new jobs and creating great places for people to live.

As owner and principal of Caleb Johnson Architects + Builders, Johnson is careful not to present himself as a solo architect, but rather the driving force behind a talented team that shares a vision for good design. Together, they continue to make a positive impact on the Maine landscape.

Caleb Johnson’s Rug Inspiration

The design of this rug is a simple graphic response to the multilayered human reality of relationships. It was plotted by choosing the name of a friend or family member and drawing one line representing each relationship that branched out of the initial relationship. I chose shades of gray because of it’s symbolic connotation for flexibility and compromise which seem to be key in successful relationships.


The “5 Under 40” celebration is open to the public. Join us by purchasing your tickets here.

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