A Steady Evolution

History and Founding Principles

Architecture Student & ProfessorThe Bachelor of Architecture degree is built upon a solid foundation of UMA Architectural education.  Over 25 years ago, Professor Roger Richmond envisioned the architecture program as a two year-plus associate’s degree. At the time he saw a profound need to educate the Maine student in ways of meaningful humanistic design. In UMA, Professor Richmond found a good match for the goals and aims of the architecture curriculum.

The AA grew to a 4-year Bachelor of Arts degree in 2001. With this growth came the opportunity to review and refocus our overall curriculum. While maintaining high quality core values of Space, Scale, and Light, and the necessity to Design with Intention, we recommitted ourselves to the more advanced tools and language of architecture. Our goal has always been to best prepare our graduates for further study, professional practice, or immediate employment, and to graduate with an awareness of the importance of architecture in the development of society, and architecture’s power to affect the quality of individual lives.

Today these core ideals are the foundation of Maine’s only professional architecture degree.  Our program is based on three meaningfully unique parts: Community, Collaboration, and Design.  We are seeking committed, creative students to join us in engaging the communities of Maine and beyond.

History, Mission, and Founding Principles of UMA

UMA's Randall Student CenterIn 1965 the 102nd Maine Legislature established the University of Maine at Augusta as a community-based institution offering associate degrees under the auspices of the University of Maine at Orono. In 1971, soon after moving to its present location in Augusta, UMA became an autonomous institution, the seventh campus of the University of Maine System.

Today, as the third largest campus in the University of Maine System, the University of Maine at Augusta offers undergraduate degrees and professional certificates to prepare graduates for the 21st century. Located in Augusta, the state’s capital city, and in Bangor, the University leverages its relationships with state government and communities in central Maine to increase opportunities for students in all programs to be civically engaged, both on campus and in the worldwide “community.”  As the institution with the most experience in distance education, UMA continues to be a leader using contemporary technology to provide innovative and quality learning environments for faculty and students.

UMA’s Mission: The University of Maine at Augusta, a regional state university, provides baccalaureate and select associate degrees to meet the educational, economic and cultural needs of Central Maine. Based on a common liberal arts core for all degree programs, UMA delivers professional programs to non-traditional, traditional and place-bound students.

A Downtown Presence

331 Water Street, Augusta, Maine

Handley HallSince spring 2011, the Architecture Program has been housed in the Handley Hall (formerly the Gannett Building), downtown Augusta. Located at 331 Water Street, our presence in the heart of the state capitol is the ideal place from which our students can engage communities across the state.

UMA received the Handley Hall in January 2010 as a gift from Richard McGoldrick, a Portland developer who owns a handful of other downtown Augusta properties. Built in 1875, the building was renovated in 2010.  The renovations to Handley Hall give the architecture program dedicated studio space, dedicated critique spaces, additional faculty office space, and its first architecturally focused storefront gallery, located at street level.

In addition, Handley Hall provides additional architecture drafting/studio classrooms that are hard-wired with state-of-the-art presentation technology.  Additional faculty offices, lobby display areas for student work, meeting space, printing specific areas, computer stations, and a model construction area complete the facility.

Architecture is housed on the second and fourth floors of Handley Hall, with certain Art concentrations working on the third.  This new space puts UMA Architecture and our community mission in the community where it can best interact and thrive.