James C. Atkins

Founding Principal

University of Cincinnati

While raised in Ohio, James’ heart has always been in the Carolinas. Before a start-up executive opportunity brought him to Bluffton, SC in 2001, James honed his architectural skills at some of the leading design firms in the country. Work experiences in Denver, Columbus, Cincinnati, and Charlotte involved designing and coordinating large healthcare, corporate, religious, retail, and emergency services architecture projects.
After moving to Bluffton, SC, his early passion for residential architecture reemerged complimenting his commercial expertise. His passion drives a tailored design approach for those building more than a business. “If you spend eight hours of your day at work, and eight hours at home, there is no reason why your workplace should be any less of a community than your home.” – A Pattern Language, Christopher Alexander.
“Having great clients makes our work better.” We’re endlessly driven to create relationships through the power of inspired design. These relationships make what we do well worthwhile.
When away from the office “family”, you can find James enjoying the cool fall weather on the porch, college football on the tv, a brisket on the smoker, and a bourbon (neat) in hand. He enjoys capturing life’s moments with his beautiful wife and three talented children as they travel and explore history-rich cities, mountain retreats, and warm beaches.

Describe your process:  Listen carefully and take good notes. Get to know the person(s) at the table with you. Understand their goals. Do your research. Sketch. Have fun. Appreciate the opportunity.

Quote relevant to your work life:  “None of us are getting out of here alive, so please stop treating yourself like an afterthought. Eat delicious food. Walk in the sunshine. Jump in the ocean. Say the truth that you’re carrying in your heart like a hidden treasure. Be silly. Be kind. Be weird. There’s no time for anything else.” – Nanea Hoffman; I might add… “Drink good bourbon…”

What is that life changing song or album:  Under the Table and Dreaming – Dave Matthews Band

Who is the best movie villain:  Agent Smith (The Matrix)

What is the next thing on your bucket list:  An immersive travel experience through Norway and Sweden

Where would you relocate if you were forced to leave the country:  Since the Western NC mountains or Bardstown, KY are not options, then near Barcelona – maybe Grattallops or Sitges.