Newland Architecture was founded in 1999 by Scott J. Newland with a focus on residential design.  Since then, the firm has completed over 150 projects, both residential and commercial.  Newland Architecture has a commitment to environment-centered modern design - thinking globally while building locally.  Building Information Modeling (BIM) continues to be the primary design and production tool, integrating 3D modeling, detailed technical documentation, energy modeling, rendering, and specifications.

Education:  B. Arch. with High Distinction, University of Minnesota, 1983.  Certificate of Completion, Tianjin University (Tianjin, China, special courses in traditional architecture and landscape architecture), 1981.

Licensed architect since 1985.

Mentor through the University of Minnesota School of Design since 2002.

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More than anything else, I value authenticity and integrity.  I value these qualities in people, and I value them in the world around us.  A lot of our current culture seems to lack these qualities, but I believe that they're worth fighting for.

I try hard to avoid following trends.  It's important to me to try to create original, appropriate designs for each problem, each situation.  I believe in the Ian Anderson lyric "I'd rather look around me, compose an honest song, 'cos that's the honest measure of my worth."  Measure me by what I create.

I believe in honest pay for honest work.  As a one-person firm, working out of a home office, I have relatively low overhead.  I was raised to be frugal, and to know the satisfaction that comes from hard work.  I am not in architecture to make as much money as possible.  I love designing and taking ideas to reality, and I appreciate a client's satisfaction as much as any income.  I believe that I charge fairly for my services, and provide good value.

Architects have a responsibility to do what we can to help minimize the effects of climate change, and to help build in a way that anticipates the future through adaptability, resiliency, and reliability.  The new home featured on this site, "Sisunkoto"* tries to accomplish this.


Typically, after interviewing with a new client and understanding your expectations, I will prepare a proposal that documents my understanding of the project, my proposed scope of services, my schedule, any consultants that will be required, and my fee.  What I have found to work well - and what I feel is most fair for my clients - is to estimate the amount of time that I foresee for each stage of the design process (data gathering and schematic design, design development, and construction documents) and apply my hourly rate.  This way, the total fee is predicted in advance and you have a good sense for what the total could be.  My goals are to avoid surprises for you, and hold myself accountable to the proposed fee range.  Time spent in selecting contractors, and in construction administration, is hard to predict in advance and so I typically will work on a time-and-materials basis once the project is underway. Reimbursable expenses (large format printing, courier services, etc.) are itemized on each invoice.

Having a clear contract between parties is important.  As much as I work to communicate clearly and give exemplary service, and as much as each project team's goal is to work cooperatively to achieve the desired outcome, it's still important that the terms and conditions of service are spelled out and agreed upon.  Clear, consistent contract language is critical so that misunderstandings can be avoided, and any disputes quickly reconciled.  I'm proud of the fact that I have never had a serious contract dispute on any of the hundreds of projects that I've done.  My reputation, I believe, is one of honesty and integrity and I try my best to maintain this.

Contract forms must be tailored to the project.  The size and duration of the project is one key factor.  The number of parties involved is another (owner, architect, contractor, consultant).  For smaller projects, I have developed a standard letter agreement that works well, and I often retain consultants for such projects using similar informal letters.  In 18 years of practice I have rarely had a contract-related dispute.  My preference is to work toward the use of AIA Contract Documents on more projects, as they have been developed over many decades and aim for clarity and consistency, usually used as "families" so that contractors between different parties work together.  AIA has developed a set of documents for small projects which fit well with what Newland Architecture typically does.  I would be happy to review these with you prior to beginning any project.

There have been time when I have made honest mistakes, however.  With every project being unique, and working with different clients all of the time, sometimes problems arise and misunderstandings or simple oversights happen.  While rare, they are impossible to avoid completely.  For this reason, Newland Architecture has carried professional liability insurance for over 17 years.


This is nickname that I've applied to the house featured herein.  It is a Finnish term coined by linguist and historian Jukka Luoma (my third cousin).  "Sisu" is well known for meaning, loosely, guts, inner strength, or tenacity.  It is a word used with pride by Finns who see it as a quality unique to them.  "Koto" is an ancient Finnish word referring to home.  "Sisunkoto" is therefore "The home of the Sisu".  To me, the process of bringing this dream to completion required, at times, all of the Sisu that I could muster.


One of the great things about being an architect is that I get the chance to work with a wide variety of clients.  Everyone is different, I try to respect these differences in how I approach each project.  I've worked with clients from many diverse backgrounds and countries of origin such as Denmark, India, China, Japan, and Russia.  I take pride in the fact that I've worked with clients from a wide income spectrum, working in a bewilderingly range of professions.  Some of these include:
- Fortune 500 corporate president
- Antique and specialty license plate dealer
- Radiologist
- Sports columnist
- Corporate entrepreneur
- Realtor
- Medical researcher
- Website and graphic designer
- Other architects!
- Financial advisor
- Reinsurance specialist
- General contractor
- Retail company vice president
- Lawyer
- Newspaper editor