History & Awards

JRA History Timeline

JRA Principals Meet

JRA PrincipalsThe principals of Johnson Roberts Associates — J. Stewart Roberts, Jeffrey Davis and Philip O’Brien — meet each other while working at the Boston architectural firm Tappé Associates (where Stewart was an associate).

JRA is Founded

J. Stewart Roberts forms J. Stewart Roberts Associates to create thoughtful designs in close collaboration with public, private, and institutional clients.

Philip O’Brien joins JRA

Mr. O’Brien focuses on public work, with a particular expertise in library and municipal facilities design and brings a passion for effective design, the collaborative thought process and sensitive, achievable solutions, to his projects.

Karla S. Johnson joins JRA

Karla S. Johnson, AIA, joins Johnson Roberts Associates with fourteen years of experience as a designer, project manager and Senior Associate at Leers Weinzapfel Associates.

Karla passed away and in her memory we have established the Karla S. Johnson Memorial Scholarship to help disadvantaged, underrepresented, minority or LGBTQ+ women.

First Completed Library Project
Pembroke Public Library

Designed in a Greek Revival style, similar to other civic buildings in Pembroke Center, this new 18,000 square foot public library provided modern library services to the town. 

First Completed Town Hall Project
Ayer Town Hall

We prepared a study and a plan to preserve and restore this historic 1876 building. The project included improved access, complete interior renovations, preservation of the historic interiors, and restoration of the polychromed brick, tile, and stone exterior.

First Completed Public Safety Project
Centerville - Osterville - Marstons Mills Fire Rescue Station #3

Fire Rescue Station #3 in Marstons Mills, MA, is sympathetic to the surrounding Cape Cod vernacular buildings, materials, and compositions. 

Jeffrey R. Davis joins JRA

After twenty-five years of leadership roles at Tappé Associates in Boston and WBRC A/E in Maine— eventually becoming Tappé’s President and CEO — Jeffrey R. Davis reunited with Stew and Phil at Johnson Roberts Associates. The majority of Jeff’s efforts have been in the collaboration with MA municipal and institutional client communities in the re-programming, rehabilitation, and revitalization of their aging building stock.. The majority of Jeff’s efforts have been in the collaboration with MA municipal and institutional client communities in the re-programming, rehabilitation, and revitalization of their aging building stock.

Jeff and Phil become co-owners with Stew

In 2020 Principals Phil O’Brien and Jeff Davis became co-owners of JRA with Stew Roberts.

Awards & Accomplishments

Johnson Roberts Associates has not been focused on winning awards, but here are some of our accomplishments.

AIA 2030

In 2019 Johnson Roberts joined the AIA 2030 Commitment (which strives for all new buildings and major renovations to be carbon neutral by 2030). In 2020 we were able to reach the initial goal of 70% energy reduction for our projects. Only 15% of firms that signed on to the program were able to achieve this level of energy reduction for 2019.

2008 Golden Trowel Award

For our design of the Moses Greeley Parker Memorial Library in Dracut, MA.

Merit Award – AGC Build New England Awards Program 2011

For our design of the Concord Fowler Branch Library in Concord, MA.

See this project in our Portfolio

Library Journal Magazine

Our design for East Forest Park Library appeared in the November 2020 Architectural issue of Library Journal Magazine.

See this design in our Portfolio

Tufts University Interfaith Center

Society of College and University Planners Design Award

Faith and Form Design Award

Boston Society of Architects Small Firms/Small Projects Program Design Award

See this project in our Portfolio

Silver Medal for Design – Fire Chief Magazine

For our design of the Centerville-Osterville-Martsons Mills Fire Rescue Station #3.

LEED Certification

Erving Public Library

Granby Free Public Library

Hopkinton Public Library

Mashpee Public Library – LEED Silver

Pearle L. Crawford Memorial Library (Dudley)

Shute Memorial Library (Everett)

South Hadley Public Library – LEED Silver

4 others are awaiting certification

Design Citation AIA New England Region

For our design of this energy-efficient JRA residence.

2022 Cambridge Preservation Award

For our restoration of the historic Powder Magazine.
It is a gunpowder storage facility from 1818, and is the oldest building in the Charles River Reservation.