Designing Minds: Robert Tullis ’73

Over his 30-year career, Tullis has designed residential, office, retail, entertainment, educational, medical research, civic, institutional, and mixed-use projects—in aggregate, some 40 million square feet of enclosed space. He’s now senior vice president and director of design for GID Development Group in Boston, overseeing his firm’s design of luxury residential and mixed-use projects. Previously he played key roles at a number of award-winning firms, including Elkus Manfredi Architects and Koetter Kim & Associates, where he designed buildings for Colby College and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, among others. He is an authority on placemaking, the practice of designing space that promotes human health, happiness, and emotional connectedness, and co-chairs the Boston Society of Architects’ Placemaking Network.

Education: B.A., Colgate University; M.Arch, Harvard University Graduate School of Design

Examples of his work: The Trial Court in Brockton, Mass.; at M.I.T., 88 Sidney Street, in University Park, and the Broad Institute; The Grove at Farmers Market in Los Angeles, Americana at Brand in Glendale, California, and Belmar, outside Denver, all mixed-use developments.

Favorite places at Williston: “Joke answer: the Manhan, and you can’t print why. Real answer: the railroad station building, because in my era it was used as the art building, decorated with student art. I took many interesting studio classes there with Barry Moser. Also, the basement under the dining hall in my era was a wood shop, which was available for student projects, and I did some hands-on work there. Architecturally, the Dodge Room was the most evocative interior space. Spatially, the allée of trees from the main Park Street gate towards Ford Hall is the most memorable.”

In his own words: “My mom claims she knew I would be an architect ever since I was a little kid, because I used to make these fantastic block structures of entire cities.”

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