DJSA Architecture: Celebrating 20 years
of innovative design and architecture

May 17, 2024 - Spotlights
Shown (from left) are: Dan Clark, Ann McCoy, Deven Riley-Marini, Christina Cimino, Zach Silvia and Dennis Swart.

Raynham, MA April 2024 marked a significant milestone for DJSA Architecture as it celebrated its 20th anniversary. Founded by Dennis Swart in 2004 as a sole proprietorship, the firm has evolved from a one-person operation to a thriving architectural design and planning studio with a diverse portfolio spanning various industries.

Reflecting on the early days, Dennis Swart, a graduate of Boston Architectural College, recalls the humble beginnings of DJSA Architecture. “As with most small firms, it was a one-person operation in the beginning,” Swart reminisces. “I answered the phone, did runs to the post office and bank, all while designing and doing construction drawings for projects and trying to build the business.” 

In its very early days, DJSA Architecture primarily focused on custom residential projects. However, with a strong background in commercial architecture a variety of tenant fit-out and small commercial projects started to roll-in. Swart’s vision quickly expanded and so did the firm’s horizons. DJSA continued to balance a mixed single family residential and commercial portfolio for several years. The addition of larger commercial projects brought new challenges and opportunities, marking a significant turning point in DJSA’s approach.

By 2015, DJSA Architecture made a strategic decision to concentrate on commercial projects, “I realized that I enjoyed the varied nature of commercial work because no two clients are alike,” Swart explains. Among the firm’s early commercial clients were A.P. Whitaker in West Bridgewater and the Old Colony YMCA, with whom DJSA Architecture maintains enduring relationships.

As the firm’s reputation grew, so did its team. Several full-time employees joined the ranks, bringing with them invaluable skills and expertise. Swart emphasizes the pivotal role played by Zach Silvia, the firm’s principal/director of operations since 2017, whose contributions have been instrumental in DJSA’s success.

The firm’s portfolio boasts a myriad of high-profile projects, including multi-million-dollar renovations and ground-up construction. Among these achievements are the complete renovation of the Four Points by Sheraton in Eastham, Mass., and the construction of the Pelham House in Dennis Port, an oceanfront function facility, restaurant, and bar.

Notable among DJSA’s accomplishments is the transformation of 10 Winthrop Sq. in Boston from a modest undertaking to a premier boutique office and retail space. Swart recalls how this project, initiated by Chevron Partners for a few tenant fit-ups, blossomed into a significant endeavor with DJSA eventually taking over as the base building architect as well as serving as the architect for almost all of the tenant fit-outs within the building. 

Swart acknowledges valuable lessons learned by the DJSA team during the pandemic. The crisis underscored the importance of the firm’s diverse business model, which proved resilient in the face of adversity. “COVID taught us that our business model serves both us and our clients better. In March of 2020 our hospitality projects came to a halt. However, our industrial and multifamily projects grew significantly. That balance of project types really helped us weather the uncertainty and continue our growth,” Swart reflects.

Amid the evolving landscape, DJSA Architecture remains committed to a diverse, cross-sector portfolio, recognizing it as a cornerstone of its success. With a portfolio encompassing hospitality, industrial, corporate, retail, community, and residential design, the firm continues to thrive in an ever-changing industry.

As DJSA Architecture embarks on its next chapter, the journey from a one-person venture to a dynamic architectural firm serves as a testament to its resilience, innovation, and unwavering dedication to excellence. With a steadfast commitment to client success spread across a diverse portfolio, DJSA Architecture looks ahead to the future with optimism and enthusiasm, poised to shape the architectural landscape for years to come.



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