Asheville Architecture Firm
A strong sense of stewardship for the environment, our community, and our clients’ dreams continue to inspire our work
Samsel Architects was founded by Jim Samsel, AIA in 1985. Our staff of fourteen includes four registered architects, including LEED Accredited Professionals with LEED certification experience.
We are committed to incorporating environmentally sensitive and sustainable design principles throughout our work and believe in creating buildings that are timeless in design and durable in construction.
Each of our projects, whether set in the heart of an urban center or a rugged, rural landscape, reflects the special character of its setting. Our artistic vision, technical skill and attention to detail have been the foundation of our firm for 30 years.
Duncan McPherson, AIA, LEED AP
Duncan is a licensed architect and Principal at Samsel Architects. After working for architecture firms in New Jersey and Hilton Head, SC, he joined the firm in 1999 and became a principal in 2010. Duncan earned a Bachelor of Architecture degree from Virginia Tech, including a study abroad program throughout Western Europe.
Duncan has focused his career on sustainable design and green architecture, including LEED Platinum-rated projects. Duncan is a co-founder of the WNC Green Building Council and was also a member of a statewide task force that developed the state Green Built North Carolina program. Duncan has also served as Chair of the AIA Asheville Committee on the Environment and the Chair of Asheville City Council’s Sustainable Advisory Committee on Energy and Environment.
Nathan Bryant, AIA, NCARB
Nathan joined Samsel Architects in 2000 and has led the design team on many projects, including hospitality, commercial, master planning and custom residences. Nathan also helped develop the design guidelines and visioning for several local planned communities, and serves as Design Review Architect for multiple planned neighborhoods in WNC. Nathan is the President of AIA-Asheville and serves on the AIA North Carolina Board of Directors. He also served as the initial CRAN committee chairman for residential architects as part of the AIA-Asheville Board, and has co-chaired the Climate Adaptive Design – Climate Symposium in collaboration with the Collider for its first 2 years. Nathan is licensed in North Carolina, South Carolina, Virginia, and Tennessee, as well as holding an active NCARB certificate, Nathan received his Bachelor of Architecture degree from the University of North Carolina at Charlotte.
Jim Samsel, AIA, LEED AP
Jim Samsel, AIA, is founding principal of Samsel Architects, P.A. established in 1985. His longstanding interest in energy conservation helped shape the firm’s sustainable design focus. Jim also led many of the firm’s successful project collaborations with regional artists. As both a preservationist and modernist, he brings a diverse design rigor to the wide ranging styles of the firm’s work. His community service is guided by his passion for enhancing civic public space. Jim has served on the boards of RiverLink, Asheville Downtown Commission and was a founder of the Pack Square Conservancy. He received his Bachelor of Architecture degree from the University of Arizona, and a Master’s Degree from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.
Awards & Honors
- AIA North Carolina Firm Award, 2016, Samsel Architects
- AIA North Carolina Design Award, Honor Award 2016, The Hammock House
- AIA North Carolina Design Award, Merit Award 2016, Fontana Lake House
- AIA North Carolina Design Award, COTE Award 2009, EcoDorm at Warren Wilson College
- AIA North Carolina Design Award, 2008, in association with Cutler Anderson Architects, The Preview Center
- AIA Asheville Design Award, Honor Award 2008, Celo Residence
- AIA North Carolina Design Award, Merit Award 2002, Sourwood Inn
- AIA Tower Award, 1992, Richmond Hill Inn
- AIA North Carolina Design Award, Merit Award 1992, Blue Spiral 1
Preservation Society of Asheville and Buncombe County
- Griffin Award, 2016, 7 Kimberly Avenue
- Griffin Award, 2014, Southern Highland Craft Gallery (Biltmore Oteen Bank)
- Griffin Award, 2002, 32 Hendersonville
- Griffin Award, 2001, New Morning Gallery Expansion
- Griffin Award, 1998, Asheville Hotel
- Griffin Award, 1997, Drhumor Building
- Griffin Award, 1997, Fine Arts Theatre
- Griffin Award, 1995, 134 & 138 Biltmore
- Griffin Award, 1994, Eagle & Market Street Design Guidelines
- Griffin Award, 1994, 60 Biltmore
- Griffin Award, 1994, Carolina Apartments
- Griffin Award, 1991, Blue Spiral 1
- Griffin Award, 1991, Milfoil Cottages at Albemarle Park
- Griffin Award, 1990, Richmond Hill Inn
- Griffin Award, 1989, 60 Biltmore
- Griffin Award, 1988, 60 Haywood
Brick Association of the Carolinas
- Honor Award, 2003, New Morning Gallery Expansion
Hanley Wood EcoHome Design Awards
- Grand Award, 2011, Celo Residence
Institute of Business Designers
- IBD Honorable Mention, Shops, Stores and Showrooms, Bellagio
- IBD Gold Award, Adaptive Reuse, Blue Spiral 1
- IBD Silver Award, Best of Show, Blue Spiral 1
Fine Homebuilding Houses Awards
- Houses Awards: Readers Choice Winner, 2016, Fontana Bridge House
- Houses Awards: Readers Choice Finalist, 2015, Old Fort Cabin
- Houses Awards: Best Retirement Home, 2012, Celo Residence
Builder’s Choice & Custom Home Design Awards
- Custom Home Design Awards, Merit Winner Outdoor Spaces, 2016, Town Mountain Residence
Mountain Xpress Best Of
- Mountain Xpress Best Of 1st Place, Local Architect, 2016
- Mountain Xpress Best Of 1st Place, Local Architect, 2015
- Mountain Xpress Best Of 1st Place, Local Architect, 2014
- Mountain Xpress Best Of 1st Place, Local Architect, 2013