Posted By: Stacey Vega

Project Designer Tony Kirousis joined Connolly Brothers in 2016 after more than 20 years of experience at architectural firms in the Greater Boston area. He holds degrees in architecture and architectural engineering from Wentworth Institute of Technology and lives with his wife in Salem, Mass.

What does your role at Connolly Brothers entail?

"My role here is to create construction drawings from approved plans. This involves the detailing of floors, walls, and roofs by developing wall sections to delineate how the building will be constructed. A lot of thought goes into the construction details and one of the most important aspects in construction today is to have a continuous thermal envelope for energy efficiency. We ensure that our details comply with current energy codes and practices."

What do you most enjoy about your work?

"The end of the project is the ultimate reward. You work so hard for so long and you put a lot of thought and effort into the construction drawings to create a cohesive design. Then, when I see the project completed, I can proudly say, 'I was part of that project.' That is my favorite part of the job."

What do you appreciate about doing that work at Connolly?

"When I worked for architectural firms in the past, I always wondered, 'Why can't designers and builders all be under one roof? Wouldn't that make the entire building process more efficient?' I saw the opportunity to do just that with Connolly, which has successfully incorporated design-build into the business model. Working directly with the construction team during design also helps me understand the construction side better and ultimately makes me better at providing those details I mentioned earlier. The direct coordination between designer and builder helps ensure that there will be no discrepancies out in the field."

What keeps you busy outside of work?

"I like cooking so when I get home after work, I typically make dinner. Then, I usually take a walk with my wife. We both have demanding jobs and we look forward to that time together, and also to when we can take our vacations, which usually involve a lot of beach time. I also have a passion for anything car-related, especially auto racing. I try to attend local events when I can. It's my adrenaline. For me, the speed is my rush: it's you in a machine steering through road conditions. In auto racing, it's the driver that makes the car perform optimally. That's how I approach my work, too."

What advice would you give to those interested in architectural design?

"I'd have them ask themselves if they are willing to put in a lot of work. It takes a lot of time and effort to develop something from concept to fruition and you need a lot of patience to accomplish that. In the end, though, the most important thing is you have to take pride in the quality of your work. My father taught me that shortcuts will not get you far, but if you work hard and with integrity, you will reap the rewards."