Paul Minto, Owner & Architect

Keep moving the process forward.
Perspective. That might be the best word to describe Urban Prairie Owner Paul Minto’s work history. He’s seen architecture from all sides—from working construction in college to starting out in a one-man firm that grew rapidly, then on to medium-sized and national firms. His many great experiences led him back to the start.

Paul founded Urban Prairie to provide clients the level of service and collaboration they want and deserve. But selfishly, he also relishes the opportunity to wear more hats. “I believe you become a better Architect (capital A) if you are well versed in all facets of what we do.” Larger firms tend to pigeon-hole architects. Even in many smaller firms, roles become more specialized as firms grow, but Paul wanted to be both on the field and in the coach’s box. “I love playing and coaching, but if I had to choose I’d choose playing.”

Honest and hard-working. Creative and sometimes a little wacky. Paul tries to keep the team and clients a little off balance … in a good way. There’s an inclination for people to do things the way they’ve always done it, but every project is different and every client expectation is different. Keeping them off balance said another way is pushing the creative envelope—making sure team and client are following the best path for the project at hand.

That also means to keep moving the process forward. But in this mantra, Paul draws a clear distinction between taking a short cut and short-cutting. At Urban Prairie, it’s about always thinking two steps ahead of where you want to be on a project. Forward thinking moves projects forward faster.

Speaking of moving, away from the office Paul doesn’t slow down with 13-year-old triplet boys that keep him on his toes. Family bike rides, camping and Boy Scouts make for busy but great family time—a value Paul puts at the center of Urban Prairie team culture.