In the Tevatron tunnel at Fermi National Accelerator Laboratory
(Photo: Jeff Zynda; full image)

Matthew Fickett


Matthew Fickett AIA, CPHC, LEED

I enjoy working with researchers to invent highly technical laboratory spaces which contain extreme conditions – whether of cleanliness, quietness, purity, temperature, or magnetism. My goal is to understand their work and the physical principles on which it depends so that I can collaborate with specialist engineers to create novel facilities.

I'm also a certified under Passive House, a rigorous physics-based energy-efficiency building standard, which relates closely to my primary work in performance-driven environments.

E-mail me at   |   (617) 645 5324   |   Boston, Massachusetts   |



2019 - Current
Architect and Lab Planner


2016 - 2019
Project Architect, Associate


2013 - 2016

Wilson Architects

2012 - 2013



Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute

Five-year Bachelor's of Architecture
Minor in Organizational Psychology
magna cum laude


This wet lab and ISO 6 cleanroom facility for a cornea-transplant non-profit replaced an existing office fitout. To reduce costs and increase transparency, the lab is designed to re-use existing glass office partitions.

Role: Project Manager, Project Architect, and production of most documentation. At Perkins+Will.

Image: Standing near the entrance, looking into the clean-not-classified wet lab area, with the cleanroom (blue wall) beyond.

(Photo: Matthew Fickett)

Columbia Electron Microscope Suite

Researchers at Columbia University won a Nobel prize for invention of a new technique for electron microscopy at cryogenic temperatures. The program for this project was to locate one of these new instruments in the basement of an existing building.

As the site was adjacent to an active subway line (on one side) and an active MRI suite (on the other side), considerable shielding and isolation against vibration, acoustic noise, and magnetic fields was required. The primary design challenge was to accomplish this isolation while providing the services, and exacting environmental control, required by the instrument.

Role: Project Manager and Project Architect. At Perkins+Will.

Image: Concept sketch for isolation details and wall section at shielded instrument room.

Explanatory Drawings

I wrote and illustrated explanatory drawings for technical project types I work on. I use these internally, to explain the highly technical facilities I design to team members working on the same project, and externally, to illustrate design principles for these project types when I am teaching or speaking publicly.

Download these at full size (30x42) here:

Role: Concept and execution of complete project. At Perkins+Will.

Image: Detail from Nano Cleanroom drawing.


Sherman Fairchild Zebrafish Facility

As part of the Sherman Fairchild lab renovation, I led the design of a new zebrafish facility in the basement. The existing structure clears the ceiling by as little as four inches in some locations; the systems coordination to achieve an environment both functional and asthetically pleasing was significant. The facility was designed for future installation of feeding robots, requiring the installation of concealed supporting steel above each row of tanks.

Role: Design, documentation, and coordination of this facility within the scope of a whole-building renovation. At Payette.

Image: The main aisle looking toward the zebrafish water pump room.

(Photo: Matthew Fickett)



AIA (since 2013), Licensed architect in Massachusetts

CPHC (since 2017), Certified Passive House Consultant

LEED AP (since 2008), Version 2 of LEED


Tradeline College and University Science and Engineering Facilities 2018
Tradeline College and University Science and Engineering Facilities 2017
Aquaculture America 2012


Northeastern University
Columbia University
Boston Architectural College
Version 7.0, updated 2020 02 25