Scott Merrill, a nationally recognized architect with local ties to the place where the Seaside Prize originated, was the 2012 Seaside Prize Winner.

Architect and lead designer for Merrill Pastor and Colgan Architects, Merrill is a graduate from the University of Virginia and Yale University, where he earned his masters in architecture in 1984. Merrill kicked off his career working for two Washington, D.C., firms, McCartney Lewis and Cass & Pinnell, followed by a stint in Seaside where he served as its town architect from 1988 – 1990. During that period, Merrill was given an assignment to design the first row of rental cottages along the coast. Those cottages became known as the Honeymoon Cottages. He went on to design the Motor Court, the Seaside Chapel, several individual homes in Seaside and the Rosemary Beach Town Hall.

In 1990, Merrill started his own practice in Vero Beach, Fla., where he became known for his “disciplined Classicism.” He eventually hired two people who became his partners, George Paster and David Colgan. Colgan opened the firm’s only additional office in Atlanta.

The firm's work has been written about by the architectural historian Vincent Scully and theorist Leon Krier and has collaborated with some of the world's best architects and land planners. It was with Duany Plater-Zyberk and Company that Merrill became involved with the design of Windsor, a resort town located in his home town of Vero Beach. The Merrill mark is evident throughout the town in its plan and its buildings.  

More recently, Merrill and his firm have taken on projects with a higher complexity with a wide range of building types, including a federal courthouse, fitness center, apartment complexes and an equestrian center.

Merrill has lectured on the firm's work at Yale, Notre Dame, Berkeley, Houston Fine Arts Museum, Lotos Club, University Club, and at AIA chapters throughout Florida and the south.