Jed Gibson, president of Toll Architecture, started at Toll Brothers in 1993, when he was brought on to pilot an inside team of drafters at the firm’s Horsham, Pa., headquarters. Gibson doesn’t like the term “McMansion” to describe what’s become known as Toll’s suburban signature, instead preferring to call them “luxury homes at affordable prices.”

Jed Gibson's Design Philosophy

• "McMansion" is a term I shy away from. I'd rather think of them as luxury homes at affordable prices.

• The look for our product varies from place to place, and we have a way of looking at our products as enhancements of our brand, which reflects an understanding of each of the markets we're in. Ten years ago, everything in Virginia was brick, and now you're seeing more stone and wood coming in. In Seattle and Northern California, we're seeing demand for contemporary, but we're constrained by height restrictions. The Northeast has stayed conservative, and the Southwest has clung to Spanish Colonial styling.

&bull In general, as we get more land-constrained and as we focus on where we're buying land, we're going to see less super-sizing and more jewel boxes.

• I don't have a crystal ball about what trends will come next, but we really focus on quality, and we want to develop quality product that is consistent with what we see people buying.

As Toll’s business evolved geographically, new product lines and community characteristics took on more of the nation’s regional nuances, and Toll’s assertive branding as “America’s Luxury Home Builder” crystallized. Gibson’s design chops broadened to encompass new business lines as the firm’s offerings for its affluent customer universe expanded into Toll City Living (urban high-rise), Toll Apartment Living (for-rent), and Toll Campus Living (student housing).

Toll and a single-family architecture distinction may be a surprise to some, but under Gibson’s watch, Toll Brothers at Amalfi Hills—Positano Collection won Project of the Year at the NAHB Nationals. As Toll amps up its efforts to join the ranks of global luxury brands, it now features the work of “starchitects” like Pritzker Prize-winner Christian de Portzamparc for Manhattan’s 400 Park Avenue South and Rogers Marvel Architects (now defunct) for the Pierhouse at Brooklyn Bridge Park.

“I don’t have a crystal ball about what trends will come next, but we really focus on quality, and we want to develop quality product that is consistent with what we see people buying,” Gibson says.

Gibson has always had a knack for pinpointing the latest design ideas in the industry, says his former boss Ed Weber, a retired Toll executive who hired Gibson from a smaller custom home company. 

"He continually adapted to the changing market conditions and took on various different types of product--mid-rise/podium residences, small clubhouses, and multifamily--and assignments as our company grew," he says. "Jed's designs have set new standards for the luxury home market."