Talking Shop with Architect Clifford M. Scholz of CMSA Architects

Talking Shop with Architect Clifford M. Scholz of CMSA Architects

Cliff, tell us about your design approach and style?

I am personally most influenced by Greek proportion and scale, it has influenced my creative, aesthetic and technical approach throughout my career.

Tell us about our current collaboration featured here Cliff?

This unique 11,000 SQ FT Bird Key residence is the perfect example of choosing the right lot and maximizing its potential. This MODERN residence has contrasting finishes and textures, expansive walls of glass, decks galore and dramatic vistas set off by the lot gradient and infinity pool.

11,000 SQ FT Bird Key Home Under Construction

What challenges you, your team and projects?

Lot restrictions and building on water always raise very specific challenges. I ideally prefer to help our clients find the right lot and then design the right house. Permitting can cause issues, but we are very experienced in the field and that helps to pre-empt and solve them quickly.

What defines a great build partner for you Cliff?

An excellent builder puts the client’s interests before their own and we only choose to work with quality orientated builders for that reason, Murray Homes executes designs flawlessly.

Cherokee Park Velocity Zone

Where do you see yourself in the next 5-10 years Cliff?

Well I like the game and I love meeting new clients, 95% of my clients end up being very good friends, so I can’t see quitting anytime in the future.

Travel is always such an inspiration, tell us about places that have influenced you?

Our footprint has spanned from North Carolina, the Bahamas to Naples and back to Sarasota, offering a huge spectrum of styles and inspiration. Two of my favorites outside of that geography would be Amsterdam and Lake Como, Italy.

What do you do on your day off?

I am very much a hunting, fishing, shooting, golf playing kind of guy and I love to take the whole CMSA team on regular “fun days”.

CMSA and Cliff Scholz


Clifford M. Scholz
  • Graduated from University of Miami
  • Worked in Palm Beach
  • Moved back to Tampa and became partner at MacEwen at age 25
  • Moved to Sarasota and launched a branch office
  • First big project in Sarasota was the Oaks in 1980
  • In 1992, started his independent office
  • Celebrating 25 years of business in Sarasota