The latest news on New York architecture.

  • The Case for Contract Procurement Services

    The Case for Contract Procurement Services

    When choosing a contractor for a building project, it seems so simple to choose the company with the lowest estimate and get to work. However, the contractor with the lowest price tag may not be the most qualified for the job. When choosing between contractors seems daunting, hiring an Architect to perform Contract Procurement Services may be the best course of action.

    A “qualified contractor” can only be defined in the context of the job to be performed. For example, a simple exterior renovation may only require a contractor who can cut and repoint masonry and replace facebrick with typical brick, however, the skillset required would increase drastically if it were an exterior restoration of a landmarked building which required mortar matching, historic sensitivity and coordination with the Landmarks Preservation Committee. Reaching out to an Architect who truly comprehends all of the factors governing a project can simplify process of choosing an appropriate contractor.

    Evaluating a contractor’s qualifications becomes easier when you have multiple points of comparison. Once hired for Contract Procurement Services, the Architect will reach out to trusted contractors and obtain three or more qualified bids. An initial walkthrough of the building and scope of work with all of the bidding contractors allows for more consistent bids. Before dismissing any proposals, the Architect will reach out to the Contractors and answer all relevant questions, to ensure that they are fully aware of the scope of work involved.

    When it comes to assessing bids, the estimated costs can be the fastest way to filter out sub-standard contractors. Contractors that fall into an average price range are probably looking at the job in a similar way and may offer comparable quality. However, a bid that falls way above or below the average could display signs of a gross miscalculation, which could mean disaster further down the road.

    Once the bids are initially narrowed down, contractor interviews help make a final decision easier. The Architect will help mediate interviews between the Client and the chosen bidders to assess whether their past work experience is applicable to the project’s scope of work. If the contractor’s experience and price seem like a good fit, the bid can be awarded and work can begin.

    As a full-service architectural firm, Scott Henson Architects is qualified to assist clients in choosing the best contractors for any kind of project. From facade repairs to interior renovations, we can help balance the quality and cost associated with a project. Contact us to learn how we can offer peace of mind in this important step of your valued job.

  • The Minimalist Interior

    The Minimalist Interior

    The minimalist interior balances simplicity with symmetry, and neutral colors with natural light. The ideas behind the design aesthetic are stillness, harmony, and balance. Spaces designed with minimalism are quiet, rather than energizing.

    In many design plans, color is used to delineate, energize and enliven a space; they are to more approximate natural environments. Color schemes can include sand and shell, with a touch of sky, or the colors of a bird's nest, with tiny blue speckled eggs inside. Natural wood, with textured linen and cotton accents provide subtle detailing.

    One of the hallmarks of a minimalist interior is warmth. While the popularity of the industrial loft concrete finishes is sometimes confused with minimalism, the true minimalist interior has a timeless warmth from the use of natural materials for flooring and materials. Subtle patterns and textures, such as wood grain, provides interest without being static or busy.

    Another hallmark of minimalism is the lack of fussy accessories. Many minimalist interiors confine color and movement to art pieces, leaving the rest of the walls and table tops clean. Especially with small spaces and working spaces, clutter and too much pattern can raise the noise level of a room to shouting. With minimalist interiors, the rooms should whisper, or at the least, speak in a calm, quiet voice. This is especially critical for rooms with multiple purposes. It is easy to transform a minimalist space from office to boardroom to living room.

    Minimalism is a design aesthetic with classic, timeless features. It works well for both personal and work interiors, and allows spaces to change function easily. It is design that works especially well with an art collection, as the art can take center-stage.