The latest news on New York architecture.

  • Describing Our Architectural Firm and How it Works

    Describing Our Architectural Firm and How it Works

    Scott Henson Architect LLC is an award-winning architecture firm with a diverse portfolio of work in and around New York City, and has developed a specialty in the repair, preservation, and restoration of buildings.

    We are creative problem solvers dedicated to a hands-on approach that brings a passion for craftsmanship into all phases of our projects. We assist our clients in diagnosing and remedying the myriad of issues that can plague new and historic buildings alike. Through traditional construction methods and new construction technologies, we find solutions to immediate and long-term concerns of building maintenance and preservation. We work closely with our clients to investigate building conditions and to develop strategic, economically responsible recommendations for the repair of their buildings, and then implement the design and construction in an open, transparent line of communication.

    Our approach to architecture is sensitive to the history of existing structures while pragmatic about their present needs to ensure that these buildings remain active contributors to our urban fabric. We approach each project, large or small, with the same level of care. Beginning with a careful investigation of the conditions unique to each project, we integrate our client’s budgetary, programmatic and aesthetic goals to design the optimal solution for each of our projects. Stone, brick and mortar, terra-cotta, wood, cast-iron, steel, sheet metal, waterproofing and roofing systems, windows, and vaults are few of the components we have in-depth knowledge and experience in specifying, detailing, and fabricating.

    We view the re-purposing, rehabilitation, and restoration of existing buildings as one of the most effective tools for the sustainable stewardship of our environmental resources, including those resources that have already been expended in their construction.

    We have extensive experience in the assessment, design and detailing of building exteriors including preparation of comprehensive conditions reports, construction documents and repair specifications, full and phased construction cost estimates, city agency filing, and contract procurement and administration.
    Our firm is primarily functional in Manhattan, which has a healthy combination of architectural landmarks and new buildings that make up its skyline. We also have several projects in Brooklyn, Queens, and Staten Island.

    All things considered, this full-service architecture firm is an exceptional choice for your next building project.

    Contact us here to get started.

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  • Considerations for Storefront Rehabilitation

    Considerations for Storefront Rehabilitation

    It is often said that you never get a second chance to make a first impression. First impressions have the ability to either make or break a business; the right first impression can draw potential customers in, while the wrong one can drive customers into the arms of competitors. A building’s storefront plays a crucial role in a store’s advertising and merchandizing, and as a result, the storefront has become one of the most important architectural features of many historic buildings. The sensitive rehabilitation of a building’s storefront can not only increase business, but contribute to efforts to revitalize neighborhoods.

    Keys to Success

    A key to the successful rehabilitation of historic storefronts, is the delicate treatment of each of its components. Significant storefront features, including windows, sash, doors, transoms signs and other decorative features, should be repaired, replaced in kind, or addressed by a compatible contemporary design in order to maintain the character of the building.

    Where a storefront no longer exists or is deteriorated beyond repair, a new storefront must be designed. New storefront elements should reflect the size, scale, color, material and character of the building. Before any work can begin, the Architect must establish a thorough understanding of the building’s architectural history and relationship to the streetscape. Old photographs, prints and physical components should be considered, and influence the form and details of the rehabilitation or new design.

    Whether restoration or redesign is the path of choice, it is important to keep design elements simple and to allow the architectural elements to speak for themselves. Signage and awnings should be kept free from visual clutter, and of modest size. The lighting elements considered should be warm and inviting, while the integration of physical security elements should be kept out of sight. It is also important to address areas of graffiti and vandalism, which can make customers feel unsafe or unwelcome.

    Understanding Regulations

    All historic properties in New York City must follow the rules and master plans outlined by the Landmarks Preservation Commission. Restorative work can be approved at the staff level if it is based on documented historic precedents and does not involve the destruction of historic fabric. However, contemporary designs require a review before the full Commission at a public hearing.

    Additionally, any planned construction on a building’s storefront must follow the local building code. New York City building code is a set of regulations that governs everything from the size of the sign you can put up to the type of lighting fixture that can be installed. Building permits are required for awnings, marquees, flagpoles and signs larger than 6 square feet. It is important to consult your Architect regarding all relevant codes and required permits.

                Feel free to contact Scott Henson Architect to discuss your building’s historic storefront. 

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