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The latest news on New York architecture.

As progress dictates that we must forge on into the future, the unfortunate tearing down of the old to make room for the new means more buildings are being lost. Adaptive reuse, however, defines progress differently.

To those who may not be familiar with this type of architectural restoration, adaptive reuse takes an existing structure and refines it, breathing new life into a structure that was no longer fit for its surroundings.

Due to the multiple processes required to bridge different types of architecture and design adaptive reuse projects are usually anything but straightforward. From transforming an old church into a restaurant or taking a crumbling mill and creating a mixed-use space, large scale renovations of historic buildings can present several challenges (permits, approvals, etc.). But a developer's avoidance of adaptive reuse closes them off from many of the city's most treasured properties.

When it comes to adaptive reuse our team doesn’t shy away. Rather we follow a set of best practices that mitigates the complexity and planning of the project so that it’s successful.

Finding Common Ground

When it comes to landmarked buildings, the Landmarks Preservation Commission is heavily concerned with a building's exterior and its elements such as facade and windows. Specifics of conformity to original architectural style, as well as some of the interior construction, must meet the LPC’s requirements. Tasked with preserving beauty, the Commission will only work with a developer if they are willing to embrace the structure’s origins. However, if the developer isn't thoughtful and respectful of the requirements and the history of the property, they will most likely find themselves facing multiple obstacles with the commission.

Most importantly, we must show a clear understanding of the property’s story, and the potential of the space inside.

Do Your Research

Due diligence is the key to a successful adaptive reuse project. Having as much documentation and knowledge regarding the existing conditions of the property, including how the property was constructed, will greatly help the developer, architect and contractor. Often original documentation cannot be found or there are important details missing. The Department of Building carries microfilm that will hold clues to drawings, permits, and actions.

Coming armed with as much information as possible leads to less constraints during renovations and having ample documentation helps us to determine what is most feasible and cost-effective.

Having a Technological Advantage

As technology advances within the real estate and construction industry, innovations such as 3D laser scanning has become a staple in the design and construction process. With the use of lasers, millions of data points are captured replicating a digital version of the building's exact size and shape. This technology renders a much more accurate model of the building, allowing stakeholders to fully grasp the buildings state of health.

When it comes to adaptive reuse 3D scans reduce uncertainty for the construction team as we move forward with the project.

Staffing, Scheduling, and Budget

When developers embark on an adaptive-reuse project, it is imperative they have a well-trained staff. These projects present more challenges and complexities requiring a team that can comprehend the responsibilities they will face.

Our knowledgeable staff is vital in the participation of estimating, budgeting, and scheduling. With varying processes and concerns interwoven amongst each other, it is crucial that budget and scheduling are updated regularly through continuous evaluations for the best possible outcome to be achieved.

To learn more about historical restoration, contact us.

Published in Adaptive Reuse

The nature of a full-service architectural firm is that the firm makes it their purpose to serve and guide every client from the start of the architectural process to the final conclusion of the construction.

Within each phase of the architectural design process, including schematic design, design development, construction documents, bidding, and contract administration, certain goals will need to be met in order to reach project completion. The innovative process takes place between the client and the architect, including the builders, engineers, and anyone else who has a part to play in the project being a success.

In order for this to be a dynamic process, there should be open communication and open feedback between all team members. There should also be technical and design experts who can contribute to the success of the project. In many ways, the role of an architect can be compared to a conductor because the architect is the one who ensures everything is in place in order to create a masterpiece.

As a full-service architectural firm, we are here to represent you in the process of design and construction:

  • We will help you make the right decisions and address any problems that may arise.
  • We will make routine inspections and be on site to observe the construction and design progress.
  • We will also answer any questions you or the contractor may have before, during, and after construction.

We want you to be able to navigate through the process of design and construction as easily as possible, and we believe that our full-service architectural firm has what it takes to repair, preserve, and restore your building.

Contact Scott Henson Architect for more information.

Published in Adaptive Reuse

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.

Published in Restoration