Architecture: Essential Questions

Why do you need an architect to help you?

The main reason is that an architect understands architecture. Decisions and designs are only as good as the understanding used in making them. In many States, there are legal “thresholds” that establish when a licensed architect must be retained to design and manage a construction project. This means that you must, by law, hire an architect for your project if certain criteria are met. In New York State for example, these are a few of the criteria that illustrate when you must hire an architect.

You must hire an architect:

  1. For any building that is not used for farming or agricultural purposes, plus all Commercial, Health Care, Industrial, Transportation projects and all other building types except residential types listed below.
  2. For residential buildings larger than 1,500 square feet (not including garages, carports, porches, cellars or uninhabitable basements or attics).
  3. For all alterations costing $10,000.00 or more within New York City and $20,000.00 or more outside New York City if these alterations involve changes affecting structural safety or public safety of the building or structure.
  4. In Connecticut, the dollar threshold for residential construction is 3,000 square feet and $300,000.00 (Which means builders can design and build houses under these size and dollar limitations and you don’t need an architect). However, the building and insurance officials will still demand a signed and sealed set of drawings from a licensed architect to obtain an Certificate of Occupancy (C of O) and Insurance on this home. You will be better served to employ the architect rather than have a builder employ the architect because of the architect’s fiduciary responsibilities to the hiring individual. You will pay for the architect’s service in one way or another, so why not hire him directly and control the building process the way you want it, and not as a builder wants it?

What does an architect "sell" you?

  1. I “sell” creative ideas and artistic concepts that are tailored to meet your needs. I sell wisdom born from years of experience and specific knowledge of relevant laws obtained by constant training, education about the built environment plus many years of training in various offices and with diverse clients. Please keep in mind that all licensed professionals have one thing in common: they provide services for a fee, not a product. For example, the drawings and specifications that I produce are copyrighted documents, under American Copyright Law, and are given to the builder and client to build each project, individually, as a part of my service, but I own them. Traditionally, architects do NOT “bid” on design projects. Building contractors bid on the design projects that I as an architect create, as a professional service for you, my client.
  2. I provide professional services that you ask for via a written contract. The more or less service you request, the more or less money you will pay for this professional service. After all, this is the American way, you get what you pay for.
  3. I play a vital role as the building industry’s lead person to serve your genuine needs. I can turn your design idea’s into a reality, while protecting you fiscally and legally.
  4. If you are uncertain of what you need, what I can provide and what it may cost, please contact me and we can discuss your project informally to see if we will be a compatible mix with each other.

What are some of the professional services an architect can provide for you during a typical building project?

All design and construction projects have many phases and knowing what they are is one subject, having the knowledge and experience that I have to direct them through to a successful completion, is a different subject all together. The more experience you can purchase for your dollar, the better off you are and that is a fact! I have over 50 years of design experience.
There are at least 5 basic steps to any architectural design project. For this discussion I shall describe them as follows: 1.  Schematic Design, 2.  Design Development, 3.  Construction Documents, 4.  Bidding, and 5.  Construction Services. Each client project is unique and therefore it is possible that not all clients will want nor need all of these services. Please discuss this with me in some depth and I will offer you guidance on this very important subject matter.

  1. Schematic Design is the first step you and I will take together to realize your dreams. This is what architects call programming and it is the fact-gathering portion of the project where we define what is to be built. Please do not underestimate the significance of the step, because it is crucial to the successful completion of your project. This is the time that we will discuss the project requirements, such as how many rooms do you want, what functions will each of them have, who will use what and how. This is the time when you start to test the fit between what you want, what you need and what you can spend. Coming to me with solutions already determined will not help you, because then I can not give you the very best professional service you deserve. Be prepared to explore with me new and creative ideas. Please be straight up front and frank about how you want the end result to feel and work and leave the actual design to me. I will ask you many questions to get a sense of your goals and needs and to determine if your expectations match your budget. I may suggest changes based upon my knowledge, experience and your budget. After thoroughly discussing your functional requirements, I will prepare a statement outlining the scope of your project and from this we shall create an list of all the things you want or, the programming for your project. Next I will do a series of rough sketches that will show you the general arrangement of your rooms or of your site. These are not finished construction documents, but rather an aid to help all of us reach an understanding of the project physical needs and they are meant to illustrate possible approaches for you to consider. I will refine these until a solution is developed that you agree meets your needs. Then I will give you a rough preliminary estimate of the potential construction costs. Please keep in mind that there are still many more details to be established for your project and that this rough cost estimate is very general in nature and will be developed and refined in later steps. It is hard to predict market conditions, the availability of materials, and other situations that you or I can not control and therefore could drive up costs. Accordingly, this figure must include a healthy contingency (I recommend 15% minimum) to cover cost changes that arise as the design matures. Please do not panic if these first sketches appear different from what you first envisioned. Rather ask me how these designs satisfy the requirements you discussed with me in the programming stage. I can not emphasize how important it is that you and I clearly understand what you want and what it is that I intend to design. It is much easier and far more cost effective to make changes now when the project is on paper, than later on, when foundations have been poured and the building is being erected. Before we proceed to the next phase, I will request your written approval of the programming and sketches.
  2. Design Development is when I prepare more detailed drawings to illustrate other aspects of the proposed design. For example, the floor plans will show all the rooms in the correct size and shape. Outline specifications will start to be prepared listing the major materials and room finishes to assure quality and quantity, which will later become costs. I will prepare another cost estimate based upon the additional detailed information we have obtained in this phase. Please remember that final costs will actually depend on market conditions and that I neither warrant, nor guarantee any cost estimates. Only the contractor can do this for he is the only individual who purchases materials and labor for your benefit. Please consider my information as a professional “guess-ta-mate” based upon over 50 years of experience in this profession, and in this regional area. Before we proceed to the next phase, I will request your written approval again of the program and sketches.
  3. Construction Documents is where I sit down at the drawing board and draw all the required documents to fully illustrate to the builder what will be required from him. This will include a written specification list of all items and materials, level of workmanship required and project quality control measures. These will become a part of the contract between you and me, and between you and the contractor. When these documents are completed, you are ready to hire a contractor. This is also a service that I will be happy to assist you with. Before we proceed to the next phase, I will request your written approval for a third time of the drawings and specifications.
  4. Bidding is where you hire a contractor to build your project. There are numerous ways to select a reputable contractor. Perhaps you know of a contractor and you wish to have them build your project? I will be happy to send a set of the construction documents to this contractor for him to negotiate fees and costs with you. Or, we can include this contractor as a part of the selected group I will suggest to you for your consideration. I will prepare the bidding documents, which consist of the drawings and specifications as well as the invitations to bid and the instructions to all bidders. The bidding documents will then be sent to the selected individuals. They within a given period of time, must reply with bids which include the cost of building your project. The lowest bidder is not always recommended by me, but rather the most qualified firm based upon the best value to you is. Please keep in mind that while I will be happy to assist you in the selection process, the final choice is up to you. Some clients will want to speak with me about acting as their own “General Contractor” or to complete a portion of the work themselves. While this may appear like it will save you some small amount of money at first look, it is much more probable for example that, if you lack the experience and contacts of a professional contractor in today’s’ booming housing market place, you will get stung financially by a sub contractor who does not show up on schedule. His work will stop other sub contractors work and soon your project may stop. Contracting is some what like a fine ballet that must be orchestrated by a knowing and talented individual if you expect to get professional results. I will be happy to discuss this rather delicate and very important subject in confidence with any client of mine.
  5. Construction Services is the final step toward your dreams realization. This can also be a rather anxiety-producing part of the process because up until now, your project has been confined to intense discussion, planning, and two-dimensional drawings with me. When construction begins, your project moves from the abstract to reality and we gain a new team member, the builder. My responsibility and the professional assistance I can provide to you should also continue on with the construction phase, and indeed it may be imperative that it does. I will provide construction administration services that can include assisting you to hire a contractor, making site visits to check for conformance to my design documents and quality assurance issues that can arise during construction. I will review and approve the contractor’s applications for payment while keeping you informed of the project’s progress. I observe the contractor only. Please keep in mind that the contractor is solely responsible for all construction methods, means, techniques, schedules and all procedures. However, under our contract, I can speak with the legal authority of actually representing you and this means I can influence how the contractor responds to our requests, in a very positive manner. We both understand that any complicated project that demands the unique talents of a licensed professional will have lots of challenges to be met and this is why I am there. There will be hundreds of critical decisions that I can help direct you toward a cost effective resolution. This will determine how the project looks and functions over time. I can help you to avoid costly mistakes, wrong turns and decisions that do not have the professional architectural advantage of education, knowledge and experience behind them. When you are done, you will have a unique building that was created to meet your needs, express your individuality, and provide enjoyment for everyone who uses it in the future.

Why do you want an architect to help you?

  1. I look ahead, past your immediate needs when designing for you. Designing for your family’s or business’s changing needs are what in the long term sustains your project investment and individual life style. This is just a small part of what I do for you. There will be hundreds of decisions to be made and each will have a deep impact upon the end result you value so highly. Utilizing my years of education, training and experience in design, combined with my broad based knowledge of construction, I can assist you to get the most value from your investment dollar.
  2. I will sort out complex local zoning issues, building codes and site related individual concerns then organize them into a coherent and logical sequence of events to insure a successfully completed project for you. Think of me as the individual with the organization required to successfully complete your project.
  3. I, working with you, will help you design your idea of how you want to live or work in the environment, not some one else’s idea of how you should live or work. All the spaces designed will be specifically for you, not some “generic” family that does not have your particular needs. I will clarify and refine all of your individual building requirements through a process called programming. Your spatial needs and requirements will be brought into harmony with your budget and then an effective design can be produced to accommodate these.
  4. Selecting the appropriate materials and standards of workmanship will mandate longevity of your investment. Choosing energy efficient products and incorporating materials and finishes that endure and stay beautiful will save you replacement costs, energy loss and maintenance. We all know that architect designed buildings have a higher resale value, now you understand why.
  5. I protect YOUR interests and actively pursue and design methods to make the design and construction process run smoothly. Keep in mind that an architect becomes you under law as he represents your interests when speaking to builders, code officials, lawyers, insurance professionals and others. You can utilize my unique knowledge of who is a qualified contractor for your building based on your individual project needs. I will even assist you in creating a contract between you and the builder that works in harmony with all of your legal responsibilities and insures that the builder works in harmony with you.
  6. When construction begins, I can visit the site and can verify that all is being constructed as per the drawings and specifications that you approved for design, quality, finish and cost. I can monitor the construction payments to the contractor for you to insure that what the contractor invoices you for is actually installed in your building. You will get what you pay for and I will be there to assure this for you!
  7. If your site or design requirements require other specialized professional assistance, I am the perfect person to coordinate this team for you and I will do this with a written contract where all activities are documented.
  8. Lets face facts here! Building projects are very complex and expensive. There are hundreds, some times even thousands of choices to be made by you and others that will work with you so that your needs are filled to the fullest. At this level, you can not afford to make costly mistakes.
  9. When you hire me, you have already made the best first choice to help you get through this unfamiliar and confusing maze, successfully!

What will my fee for services be?

  1. There is no set fee arrangement for any particular type of project, because each and every project is unique-just as you are unique. The fee is established in a number of various manners depending on the complexity of the project, nature of services required and the duration of the project.
  2. The more common methods of compensation include: an hourly rate, a stipulated (Lump) sum based upon my compensation proposal, a stipulated sum (Lump) per unit based upon what will be built (for example by the square foot), a percentage of the end construction cost, any combination of these. I will explain in detail when I meet you how a fee is established for your individual project once the project is defined. This means I must meet you and understand what you need to accomplish first. I will not give you “ball-park” estimates over the telephone to solve your basic project curiosity, this is not professional so please do not ask me to do this.
  3. My fee is considered actually quite small and reasonable as a cost of the entire building project, including the estimated construction cost (Upon which the fee may be computed), the furnishings and all equipment, and the interest you will pay on your mortgage.
  4. When you consider the cost of your house over a 25 year period, your actual expenditure may amount to 2 and 1/2 times what you paid for the house, all the new construction, furnishings etc., including my fee. I do not think there is another licensed profession that saves you so much at such reasonable rates for service.

I offer the following architectural services:

General Questions

  • What can I as an architect do for you? I have a very broad based and unique education that is dedicated to helping you resolve your design issues. I am trained as an Interior Designer, Architect, Master Planner, Building Inspector and Forensic Architect. I will help you design what you want to build , and present you with options while watching your precious budget to insure your hard earned money is spent thoughtfully. I will create a totally functional environment because I am trained for just exactly that type of experience. When building or renovating a building, you need me to both track the big picture and understand the project in detail.
  • How early in your conceptual design process should you contact me? The earlier the better. There are so many decisions that must be made in the initial planning stages of a building project and during construction that an owner might become frustrated or confused by the process. This is my business and I have done this all of my adult life. Early decisions will determine how your spaces will function, what they will cost, and what their ultimate future value may be. It is really crucial that I have a realistic understanding of the potential and limitations of your project’s budget. Often I can suggest methods to match your goals in a practical way with your budget.
  • Do you have a problem with your home that is vexing you? I am a trained problem solver. I can show you how to increase your home’s living space in a manner that is affordable so that you do not have to move and place the children in another school. Limited budgets do not limit my imagination, but they do allow me to recommend alternate concepts to you based upon 37 years of problem solving. I can help you to decrease your home’s energy consumption while we increase the future resale of the house value through quality design.
  • What can cause a renovation project cost’s to snowball? Old or outdated systems and component parts such as existing utilities, wiring, insulation, windows and even the finishing touches such as drapes, carpeting, artwork and furniture can cause a project cost’s to snowball. I can help you to plan building cost efficiency into your project, by setting parameters early in the renovation process to control costs.
  • Have you considered an alteration that includes spaces that serve a dual function? Many rooms can serve a dual function with the proper planning and design input. Consider an at home office that is also a guest bedroom. I have the knowledge and experience to illustrate the possibilities to you.
  • Can I see through the walls and know all of your homes potential problems? No I cannot and I am not named Clark Kent. But I can help you to understand and “see” how you will use the space you want to create via your alteration or renovation. Under the floors and behind the walls can and often do lie potential problems that involve outdated wiring that can not support the increased power demands of our electronic society. Perhaps your new kitchen or master bath suite will require massive rerouting or replacement of existing plumbing. Maybe a weak foundation should be reinforced to carry the additional weight of your new proposed addition. I will take all of these items and more into consideration when assessing your particular situation and then develop a design to avoid costly surprises later when the building is under construction.
  • Is an alteration or remodel of your home disruptive to your family? It was very disruptive to my family when we renovated our home, however we were fully aware of the positive gains and the many positive major improvements to our lives that these changes would make. Was it worth it? Sure! Not only did we gain a better understanding of the building process as you will experience it, but we learned and enjoyed our own growth as people while we were actively resolving construction problems daily. Keep in mind that building is a long process that is done by hand and it can be messy or disruptive. Please know that during this activity I represent you and not the contractors. I am your advocate who looks after your interests and can smooth the way through a complex process. I can even help you find qualified contractors, visit your construction site and protect your investment against work that is not according to my plans.
  • How much architectural experience is needed for residential design? A residential home is the easiest of all buildings an architect will design and for many, it is the first they do design. This is where many in the profession receive their training and experience when they start. Obviously, the more experience any individual has the better. Experienced architects have had more time to correct mistakes and then learn from them so that they do not repeat designs that do not work. Proven ability takes time and the more time any professional has invested into their art, the more competent and creative they will be. I have 37 years of design experience which is now more than many of my client’s are old.
  • Is architectural design for residential projects different from other architectural design? Yes and no. The process of design is the same for residential projects as for commercial or any other design project. However, the direct personal involvement with people and their lives is very different. In commercial design you are often dealing with construction professionals such as bankers, insurance agents, real estate developers etc., who make their living within the construction industry. In residential design you are often dealing with families who have never worked with an architect before in their lives, so an essential element becomes teaching the family about architecture and what architect’s do for them.
  • Am I considered your adviser and agent as your architect? Yes I am. This is a very unique role in all of the licensed professions. I become your architectural voice and speak with all the power and force of the law when I represent you to a contractor or others. I will advise you if your project is on schedule, if the quality of materials and workmanship is what was specified, and even check the contractors invoices if this is a service you want. I will make sure the contractor does not get paid until I am happy that the contractor has fulfilled all his obligations to you.
  • What information can you bring to our first meeting? Well, how about all of your notes, collected magazine articles, and sketches of your ideas, as well as any existing documentation such as property survey maps and existing architectural drawings. Bring everything you believe will help to show me what it is that you like. Then tell me in detail about your daily routines, how you function now and how you want to function in the future. Tell me what you love and what you hate.
  • Do you need a “specialist” for your project? If you are contemplating an Historical Restoration project, it would be well to consider what level of restoration you will proceed too. There are basically 3 different types and they are very different from one another in how they are executed, the cost, time to complete and tradesmen available to finish the work. The first is to use the actual materials and tools to reproduce exactly what was done hundreds of years ago. The second is to reproduce the look of years ago but to use modern materials and tools. The third is to creatively “interpret” the feeling of older buildings fitting them into the demands of modern settings.
  • Why may a “general practitioner” be better for your needs? A general practitioner by his very training has had to solve problems that a specialist may never encounter in his career. Please keep in mind that architecture is at the root level a problem solving profession and you are looking for an individual who has the experience to solve your “type” of problem. Now look again closely at my broad basis of experience and you should be contacting me.
  • What information should you know about me? Ask and I will answer. Obviously the more architectural experience I have, the more you will gain from it.
  • Is a contract with an architect necessary? Yes! Any person who is going to be in charge of how hundreds of thousands of your dollars are going to be spent should have a written contract with you explaining in detail the steps, methods and procedures he will take.
  • Why is an AIA contract considered to be “The Bible” of the construction industry? A.I.A. (American Institute of Architects) contracts represent the current consensus among construction industry leaders representing owners, contractors, engineers, architects and government officials to name only a few. Issues important to you are covered in clear and easy to understand language. A.I.A. contracts are universally accepted as the fairest and best.
  • Can I help you to select an qualified contractor? Yes! I work with many very well known and respected contractors whose abilities and reputations have been built over generations. In many cases we share working relationships which help to promote understanding, trust, reliability and quality workmanship. However, if you wish to use a particular contractor, I can help you to determine if he can give you the best value in terms of his reputation, expertise, quality of work and reliability. I can use a standard AIA form (A305) which must be notarized and sworn to for accuracy, to help evaluate his background, history, references and financial stability.
  • Should an architect know basic business procedures? Sure. If he does not know the basics, how will he protect your investment? Keep in mind that I am in the business of architecture and I said business before I said architecture. My business is dependent upon knowing many laws, concepts, creative ideas and good old common sense–just like you.
  • Do I know all the answers to your questions? Not yet I don’t. I may not know all the answers but I do know the correct questions to ask you. For example, how many rooms do you need? Why? How do you envision your home functioning? Why? What are your tastes? How long do you plan to live here? Will you work at home? How much will you entertain at home? In what room do you spend the majority of you time? How much time are you willing to invest in maintenance of your new home? Should we be discussing a maintenance free environment? One of the joys of my creative personality is the learning process I experience with each new client.
  • Can I help you to control project costs? Yes. By setting design quality parameters early in the process, we will control costs before you ever start construction.
  • Do you need a “custom” house designed for your unique needs? Sometimes your needs are specialized and warrant a building designed expressly for them. I can be of assistance to you. Keep in mind that for any given location that even custom designed residences should be consistent with the real estate values of the surrounding neighborhood. Advise me if you want to make the home more livable to your needs or are you making it more salable to the next owner.
  • Do I make “house calls”? Yes I do. As a Doctor must see his patient to diagnose what the problem may be, I must see my patient also and this is of course the building. Remember that architects are not named Superman and we can not see through a building wall and we can not see a building over a telephone line as you try and describe it to me. I must see your building to understand it and all of its unique potential. Keep in mind that many architects (depending on what state they are licensed in) are also licensed mechanical, electrical and plumbing engineers. This means that I will come and look at all the systems and components of a building to understand their existing condition before any decisions about change can be contemplated. I will perform a brief but quite thorough building inspection with you and explain what I see as potential deficiencies as we look. Then we can discuss changes, alterations, additions, tear downs etc.
  • Do I charge for house calls? Yes! The common thread that runs through all professionals is that they charge for their time. Time is money, for me and for you. This is my business and it is run that way. A typical house call takes me one hour to prepare a custom booklet for your information and benefit, then a 1 hour drive each way to your house and then at least 2 hours in your home to inspect and understand what it is that you wish to accomplish. I have therefore invested an average of 5 hours of my business time, which is more than 1/2 of any business day. I will charge you an hourly rate for my time spent at your house only.
  • What happens to the money I charge for this initial house call? If you sign a contract with me for architectural services, this amount of money will be credited against your account from the initial retainer check. You loose nothing and gain a great deal of information about resolving your unique problem.
  • What can you expect to learn from me on this first house call? What the actual existing conditions of your home are now. What the potential is for alterations, expansions, renovations etc. What the potential costs may be. What time frame is involved to complete your unique concepts. An honest assessment as to whether this is an realistic project for your undertaking at this time. I know that the more knowledgeable that my clients are, the more likely they are to participate fully in the whole process and then really enjoy the benefits of a collaborative effort.

Project Listing

  • Nelson Rockefeller, West Texas. Project designer of a 7,000 acre animal preserve, retreat and private home with all roads, building complexes and a private airstrip with Peter Ogden, AIA.
  • Woolworth Family, Kennebunkport, Maine. Project designer with other architects for all landscaping and exterior lighting while working with landscape architect A.E. Bye.
  • Fauser Family, Surry Lane, North Salem, N.Y. Consulting architect with T.J. Costello, AIA for swimming pool barn building and complex with extensive site alterations.
  • Patterson Family, Maple Avenue, Hastings-on-Hudson, N.Y. 1,800 S.F. Victorian Addition for a Handicapped Sr. Citizen.
  • Gagliardo Family, Rhinecliff Rd., Patterson, N.Y. 2,000 S.F. Modern Addition.
  • Burger Family, Ardsley, N.Y. 1,800 S.F. Renovation.
  • Drysdale Family, Honeywells Road, New Rochelle, N.Y. 1,050 S.F. Dutch Colonial Addition.
  • Widman Family, Woodhollow Lane, Eastchester, N.Y. 1,100 S.F. Addition to Modern Home.
  • Warhit, Lake Shore Drive, Mount Kisco, N.Y. 1,000 S.F. Addition to Modern Home.
  • Ling Family, Cottage Road, Yorktown, N.Y. 2,280 S.F. Addition to Early American Home.
  • Berry Family, Adams Road, Mamaroneck, N.Y. 1,800 S.F. Alteration to an Early American Home.
  • Bloom Family, Rushmore Avenue, Mamaroneck, N.Y. 800 S.F Entrance Addition.
  • Van Horn, Dean. Court Street, Rutherford, N.J. 1,000 S.F. Addition to Early American Home.
  • Weeks Family, High View Avenue Old Greenwich, Conn. 1,800 S.F. Addition to Colonial Home.
  • Summers Family, Sugarloaf Mountain Road, New Fairfield, Conn. 1,400 S.F. Alteration.
  • Reed Farm, Westchester, N.Y. (Project manager, 400 Condo units-with another architect-Nadler Philopena, AIA.)
  • The Classic, Stamford, Conn. (Project manager, 7 story retail/residential building, by Caspi Development Co.-with another architect-Nadler Philopena, AIA.)
  • The Classic, Hartsdale, N.Y. (Project manager, 24 Condo units By Caspi Development Co.-with another architect-Nadler Philopena, AIA.)
    Fieldstone Pond, Putnam County, N.Y. (Project designer, 450 Condo units-with another architect-Nadler Philopena, AIA.)
  • The Woodlands Townhouses, Hartsdale, N.Y. (Project manager, 26 Condo units-with another architect-Nadler Philopena, AIA.)
    Copley Court, Briarcliff Manor, N.Y. (Project manager, 275 Condo units by Savoy Development Corp.-with another architect-Nadler Philopena, AIA.)
  • Harbour Landing, New Haven, Conn. (Project manager, 125 Condo units-with another architect-Nadler Philopena, AIA.)
  • Greencroft, New Rochelle, N.Y. (Project manager, three story residential condo building by Savoy Development Corp, -with another architect-Nadler Philopena, AIA.)
  • Prestwick, Hendricks County, Indiana. Planned Unit Development Company. (Project architect for planning 3,300 homes in 12 phases with Townhouse Deluxe, Townhouse Economy, Patio, Zero Lot Line, Single Family Clustered, and Single Family Lots. Located on 650 acres, with 292 in open space, 313 in residential, 34 in commercial and 11 in utility–with Maitland Strauss Architects.)
  • Country Communities Inc., Butler County, Ohio. (Project architect for planning of 7,177 dwellings units located on 826 acres. 478 acres in residential, 288 acres in open space and 60 acres in commercial with Maitland Strauss Architects.)
  • Keystone at the Crossing, Indianapolis, Indiana. (Project architect for a major regional 285 acre shopping center with 105 acres of retail, 24 acres of attached, single and multi-family housing, and 156 acres of open space-with Maitland Strauss Architects.)
  • Maplebrook Townhouses, Yorktown, N.Y. (Project manager, 50 Condo units-with another architect-Maitland Strauss).

General Questions

  • Why do you need an architect to help you? The answer is the same for Commercial projects as for Residential projects, because the law say’s you must hire an architect! This is not capricious, there are dozens of laws and reasons involved, they all deal with the following issues; life safety and life welfare of the public at large. Architects are licensed by special education, extreme testing, long training periods and adherence to some of the most complex laws in America so that the Public will be safe.
  • Can you learn more working with me? Yes. And so can I learn from you, because at the heart of any successful project is a trusting and strong relationship backed up by a contract and facts. I understand that the more knowledgeable you are about what I do, and visa versa, the more we will fully participate in the proceeds and enjoy the obvious benefits of our collaborative effort.
  • How early should I be involved with your project? The earlier the better. No matter if you are going to expand or adapt your current building to a new use or build a brand new structure, this will represent a sizable investment for you that will affect the efficiency and productivity of your company for many years. Smart owners know that they can maximize their investment in construction by consulting me early. Early involvement is the key here.
  • What can I help you to accomplish early in the project? I can help you to design the whole project and provide meaningful guidance for current and future design with costs, before you have committed to spend your money. I can provide site studies, zoning studies, help with the approval process, and provide many other subtle influences by just understanding your business, better. The more I know about your business, the more creative solutions may be developed and this could lead to an even more productive and efficient business for you.
  • With whom will you be dealing directly? Me! If a project is large enough for me to need additional assistance, I will hire fully trained and capable professionals to produce your buildings technical documents.
  • Is this the same person who will be designing your project? Yes, I will be the designer and individual responsible for all actions of Cromlech Architect, P.C.
  • What is my design philosophy?
    I understand that commercial design is based upon helping the business community to make a profit through intelligent and tasteful architectural design that is cost effective, timely and meets unique client goals. Building types may vary, good business judgement does not.
  • I have been designing solutions to commercial opportunities for many years. Buildings I work on can be High Rise buildings with publishing corporations that occupy many floors of a mid-town Manhattan location or a single story Car Wash in the suburbs. Each has an individual need to fulfill for it’s business requirements and each has an unique opportunity for me to find it’s optimum design solution. These buildings represent a challenge for the Owner, Leasing Principal, Insurance Agent and Architect. We form the Owners team, all aware of the assistance each can provide the other to reach a successful resolution to a construction problem.
  • I produce designs that are tailored to solve others peoples problems. Each problem I deal with is unique and so are the design solutions I create. I am not Frank Lloyd Wright and you will not be able to identify my work and say, “Hey look guys, there is another Dale Paegelow designed building!” If you are interested in an creative individual solution for your unique needs backed with substance and old fashioned business knowledge, contact me.

Representative Projects:

  • Renovation of Montvale. N.J Honda Dealership.
  • Design of DCH Corporate Headquarters in Sayerville, N.J.
  • Renovation of architects office with all staffing, telecommunication, furniture and future expansion requirements.
  • Entrance Renovation, Phillips Technical Center, Briarcliff Manor, N.Y. Architect-Design for ultra hi-tech entrance to research facility.
  • T.J. Max Renovation, Hartsdale, N.Y. Architect-Design for total renovation and expansion of 120,000 S.F. commercial store.
  • 92nd Street “Y” New York, N.Y. Designed 65,000 S.F. of office and client user spaces with another architect–Maxwell Glantz, RA.
  • The Classic, Stamford, Conn. Project manager, 7 story retail/residential building, by Caspi Development Co.–with another architect–Nadler Philopena, AIA.
  • Sugar Ridge Townhouses, Houston, Texas Designer, 150, two story cast in place concrete units with another architect–Stephen Winter & Assoc.
  • Weyerhauser Corporation, Baltimore, Maryland Designer, stacking mass produced -modular housing units–with another architect–Stephen Winter & Assoc.
  • Sotheby Parke Bernet Inc., York at 71st Street, New York N.Y. Project manager for the total renovation of the old five story Kodak film warehouse into this premier auction house headquarters building with another architect–Lundquist-Stonehill, AIA.
  • Warner Lambert, Morris Plains, N.J. Designed corporate headquarters building for Chairman and President of the 92nd largest company in the world. Contains reception/art gallery/garden on first floor and executive offices above. 15,000 S.F. Staff designer.
  • Citibank, N.Y.C. Project Manager for the total overhaul of 286 bank branches in 14 months for the installation of the automated teller Machine (ATM), which myself and four other architects had developed for Citibank.
  • V.R.H. Development Company River Road, Edgewater, N.J. Designed 5 story office building, 37,500 S.F. -with another architect–John Bratichak.
  • Harcourt Brace Jovanavich Inc., 1111 Fifth Avenue, New York, N.Y. Designed 300,000 S.F. of office space with another architect–John Bratichak.
  • Northwest Orient–Hanger, Kennedy Airport Queens, N.Y. Designed 400,000 S.F. roof renovation with another architect-John Bratichak.
    John N. Bratichak, 101 Park Avenue, New York, N.Y. Designed total Renovation of architects penthouse office.
    Munich American Reinsurance Co., Chicago, Illinois Designed and developed standards for all office sizes, materials, furnishings colors etc. on a nation wide basis. This was over 600,000 S.F. of space with another architect–R. Markantonio, AIA.

General Questions

  • Can I as a single practicing architect design health care facilities? Yes, as you will see from the list of completed projects of mine below, I have!
  • Can I as a single practitioner “team up” with another office of architects who have specialized knowledge of some particular area of health care? Yes again! I have done this myself. I am expected to hire the best consultants available for my client if I do not know about a particular specialized subject matter. The consultant is hired for this specialized knowledge, such as a specialist who just designs MRI rooms in a hospital.
  • Will I as a single practitioner bring you better service than a larger firm? I will bring you a more personalized service. I will bring you an answer direct from my knowledge, promptly and you will not be asked to wait for some third party to get back to you as is common in larger firms. If you want and enjoy direct contact with people you rely upon, this may be a more comfortable path for you to follow.
  • Does a single practitioner offer less potential communication problems? In my opinion, yes. I have helped to run firms that are some of the largest in the country and it is just a fact of life that a single practitioner is easier to find and speak to than searching for that “one” in a firm of 4,500.
  • Are Nursing Homes, Day Care Centers and Half Way Homes considered health care projects in the same way as Hospitals? Sure. The same laws cover all of these facilities for design and construction, the State Health Codes.
  • Are these challenging projects for me as an architect? Yes they are very challenging for me and they are also one of the more emotionally rewarding projects I can design. Knowing that what I do will have a direct positive effect on some other individuals life truly causes me to pause and smile. I have been thanked personally by patients’ in a renial dialysis ward that I designed, for helping to save their life’s. Now really, wouldn’t you smile too?

Health care facilities are among our most important building type and all of us will at one time or another need to use them. They are also among the most heavily legislated and protected building types that an architect can design. There are laws that govern every design aspect of a health care facility, from room size to the number of bedrooms allowed, to what type of service the hospital will provide overall. Each health care facility is uniquely designed to meet a Community or Regional need after approval by the State Board of Health. In New York State for example, a whole section of the state law that consists of 11 books of code, are written just for this subject, health care.

I have many years of experience working for other architects while I was in training, designing health care facilities. Since opening my own practice, I have continued to work in this very complex and rewarding area of my profession while understanding fully that this is indeed a specialized area of architectural design requiring constant review of the latest codes, medical improvements and community needs.

Listing of completed projects:

  • Westchester Medical Center Complex. White Plains, N.Y. (Project architect in association with another architect ( Sal Vasi, AIA) for complete ADA study, cost analysis, working drawings & specifications and supervision of contract documents and construction at three major buildings.)
  • Westchester County Building. White Plains, N.Y. (Project architect in association with another architect (Sal Vasi, AIA) for complete ADA study, cost analysis, working drawings & specifications and supervision of contract documents and construction at main County Exhibit Building.)
  • Renovation and Alterations, Martha Lawrence Day Care Center, Peekskill, N.Y. (Principal Architect of 30,000 S.F. renovation of a old school into the largest Day Care Center in New York State. Meets all ADA requirements.)
  • Physical Survey “MRI” Building, St. Francis Hospital, North Street, Poughkeepsie, N.Y. (Principal Architect-Survey to confirm compliance with all NY State Board of Health and ADA requirements.)
    Alterations and Expansion to Renal Dialysis Unit, St. Francis Hospital,
  • North Street, Poughkeepsie, N.Y. (Principal Architect of 10,000 S.F. alteration, while patient care continued, and additional sky lighted waiting room was created on a roof top area. Meets all ADA requirements.)
  • ETO Certification of Main Sterilizing Rooms, St. Francis Hospital, North Street, Poughkeepsie, N.Y. (Principal Architect of new system to bring ETO emissions into compliance with new international laws for toxic gas dispersal into the air. Meets all ADA requirements.)
  • Central Sterile Supply Alterations, St. Francis Hospital, North Street, Poughkeepsie, N.Y. (Principal Architect of 450% increase to the sterilization capability of the Central Sterile Unit. Meets all ADA requirements.)
  • Replacement of Emergency Underground Fuel System, St. Francis Hospital, North Street, Poughkeepsie, N.Y. (Principal Architect of special concrete fuel tanks, gas and diesel, consisting of three 10,000 gallon #4 oil tanks, one 6,000 gallon #2 oil tank, one 2,000 gallon diesel oil and Gasoline tank (split down center) for an state of the art, remote fill, above ground storage system meeting all the latest NYS-DEC and Federal requirements requirements.)
  • Replacement of Emergency Underground Fuel System, St. Francis, Hospital–Beacon, Beacon, N.Y. (Principal Architect of special 10,000 gallon #4 oil tank above ground storage system and creating a dual oil/gas capability for the boilers meeting all the latest NYS-DEC and Federal requirements.)
  • Study for Alterations to accommodate Mobile Lithotripter Unit, St. Francis Hospital North Street, Poughkeepsie, N.Y. (Principal Architect of special building to accommodate “semi-trailer, MRI mobile unit”. Meets all ADA requirements.)
  • Pediatric/Rehabilitation Evaluation Study, St. Francis Hospital, North Street, Poughkeepsie, N.Y. (Principal Architect–Study for expansion capabilities and ADA compliance.)
  • Community Residence, Pawling, N.Y. New York State DHCR. (Principal Architect of the total conversion of single family housing unit into multi-family housing for emotionally challenged out patients of the Hudson Valley Psychiatric Hospital.)
  • Flushing Hospital Medical Center/Parsons Division, Flushing N.Y. (Project manager for a 50,000 S.F. total redesign and renovation of a four story, 100 bed hospital, including all Plumbing, Electric, H.V.A.C., Mechanical, Medical gases, Boilers, Roofs, Kitchen, Cafeteria, Patient rooms plus all medical areas -with Architecture for Health, Science & Commerce.)
  • Total “GUT” Renovation and Alteration, Parsons Medical Facility, Flushing Medical Center, Parsons Blvd. and 45th Street, Flushing, N.Y. (Architect for Gut–Renovation of 120 bed teaching hospital, including all gases, electric, plumbing, electric, HVAC, energy conservation devices, interior design, wards, operating suites, kitchen etc. Meets all ADA requirements – with Architecture for Health, Science & Commerce.)
    Out Patient Day Care Center, Nyack, N.Y. New York State Facilities Development Corp. (Designer of the total conversation of 2,000 S.F. retail store on two floors into a medical treatment center for drug rehabilitation – with Schoefield Cogan Architects.)
  • Out-patient Day Care Center, Nyack Plaza, Nyack, N.Y. (Designer of 20,000 S. F. Drug and Substance Abuse Center in concourse area of Main Street building – with Schoefield Cogan Architects.)
    Alterations to Operating Suites, Phelps Memorial Hospital, Route 9 North, North Tarrytown, N.Y. (Designer of new HVAC and lighting system – with Schoefield Cogan Architects.)
  • Alterations and Renovations, Ruth Taylor Psychiatric Center, Valhalla, N.Y. (Designer with other architects of Gut–Renovation of over 200,000 S. F. of hospital wards with Schoefield Cogan Architects.)
  • Rehabilitation of Cottages # 42, 43, 44, and 45, Letchworth Development Center, Thiells, N.Y. (Designer for all maintenance alterations and general up-dates to kitchen and bath room units – with Schoefield Cogan Architects.)
  • Nyack Seminary College, South Boulevard, Nyack, N.Y. (Project architect for the alteration of administrative building and dormitory facilities. 3 buildings of about 90,000 S.F. total -with Schoelfield Colgan Architects)
    Nyack Seminary College, South Boulevard, Nyack, N.Y. (Project architect for the total redesign and rehabilitation of a 4,964 S.F. church and rectory with Schoelfield Colgan Architects.)
  • Ruth Taylor Institute, Psychiatric Center, Valhalla, N.Y. County of Westchester, (Project designer of a 500,000 S.F. total renovation of all patient and professional staff and visitor areas in a four story, 75 year old building -with Schoefield Cogan Architects.)
  • Letchworth Development Center, Thiells, N.Y. New York State Facilities Development Corp. (Project designer for the rehabilitation’s of serving areas in “cottages” 42,43, 44 and 45, the kitchens, dining and bath areas, of about 10,000 S.F. with -Schoefield Cogan Architects)
  • Phelps Memorial Hospital, North Tarrytown, N.Y. (Designer of alterations to main operating and X-ray suite, consisting about 10,000 S.F. with -Schoefield Cogan Architects)
  • Community Residence, Strawtown Road, New City, N.Y. New York State Facilities Development Corp. (Designer of the total conversion of 4 single family housing units into multi-family housing for drug rehabilitation – with Schoefield Cogan Architects.)

General Questions

  • What is considered as an Institutional building? Schools, Banks, Office Buildings, Colleges, Courthouses, Fire Stations, Post Offices, Military Installations, Libraries, Restaurants, Recreational Facilities, Religious Facilities, Shopping Centers, Theaters, Government Facilities, Museums. These are all the “core” buildings that a community must have to support the citizens.
  • Can I as a single practicing architect design Institutional facilities? Yes, as you will see from the list of completed projects of mine below, I have! However it is also true that I have worked within a team environment in other firms on large Institutional projects and I have worked for the Government as well.
  • Can I as a single practitioner “team up” with another office of architects who have specialized knowledge of some particular area of Institutional design? Yes again! I have done this myself. I am expected to hire the best consultants available for my client if I do not know about a particular specialized subject matter. The consultant is hired for this specialized knowledge, such as a specialist who just designs programming for a Post Office, or the individual who knows more than any one else about tunnel ceiling ventilation systems.
  • Will I as a single practitioner bring you better service than a larger firm? I will bring you a more personalized service. I will bring you an answer direct from my knowledge, promptly and you will not be asked to wait for some third party to get back to you as is common in larger firms. If you want and enjoy direct contact with people you rely upon, this may be a more comfortable path for you to follow.
  • Are Institutional projects unique in their structure? You bet they are. Just talk to a Federal Judge about how he wants a Court House designed and you will see first hand what a demanding client is all about! Or what about a Post Office where every part of the building is really just a piece of a pre designed puzzle that you have to constantly reassemble into new forms. All Institutional projects carry with them a unique programing structure and set of spatial demands as a building that exist only for this one building type.
    Are these challenging projects for me as an architect? Sure they are. Any time you have the opportunity to help shape a communities identity and improve the way it’s citizens can live you have done a good days work by any standard.

General Questions

  • Who would hire a single practitioner architect to design transportation facilities? Some relavant industries might include; taxi, limosine trucks, buses, airplanes, boats etc. plus other architects who need my specialized knowledge. They have hired me as a special consultant for their projects because it really is true that “good help is hard to find”. Please look below at the listing of my projects.
  • What type of projects do I have experience with? I have designed many transportation related facilities, including airports terminals, bus terminals, parking facilities, hangers, maintenance facilities, signage and toll booths, over all site design, bridge facilities, tunnel facilities, subway facilities.
  • How would this experience be of value to other types of projects, such as commercial or residential projects? All american architectural projects include some input of traffic patterns, vehicle size, turning radius, parking space requirements. The more I know, the more benefit via carry over value my client’s will be rewarded with.
  • Is this type of work generally called “Public Work”? Yes and no, but it can be very expensive. Airport facilities now commonly cost Billions of dollars to build and every one seems to agree that we need more of them.

Listing of Projects

  • Westchester Community Airport, White Plains, N.Y. (Project manager for the design of new terminal and parking structure for 2,500 cars -with Arnold Thompson, AIA.)
  • University of Illinois Airport, Champaign/Urbana, Illinois. (Project architect for the design for new terminal, parking lots, signage and all exterior site lighting – with Arnold Thompson, AIA.)
  • Philadelphia International Airport, Philadelphia, Pa. (Project architect for the new terminal design, road way lay out and parking facility design in conjunction – with DMJM and Arnold Thompson, AIA.)
  • John Wayne Airport, Orange County, California. (Project architect for new terminal, parking and road system design -with Arnold Thompson, AIA.)
  • Haiti National Airport, Port A Prince, Haiti. (Project architect for the design of terminal, parking and road system expansion and renovation -with Arnold Thompson, AIA.)
  • Jacksonville Airport, Jacksonville, Florida. (Project architect for the new terminal, parking structure and road system -with Arnold Thompson, AIA.)
  • Basic Utility Airport Feasibility Site Selection Study, Brookhaven, N.Y. (Project manager to locate site for small airport within county of Brookhaven and establish costs to purchase and develop land- with Max Urbahn, FAIA.)
  • Port Authority of New York and New Jersey, Newark International Airport, Newark, N.J. (Designed alterations to Terminal “C”, alterations to Airport Administration, Police, Crash, Fire, Rescue Building, alterations to terminal “B” -Staff designer.)
  • Port Authority of New York and New Jersey, JFK International Airport, Queens, N.Y. (Designed International Arrivals Building cafeteria renovation, main passenger entrance area renovation, Parking lots toll booth renovations, Site overhead road graphics program, Police/Crash/fire/Rescue renovation and architectural interface at the 150th Street and Sunrise Highway cloverleaf entrance to the airport -Staff designer.)
  • Port Authority of New York and New Jersey, La Guardia Airport, Queens, N.Y. (Designed renovations to all parking lots, toll booths and roadway signage, designed alterations to Butler Aviation hanger and the old F.A.A. building, designed alterations to Eastern Airlines Terminal, designed alterations to Main Terminal, and Police Station -Staff designer.)
    Port Authority of New York and New Jersey, George Washington Bridge Bus Terminal, New York, N.Y. (Designed the total renovation of the two main passenger lobbies, and Police Station -Staff designer.)
  • Port Authority of New York and New Jersey, Holland Tunnel, New York, N.Y. (Designed, with three other architects, the Replacement Test Ceiling Contract, a one hundred million dollar job -Staff designer.)
    Port Authority of New York and New Jersey, Port Authority Trans Hudson System, (PATH) (Task leader, Architect for the total renovation of the Christopher and 9th Street Subway Stations.)
  • Port Authority of New York and New Jersey, George Washington Bridge Toll Plaza, Fort Lee N.J. (Project Architect for the total renovation of all the toll facilities, and Police Station.)
  • Port Authority of New York and New Jersey, Goethels Bay Bridge, Staten Island, N.Y. (Project Architect for the renovation of the toll plaza, and Police Station.)
  • Port Authority of New York and New Jersey (Designed new cargo building, Newark International Airport, Newark, N.J. 40,000 S.F.- Staff Architect.)
  • Port Authority of New York and New Jersey, World Trade Center Complex, New York, N.Y. (Building components including building envelope and windows.-Staff Architect.)
  • Port Authority of New York and New Jersey, Journal Square Transportation Center, Jersey City, N.J. (Police Department Training Academy, building envelope and windows -Staff Architect.)
  • Port Authority of New York and New Jersey, Newark International Airport, Newark, N.J. (Terminal “B” building envelope, Police/Crash/Fire/Rescue Building envelope and windows -Staff Architect.)
  • Port Authority of New York and New Jersey, JFK International Airport, Queens, N.Y. (International Arrivals Building envelope and windows -Staff Architect.)
  • Port Authority of New York and New Jersey, La Guardia Airport, Queens, N.Y. (Main Terminal Building envelope and windows -Staff Architect.)
    Port Authority of New York and New Jersey, George Washington Bridge Bus Terminal, New York, N.Y. (Building envelope and windows -Staff Architect.)
  • Port Authority of New York and New Jersey Lincoln Tunnel Administration Building, Weehawken, N.J. (Project architect for a study of the expansion/relocation and /or/ renovation and addition to existing facility including; all administrative functions, Police Department and jail, Fire Department, tolls, maintenance, cafeterias, emergency response, and storage facilities. This was about 350,000 S.F.)
  • La Guardia Airport, Queens, N.Y. Staff architect at Port Authority of New York & New Jersey for 5 years, worked on all aspects of airport; from parking terminals, to roads, to passenger terminals, to hangers, to run-ways, to signage & graphics.
  • JFK International Airport, Queens, N.Y. Staff architect at Port Authority of New York & New Jersey for 5 years, worked on all aspects of airport; from parking terminals, to roads, to passenger terminals, to hangers, to run-ways, to signage & graphics.
  • Newark International Airport, Newark, N.J. Staff architect at Port Authority of New York & New Jersey for 5 years, worked on all aspects of airport; from parking terminals, to roads, to passenger terminals, to hangers, to run-ways, to signage & graphics.
  • N.Y.C. Transit Authority Headquarters, 43rd and Madison Avenue, New York, N.Y. (Project Manager for contract documents for 160,000 S.F. of office space.-with another architect -Henry Meltzer, R.A.)
  • Northwest Orient-Hanger, Kennedy Airport Queens, N.Y. (Designed 400,000 S.F. roof renovation with another architect -John Bratichak.)