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Monday, March 26, 2007

Question: A good architect for a small job?

Another good question came into DB Central, and I would like to throw it out to the crowd. It's a long one, but if you're familiar with architects in the city, you may be able to help Pete out.


I stumbled upon your blog page while surfing Boston design and architecture on the web. We seem to have quite a bit in common as far as taste and interests. I found your writings very entertaining.

I was wondering if you could help me, since thus far I have been unsuccessful. Maybe you could share any information you know of with me, or possibly write and article after some investigation.

I purchased a loft here and looking to do a build-out in it. I would like to have someone look at and advise me on my ideas, possibly suggest changes and ideas of their own. I think I have a good eye and know I have a definite concept in mind, but I also know there is quite a difference between amateur design and professionally schooled architects. I would guess from there, the architect would use an engineer to make those concepts into plans that then, a builder would use to make these ideas into reality.

And here, then, is my dilemma. The architects that seem to cater to my style and have websites to see their work all seem to be high-end level firms. Only one has returned a call or inquiry and although that one was informative, they did not really seem to want to take on a small job, and moreso, someone who wasn't offering them "carte-blanche", which I cannot, unfortunately.

I'm pretty handy with basic building skills, I've renovated two properties before, so I'm looking for design guidance and plans for the large structural elements and contractors to execute them, and then I could do the finish work in my spare time. Meaning, the architect would meld or revise my plans with theirs, advise on the details and materials, have plans made for the builder of the loft platforms and stairs (and fire sprinkler modifications created by them), run rough electrical and I could do the rest. I would also like to have a time line to do this work in the 2 months before I move in...

So, here is the question... How do I, or is it possible, to find a "new-grad" or struggling architect who works in the style I am seeking, that will work with me in a more non-traditional manner and has connections for contractors. Is there a resource guide for new architects working to establish a reputation and referrals that take on work like I desire? How would I know if they specialize in the style and work I seek? Any ideas? Maybe you have someone in mind?

Also, a friend suggested maybe finding a builder that deals in loft work and possibly they have an architect that they work with in conjunction. What do you think of this idea?

I appreciate any advice you can offer. If you need any additional information, feel free to contact me.

Thank you in advance for your response.


Pete, thanks for writing. I would recommend giving Daniel Sugarman a call. Having seen the pictures of his own loft, I would say he's a great pick. Here is his contact info:

Daniel Sugarman Design

Does anyone else have any suggestions?


Chris Grimley said...

we are a young firm in the South End who are all 'graduates' of a big-name international boutique firm, also in the south end. They did Atelier 505. We are looking for good clients.

And we just finished writing a book on interiors.

call or email!

chris grimley

supergrl said...

I am an architect in Boston, I work for a small design firm downtown and am interested in finding wonderful projects to work on on the side or in conjunction with my office. I have contacts with great builders in the south end and I am excited to take on any new challenges. I can email my resume, and personal work samples.