Just add water: architecture startups!

Unintentional Design Build
August 19, 2014, 5:58 pm
Filed under: Startup

I’m currently working on an interiors project in a Tudor style 1930s building. and like most renovations, there’s a period where you open up the walls and you start seeing the ghosts of past renovations. The walls start to resemble the cross-section of a gobstopper — ten layers of random wallpaper, paint, plaster layers upon plaster layers, random buildups for no apparent reason, cavities that you never suspected existed, and not to mention the relics of dumbwaiters and other things….it’s pretty fun until you realize that your design has more potential to graft into those spaces and you’re suddenly surveying the existing conditions AGAIN and AGAIN, while trying to figure out where your workpoints are.  *oof!*  These renovations are difficult because usually there’s no existing drawings and even worse, when you do have a sense of what is, you end up discovering new things as you open up the walls.  I guess this is all part and parcel for renovations…


The real issue that I’m encountering is not the (re)discovery period during demo, but the compound effect of clients who constantly change things during construction. It’s extremely difficult. At the time of construction documents, I had strongly emphasized like a good bartender, “last call”…they silently nodded in agreement.  But here we are, half-way through construction and each day is a new adventure.  A new “idea” for this…or that… It’s starting to feel like an unintentional design build, and while I’m trying to herd these clients towards reason, it’s been difficult because in the end, architecture is a service industry and no one wants to hear “no, you can’t do that.” 


Fingers crossed we make it through this construction alive!


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