Architects @WJMArchitect And @FrankCunhaIII Respond to ILMA Fan’s Questions “ASK THE ARCHITECT”

Greetings and hope you are staying cool this summer!  Here are some of our favorite responses from Bill and Frank to fans’ questions over the years.

  1. What Are The 10 Most Unusual Things You Have Been Asked to Design so far? Answered by @WJMArchitect
  2. What Should I look For When Hiring An Architect? Answered by @FrankCunhaIII
  3. Should I Hire an Architect for My Next Building Project? Answered by @FrankCunhaIII
  4. What are Your Favorite Architecture Books? Answered by @FrankCunhaIII
  5. How Do I Rebuild After a Superstorms or Hurricane? Answered by @FrankCunhaIII
  6. How Do Architects Calculate Their Fees? Answered by @FrankCunhaIII
  7. How Well Do You Know Your Building Materials Quantities? Answered by @FrankCunhaIII
  8. How Can Architects Generate More Work and Make More Money? Answered by @FrankCunhaIII
  9. How Can Architects Produce More Effective Construction Documents? Answered by @FrankCunhaIII
  10. What Do You Say to Young Students Considering a Career in Architecture? (Part 2) Answered by @WJMArchitect
  11. What Do You Say to Young Students Considering a Career in Architecture? (Part 1) Answered by @WJMArchitect
  12. How Does a Well Documented Set of Construction Drawings Save On Construction Costs? Answered by @WJMArchitect
  13. What is the the Blind Design Paradox in Architectural Design? Answered by @WJMArchitect
  14. What Are the TEN “Demandments” of Architecture? Answered by @WJMArchitect
  15. Do You Have an Architectural Design Manifesto? If So, Can You Share It With Us? Answered by @FrankCunhaIII

We would love to hear from you on what you think about this post. We sincerely appreciate all your comments – and – if you like this post please share it with friends. And feel free to contact us if you would like to discuss ideas for your next project!

Sincerely,
FRANK CUNHA III
I Love My Architect – Facebook

 

 

 

 

 


The 10 most unusual things we’ve been asked to design so far, What About You? by @WJMArchitect and @FrankCunhaIII

Hope you are enjoying your day,

Every designer has been given some unusual things to design – Here are some of our favorites.

-Bill & Frank

UpsideDownHome

10) “Man –cave” type room for woman called an “Estro-den”.  Like a home office room for sewing, knitting, wet bar, 3 DVR mega video storage with disappearing TV in sewing cabinet.

9) Elevator that took you straight up to the attic “man-cave” from the first floor family room.

8) Office with an exterior door to a Japanese garden at the end of an airport runway.  So quiet you could hear a plane drop.

7) Powder room with mirrors covering every inch of wall surface including the floor and the ceiling.

6) Complete kitchen inside master suite.  Door to master suite could only be opened with a key from either side.  Second marriage for man, first marriage for woman, He had custody of his previous kids.  Kids were hard on the new wife, thus the locking master suite.

5) Recycling chute to drop recyclables from upstairs bedrooms into the basement.

4) Kids fort in attic space above entrance.

3) Design screened room addition for the family cat, with cat door, grass, window shelves for kitty bird observation activities.

2) Underground tunnel from house to garage

1) Kevlar bulletproof glass at counter with shot-gun slot to shoot “would’be” criminals.

We would love to hear from you on what you think about this post. We sincerely appreciate all your comments.

If you like this post please share it with friends. And feel free to contact us if you would like to discuss ideas for your next project!

Sincerely,
Frank Cunha III
I Love My Architect – Facebook

FC3 ARCHITECTURE+DESIGN, LLC
P.O. Box 335, Hamburg, NJ 07419
e-mail: fcunha@fc3arch.com
mobile: 201.681.3551
direct: 973.970.3551
fax: 973.718.4641
web: http://fc3arch.com
Licensed in NJ, NY, PA, DE, CT.


The TEN “Demandments” of Architecture by @WJMArchitect

Many architects feel like their devotion to the practice of architecture is like worship of a secular religion.

Here’s a little fun with our secular religion…

The TEN Demandments of Architecture
by William J. Martin, Architect

ILMA-Moses-02

  1.  Thou shalt have no clients before thee…
  2.  Thou shalt not make unto thee any graven 3D cadd images.
  3.  Thou shalt not take thy name of thy clients or thy engineers in vain.
  4.  Remember thy project deadline day, and  keep it holy.
  5.  Honor thy computer and thy coffee: that thy days may be long.
  6.  Thou shalt not kill thy design critics…
  7.  Thou shalt not commit building design insultery.
  8.  Thou shalt not steel, unless wood or masonry doesn’t support thy design.
  9.  Thou shalt not bear false witness against thy building inspector official.
  10.  Thou shalt not covet thy neighbor’s contractors…

ILMA-Moses-01

These are only the TEN Demandments, maybe you can think of a few more.  Leave a comment and let us know !

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We would love to hear from you on what you think about this post. We sincerely appreciate all your comments.

If you like this post please share it with friends. And feel free to contact us if you would like to discuss ideas for your next project!

Sincerely,
Frank Cunha III
I Love My Architect – Facebook

FC3 ARCHITECTURE+DESIGN, LLC
P.O. Box 335, Hamburg, NJ 07419
e-mail: fcunha@fc3arch.com
mobile: 201.681.3551
direct: 973.970.3551
fax: 973.718.4641
web: http://fc3arch.com
Licensed in NJ, NY, PA, DE, CT.


The Blind Design Paradox in Architectural Design by @WJMArchitect

-by William J. Martin Architect 

Designing for the visually impaired has obvious implications for the aesthetic factor.

Designing a successful object or building is, in many cases, heavily dependent upon visual aesthetic. The Paradox of a designed building not needing a visual aesthetic, highlights the concept of “Econo-functional Aesthetic Balance“. The visually impaired building user is unable to appreciate the visual aesthetic and beauty in a visual aesthetic design factor. Focusing in on creating only visual beauty of form in this situation is not appropriate and is theoretically not relevant from the perspective of the building user.

The paradox is useful since many people tend to think of aesthetics as derived only from
visual beauty.

WJM-01

By separating the visual aesthetics from the other two factors, the “Blind Design Paradox” takes the focus off of the visual beauty of design and highlights the important role of
balancing all three factors.

Visual aesthetics alone does NOT constitute good design. The underlying point of this example demonstrates the role of the “Equilibrium of Appropriate Balance” when all three factors in the design interact.

WJM-Efab-Logo

In the “Blind Design Paradox”, the “E-FAB” between the factors is achieved not through visual beauty, but through the textural and acoustic design of architectural elements. In fact, the space could be visually unaesthetic, poorly proportioned, and devoid of any light or color. These normally important aspects of design are theoretically not important to a visually impaired building user since they cannot be visually perceived.

The visually impaired building user appreciates the beauty, not visually, but through the textures, temperature and acoustics of architectural elements while utilizing the function of the spaces designed for them.

WJM-02

The “Aesthetics Factor” is affected by refining it as the beauty of the physical texture and acoustical properties of the materials selected by the designer to create the aesthetic and balance the functional and economic requirements. In this example the primary effort is not put into creating the visual beauty of form. This factor utilizes tactile and acoustic beauty to create the aesthetics of the design.

The “Functions Factor” is affected by the design of space that needs to make use of material textures not visual material appearance. An example of this is flooring texture to communicate room type and function, wall textures to assist users in locating and orienting themselves, and even temperature and acoustic cues designed into the building. This factor considers the functional purpose of the building to make it perform for the visually impaired building user and balance with the aesthetic and economic factors.

The “Economics Factor” is affected by the re-allocating of economic resources to obtain the appropriate diversity of textured materials and acoustic cues necessary to realize the design and accomplish a balance with the function and aesthetic factors. This factor considers the reasonable availability of these materials or whether new materials or technologies will need to be developed. This should also reasonably consider the economic means of the user as defined by the resources allocated to accomplish the construction of the design.

It is important to understand that even in this theoretical example, the Formal Aesthetic Factor is not eliminated or even decreased in importance. It has shifted from visual beauty to tactile and acoustic beauty and still must be balanced with the other factors to achieve equilibrium and maximize the “Econo-functional Aesthetic Balance”. If the Three Factors are appropriately balanced the equilibrium created will transcend the sum of its parts.

This creates architectural beauty that is far more profound.

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We would love to hear from you on what you think about this post.  We sincerely appreciate all your comments.

If you like this post please share it with friends. And feel free to contact us if you would like to discuss ideas for your next project!

Sincerely,
Frank Cunha III
I Love My Architect – Facebook

FC3 ARCHITECTURE+DESIGN, LLC
P.O. Box 335, Hamburg, NJ 07419
e-mail: fcunha@fc3arch.com
mobile: 201.681.3551
direct: 973.970.3551
fax: 973.718.4641
web: http://fc3arch.com
Licensed in NJ, NY, PA, DE, CT.


A well documented set of construction drawings NOW decreases additional “hidden” construction costs LATER! by @WJMArchitect

By Bill Martin

A well documented project drawing set has a big impact on construction cost.

Less detail in the plan means more extra cost during the construction.

A well documented project gives the client maximum negotiating leverage with contractors during competitive bidding, this saves much more than the cost of the architects fee, reducing the total construction cost by thousands.

Listing out all of the fees and expenses and pushing to minimize each expense will not result in the lowest possible total cost.

There is an inverse relationship between construction cost and architects fee.

A well documented project drawing set may require more for an architects fee, but has a big impact on reducing total construction cost.

Learn more by clicking Bill’s website: WJM Architect

 

WJM PICT0008C

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We would love to hear from you on what you think about this post.  We sincerely appreciate all your comments.

If you like this post please share it with friends. And feel free to contact us if you would like to discuss ideas for your next project!

Sincerely,
Frank Cunha III
I Love My Architect – Facebook

FC3 ARCHITECTURE+DESIGN, LLC
P.O. Box 335, Hamburg, NJ 07419
e-mail: fcunha@fc3arch.com
mobile: 201.681.3551
direct: 973.970.3551
fax: 973.718.4641
web: http://fc3arch.com
Licensed in NJ, NY, PA, DE, CT.


What would you say to young students thinking about a career in #Architecture? by @WJMArchitect (Part 2)

I was recently catching up with my buddy Billy Martin and I asked him to help me write about Architecture as a profession.

This is part two of what he had to say….

Question: What would you say to young students thinking about a career in Architecture?

by William J Martin

All of this is part of the plans or “blueprints” of a building to be built.

Architects need to be physically fit and mentally strong. While the building is being constructed, the architects are visiting, checking, walking on steel beams, crawling into foundations, climbing up on the roof. We do this to make sure everything fits together properly and safely.

Knowledge of sports and sports strategy is needed for the architects and workers to be acting as a coordinated team while assembling the building. Thinking ahead to the “next play” is part of the strategy of building a design from the plans. Very often millions of dollars are spent on buildings and architects are there to help get it done.

Schooling—-

Architecture is a licensed profession just like a doctor, a lawyer, or dentist, This means a person must go to and finish college, study, and pass tests given by the government,. Passing the tests shows the person has all the knowledge needed to provide architectural services safely and competently to the public. We don’t want our buildings to fall on people.

Studying hard and doing well in high school is a good start to becoming an architect. English, math, science, history, and especially art, drawing, and computer classes are courses in high school that will prepare you for architecture school. School plays and stage set building, playing sports, being physically fit is also good preparation.

After high school, apply to an accredited architecture college for admission to an architecture learning program. It takes a minimum of five years of college to complete the courses and receive a college degree in architecture.

After college, a 3 year, paid internship is required. You work in a real architect’s office and use the knowledge that was learned in college. You get paid for your valuable work as you learn more. The intern architect works with a licensed architect to learn how exactly to use the knowledge that was learned in the classroom. The internship involves doing everything an architect does, but the more experienced architect guides the intern architect to make sure things are done right.

After the internship is completed, passing the Architectural Registration Exam is the next step. Once you get a passing grade on that exam, the State you live in, will give you an official license to practice architecture and design buildings on your own. You can then start you own company and design buildings for people who need them.

Fallingwater or Kaufmann Residence designed by architect Frank Lloyd Wright in 1935 in rural southwestern Pennsylvania http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fallingwater

Fallingwater or Kaufmann Residence – 2nd Floor Plan

Green design—

Many architects are now using a design point system called LEED. L E E D stands for Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design and is a green building rating system by which buildings are designed, constructed and rated for energy efficiency and environmental sensitivity. Buildings are designed and built using environmentally responsible construction materials and methods.

The importance of architecture as a profession–

Architects are more important then ever to our country and our environment. Right now architects around the world are using math, science and computers to design new kinds of buildings that will save energy and reduce damage to the environment. Everyone needs a home or building in which to live or work. Having buildings that use less electricity, less heating in winter, less air conditioning in summer, will use much less energy. That means power plants will produce less power and reduce pollution of the air and water. This is important to preserve the environment now and in the future.

(Click Here to read Part 1 of 2)

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If you like this post please share it with friends and family, especially those with children aspiring to become Architects.

Sincerely,
Frank Cunha III
I Love My Architect – Facebook

FC3 ARCHITECTURE+DESIGN, LLC
P.O. Box 335, Hamburg, NJ 07419
e-mail: fcunha@fc3arch.com
mobile: 201.681.3551
direct: 973.970.3551
fax: 973.718.4641
web: http://www.fc3arch.com
Licensed in NJ, NY, PA, DE, CT


What would you say to young students thinking about a career in #Architecture? by @WJMArchitect (Part 1)

I was recently catching up with my buddy Billy Martin and  I asked him to help me write about Architecture as a profession.

This is part one of what he had to say….

Question: What would you say to young students thinking about a career in Architecture? 

by William J Martin

I speak with students all the time about architecture as a profession.. ok …… 13-14 year olds………here goes…

Architecture as a profession–

The architectural profession has a long history. It goes back thousands of years to when the first humans put rocks and tree branches together and created shelter to protect and comfort themselves from nature’s cold, hot, snow, rain, earthquakes, etc.

Moving forward in time, ancient Egyptian architects created the Pyramids, Chinese architects created the Great Wall, Greek architects created the Acropolis and Parthenon, Roman architects created cities, aqueducts, coliseum, etc. and in the modern age, architects have created skyscrapers, sports stadiums, department stores, as well as homes.

Architecture is, first of all, an art. Artistic beauty, correct layout of the interior, heat and air conditioning, construction cost all need to be considered in designing buildings. In other words, It has to look “COOL” inside and out, not leak from the roof, not be too hot or cold, and not cost too much to build.

An architect has the knowledge and training to figure out how to blend all these things together.

Architects design buildings with all these things in mind. In many ways it is like solving a giant 3-dimensional puzzle. OR like playing a video game where the goal is to place and move objects and materials together to create a complicated machine that works for shelter and looks “COOLER” than anyone else’s.

Watercolor of Hagia Sophia by Unknown http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hagia_Sophia

Architects use drawings, art, history, social studies, math, science, astronomy, sports, and computers to design and plan buildings.

Architects use art and drawings to plan out spaces and shapes that will look and feel “pleasing” to people. We use computers to help imagine what the building designs would look like and compare different shapes, colors, materials and ideas. We call this simply the “design process”.

Architects use mathematical calculations to determine safe beam and column sizes to build safe stable buildings. We use science and chemistry to design materials such as concrete, stone, wood. We use the science of water and pipes for plumbing. We use the science of electricity for wiring and lighting. We use astronomy to calculate the sun angles for window locations and daylighting inside buildings. We use the history of buildings that were built before, to design new buildings, like a bank with big columns in front. We also create completely new shapes and spaces to solve a new need for space that maybe did not exist before, like a golf driving range with 3 levels so more golfers can hit balls at the same time. We use writing, cameras, computers, video and other media to plan and explain ideas.

If you like this post please share it with friends and family, especially those with children aspiring to become Architects.

(Click Here to read Part 2 of 2)

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Sincerely,
Frank Cunha III
I Love My Architect – Facebook

FC3 ARCHITECTURE+DESIGN, LLC
P.O. Box 335, Hamburg, NJ 07419
e-mail: fcunha@fc3arch.com
mobile: 201.681.3551
direct: 973.970.3551
fax: 973.718.4641
web: http://www.fc3arch.com
Licensed in NJ, NY, PA, DE, CT.


@WJMArchitect Recognized for Green Architecture and Design

William Martin of Westwood received an award for his work on a Hillsdale home for a wounded soldier.

By Michelle Sartor

Westwood resident William Martin, who has been working as an independent architect since 1991, recently won an award for a sustainable home design he created for a wounded soldier.

The American Institute of Architects New Jersey Committee on the Environment (COTE) held its first competition this year to reward architects for outstanding sustainable designs. Martin submitted his project in the residential category and was named the winner in the COTE Top 10 Awards.

The design is for a home in Hillsdale that Martin did in conjunction with Homes For Our Troops. Wounded Iraq War Marine Corp. Cpl. Visnu Gonzalez lives in the home with his mother, Maria.

The home, which was constructed in 2009, has several green elements. It is LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) Platinum Certified and is partially self-sustaining by creating its own renewable energy. The house has solar panels, geothermal heating and air conditioning, LED lighting and a mechanism for rain water capture and re-use.

Martin appeared on NBC News with Brian Williams for his efforts on the home. Click here to see the segment.

Click here to read the rest of the story.

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We would love to hear from you on what you think about this post. We sincerely appreciate all your comments.

If you like this post please share it with friends. And feel free to contact us if you would like to discuss ideas for your next project!

Sincerely,
Frank Cunha III
I Love My Architect – Facebook

FC3 ARCHITECTURE+DESIGN, LLC
P.O. Box 335, Hamburg, NJ 07419
e-mail: fcunha@fc3arch.com
mobile: 201.681.3551
direct: 973.970.3551
fax: 973.718.4641
web: http://fc3arch.com
Licensed in NJ, NY, PA, DE, CT.


Architects Vs. “Sculptor” Architects based on a conversation btw @WJMArchitect and @FrankCunhaIII

by Frank Cunha III

A conversation with a fellow Architect (you know who you are) led to the discussion of the separation of Architects who practice (everyday, ordinary) Architecture versus those elite who practice “Sculpture” Architecture.  It was his belief that the Sculpture Architects were provided a platform by the leaders of our most popular professional organization (you know who you are) that everyday Architects were not.  Why cater to the elite? Perhaps because they are the ones that have developed a formula to produce interesting works of art.

There is no doubt that these Sculpture Architects are important to the profession, but I believe his point was that our professional organizations need to convey to the public that Architects can assist them with the everyday design and construction problems that they encounter in their lives.  It is important that the public understand that Architects have licenses to design everything from garages to decks to home additions to churches, restaurants, stores, synagogues, mosques, churches, and office buildings.  It is frustrating for him (and us as a profession), that something so basic needs to be taught to our client base.  No other profession I can think of has to face this obstacle.

Educating one’s client is part of the job, but how many of us have had to explain to a client why they need an Architect (after the builder sent them our way).  It would be preferable to live in a culture and society that values professionals.  Not only would it make our jobs a bit easier, but it would also open the doors for us as design professionals to positively impact our communities.  I strongly urge the various professional organizations and media out there to consider the concept of promoting everyday Architecture as well as extraordinary Architecture.  In the end, the entire profession would be elevated and our contributions as designers would be seen as more meaningful for all those who would benefit.

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We would love to hear from you on what you think about this post. We sincerely appreciate all your comments.

If you like this post please share it with friends. And feel free to contact us if you would like to discuss ideas for your next project!

Sincerely,
Frank Cunha III
I Love My Architect – Facebook

FC3 ARCHITECTURE+DESIGN, LLC
P.O. Box 335, Hamburg, NJ 07419
e-mail: fcunha@fc3arch.com
mobile: 201.681.3551
direct: 973.970.3551
fax: 973.718.4641
web: http://fc3arch.com
Licensed in NJ, NY, PA, DE, CT.


Design by Architectist @FrankCunhaIII #Architect #Artist

Thank you for all the support and encouragement over the years.  Here are some of our favorite blog posts about the design process related to the field of Architecture:

  1. Architecture Shall Live On (My Architecture Manifesto) by @FrankCunhaIII
  2. Timeless Architecture – Saying Good Bye to a Teacher/Mentor is Never Easy by @FrankCunhaIII
  3. Architecture in Motion by @FrankCunhaIII
  4. X Factor of Design by @FrankCunhaIII
  5. Creating High Performance Buildings through Integrative Design Process by @FrankCunhaIII
  6. Frans Johansson: “Act & Collaborate to Drive Change” by @FrankCunhaIII
  7. SPACE & PROCESS by @FrankCunhaIII
  8. Order, Formulas, and Rules by @FrankCunhaIII
  9. Mixing My Work With Pleasure (Design-Build, Modern House Using Legos) by @FrankCunhaIII
  10. The Blind Design Paradox in Architectural Design by @WJMArchitect
  11. Architects Vs. “Sculptor” Architects based on a conversation btw @WJMArchitect and @FrankCunhaIII
  12. Ophiuchus: The Serpent Bearer (Playing With Numbers) by @FrankCunhaIII
  13. From Paper and Pencil to Reality Through Collaboration by @FrankCunhaIII

We would love to hear from you on what you think about this post. We sincerely appreciate all your comments – and – if you like this post please share it with friends. And feel free to contact us if you would like to discuss ideas for your next project!

Sincerely,
FRANK CUNHA III
I Love My Architect – Facebook


Start Here: Ready, Set, Go!

Welcome to by blog.  Over the past several years we have compiled knowledge from various authorities on the practice of architecture.  For those of you new to the site, we suggest you start here.  Enjoy!

Our Exclusive ILMA Interview with Jeff Venezia, AIA of @DIGroupArch

Our Exclusive ILMA Interview with Matthew B. Jarmel, AIA, MBA of @JarmelKizel

Our Exclusive ILMA Interview with Daniel D’Agostino, AIA of Plan Architecture

Our Exclusive ILMA Interview with Tim Witzig of @PKSBArchitects

Our Exclusive ILMA Interview with Toon Dreessen @ArchitectsDCA

Our Exclusive ILMA Interview with Felicia Middleton @UrbanAesthetics

Our Exclusive ILMA Interview with Enoch Sears @BusinessofArch

Our Exclusive ILMA Interview with Jenny Roets @Arch_Girl

Exclusive ILMA Interview with Kurt Kalafsky, AIA @KurtKalafsky

Our Exclusive ILMA Interview with ADA Specialist, Marcela Abadi Rhoads @Abadi_Access

Exclusive ILMA Interview with Tara Imani, AIA @Parthenon1 (Part 2)

Exclusive ILMA Interview with Tara Imani, AIA @Parthenon1 (Part 1)

ILMA Features Aspiring Architect, Ian Siegel

ILMA Features Aspiring Architect, John Fernandes

Ask the Architect: An Exclusive Interview with Architect @FrankCunhaIII

Exclusive Interview: Meet Architect Arnie Untoria of @USA_Architects

Exclusive #EcoMonday Interview with Architect Bill Reed with host @FrankCunhaIII (Part 1 of 3)

Exclusive #EcoMonday Interview with Architect Bill Reed with host @FrankCunhaIII (Part 2 of 3)

Exclusive #EcoMonday Interview with Architect Bill Reed with host @FrankCunhaIII (Part 3 of 3)

The TEN “Demandments” of Architecture by @WJMArchitect

The 10 most unusual things we’ve been asked to design so far, What About You? by @WJMArchitect and @FrankCunhaIII

The Blind Design Paradox in Architectural Design by @WJMArchitect

A well documented set of construction drawings NOW decreases additional “hidden” construction costs LATER! by @WJMArchitect

What would you say to young students thinking about a career in #Architecture? by @WJMArchitect (Part 2)

What would you say to young students thinking about a career in #Architecture? by @WJMArchitect (Part 1)

My Architecture Manifesto: “Architecture Shall Live On” by @FrankCunhaIII

We would love to hear from you on what you think about these posts. We sincerely appreciate all your comments – and – if you like this post please subscribe to our blog and share it with friends. And feel free to contact us if you would like to discuss ideas for your next project!

Sincerely,
FRANK CUNHA III
I Love My Architect – Facebook


Our Exclusive ILMA Interview with Matthew B. Jarmel, AIA, MBA of @JarmelKizel

Mr. Jarmel is an Architect, Real Estate Developer, Renewable Energy Enthusiast, Entrepreneur and Owner of Jarmel Kizel Architects and Engineers Inc.

He received a Bachelors of Architecture from NJIT in 1990 and an MBA from Rutgers University in 1994. He can be found online at the following social media sites: LinkedIn, Facebook and Twitter.

About the Firm

Since the firm’s founding in 1975, Jarmel Kizel has worked its way from the inside out; originally concentrating on the interior design of corporate offices and since has grown into a full-service Architectural, Engineering, and Interior Design firm that provides a single point of accountability for all aspects of design services. The firm’s size and abilities enable it to handle a broad spectrum of projects while allowing the principals to put their seal on every one. With in-house Civil, Structural, Mechanical, Electrical, Plumbing and Fire Protection Engineering, clients can look to Jarmel Kizel to have all aspects of their projects designed and managed by one firm.

Today the firm provides a unique service platform that provides a single point of accountability for architectural and engineering services formatted to assist clients with managing their project’s design needs from site design and land entitlements to building design through construction oversight.

ILMA INTERVIEW

When and why did you decide to become an Architect?     

I knew when I was in Junior High School that I wanted to become an architect.  I grew up in the industry in that my father is a commercial interior designer, he actually founded our firm in 1975, and I was exposed to design and construction at a very early age.  My dad totally remodeled our home and he had my brother Richard, who is a civil engineer and partner in our firm, and myself helping and working with tools. 

What were some of the challenges of achieving your dream?  

The architectural and engineering industry can be very rewarding.  There is tremendous emotional fulfillment to see your ideas first take shape on paper and then through construction.  I take great pride driving by a building our firm has designed and saying we did that.  Despite the rewards the business of architecture can be very difficult.  Our industry is first hit by a recession, hardest hit and usually the last to recover.   One of the greatest challenges of working in the profession is learning how to batten down the hatches and weather the economic storms when they come. 

Any memorable clients or project highlights?  

I have many projects I am proud of many clients that I respect and that have become good friends and even partners over the years.  Some of the more notable projects I have worked on include designing the Bear Stearns Campus in Whippany, NJ.  This project was developed over years and ultimately included approximately 700,000 sf of office and data center space in five buildings, two of which we designed and the rest we designed major renovations to.  Unfortunately Bear Stearns does not exist anymore but the campus is still there.  We also were fortunate to design the first major redevelopment project in Plainfield, NJ where we designed four buildings for the Union County Improvement Authority that included a 100,000 sf office building, two retail buildings totaling 40,000 sf and a parking structure.   This project acted as a catalyst for new development in the city.   Over the last several years the firm has been very active in NYC designing many mixed use large scale projects, we have a 17 story building under construction in Queens right now.   One of my most memorable clients is The Learning Experience.   The Learning Experience is a national and soon to be international brand of child development centers.  We designed their first center 16 years ago and have since completed over 200 projects throughout the country for them.  Because of the volume of projects we have completed for them, about 70 in NJ alone, I gained tremendous experience in land entitlements and have become an expert in land entitlement strategy.

How does your family support what you do?    

The creative process can be very time consuming, running a business and being creative magnifies the time required to be an architect.  Some days I leave the house at 7 and if I have a hearing don’t get home until midnight.   Other times I am hopping on an airplane and away overnight.   My family is supportive in that they understand the taxing requirements of the job.   With that said everything I do is for my family.  So I make sure my wife and children get the attention they need from me and we plan as much quality time as possible.

How do Architects measure success?     

Some might say you measure the success of an architect by the quality and aesthetic of the buildings he or she designs, or by how much wealth and fame they have obtained.  To me a successful architect you have to be a strong leader, a strong communicator and be able to balance the aesthetic and technical issues of a building’s design all while understanding the functional and economical goals of your client.  The architect that can achieve this can become successful.  Ultimately success is measured by obtaining the respect of your peers, clients and even contractors in the industry.  

What matters most to you in design?      

Achieving my clients goals of function and budget while creating a building that is safe and attractive.   

What do you hope to achieve over the next 2 years? 5 years?  

Our firm has developed strong skills in real estate development which include land entitlements and real estate economics.   Many times we set the strategy for how to present a project to planning and zoning boards, explain the process to our clients and even their attorneys, advise on PILOT and other incentives, building valuation and assist in making introduction to equity investors and lenders.   These skills make us stand out from our competitors but not necessarily obtain higher fees.  Our goal for the next 2 to 5 years is to expand our Real Estate Advisory services to create additional revenue as a “Fee Developer” and on our own development account.

Who is your favorite Architect? Why?     

I respect the design styles of many current and historic architects.  I am a big fan of the Chicago School and of those architects Louis Sullivan is probably my favorite.  I like this style for the buildings of the time were the first commercial buildings and first to break away from using ancient detailing by employing and emphasizing technology in design.

Do you have a coach or mentor?

I do not have a specific coach or mentor but I like to bounce ideas off of my team, clients and friends.  

What is your favorite historic and modern (contemporary) project? Why?  

My favorite historic building is the Roman Pantheon.  It was built around 113 AD and has the largest unreinforced concrete dome ever made which has a giant hole in the center that allows the sun and the moon to shine in along with the rain.  It still stands 2000 years later.  The Romans were great builders, they invented concrete, experimented with reinforcing concrete with brass chains and even developed zoning rules and regulations.   As far as contemporary buildings there are so many that I love.   I lean towards high rise sky scrapers

Where do you see the profession going over the next few decades?

Although new technologies are implemented in the profession and we go through these stages where we preach design build vs a separation between design and construction professionals the industry has not changed much in my career.  I find it interesting that Ayn Rand’s “The Fountainhead” which was written in the 40’s and takes place in the 20’s and uses the architectural industry as a back story to promoting her political views speaks to many of the same type of players and issues in the industry today.  There are developers, contractors, politicians and architects.  There are residential, public and commercial buildings and she even tackles issues such as affordable housing.  All the same issues we deal with today.   I do not see major changes in the business of the profession.  Although I do see major technical influences which will affect the way we design and build buildings.  There is a robot that lays brick now.  I think as the world gets smaller through technology building codes and licensing laws will become more standardized.

What type of technology do you see in the design and construction industries?

The use of BIM is becoming the most prevalent tool used in the design of buildings.  It allows architects and engineers to work in 3 dimensions, quickly and efficiently to improve coordination and actually see the building take shape on the screen.  Despite my comment about the brick laying robot above most construction is still done with heavy machinery and by hand.  However, technology has taken over the management of projects from creating schedules, to tracking financing and creating a database of information.  

Who / what has been your greatest influence in design?      

This answer may seem odd to most architects but my great influence in design arrives from an understanding of real estate economics tied to a building’s function and economics.   When a student at NJIT I took an elective in real estate development.  It was taught by a gentleman who ran the development arm of a now defunct savings and loan so we will allow him to remain nameless.  However, he was very influential in that he said he hated architects and found them to be a necessary evil in the process because the law forced them on him to use.  Obviously, this got most of the students in the class upset but I wanted to know why he felt that way.  He thought that architects only cared about what the building looked like and had no understanding or really care for what it might cost to build, what’s its function was to be or how it generated revenue for its owners.  He introduced me to the business side of why clients build in the first place.  This motivated me to go on and obtain an MBA with a concentration in real estate development and urban land use after architectural school.  I feel that the business education in conjunction with my architectural education make me a stronger architect and have been the most influential on my design.

Which building or project type would you like to work on that you haven’t been part of yet?     

I have been fortunate to work on almost any type of commercial project.  I would like to be exposed to more hospitality projects.

How do you hope to inspire / mentor the next generation of Architects?   

I hope to mentor the next generation of architects in a way that they can understand the business goals of the client and why they are building so that they can better respond to the client’s needs I also want to mentor them to be strong leaders and great communicators.

What advice would you give aspiring architects (K-12)? College students? Graduates?

I would advise them to not only pursue their dream of designing buildings but to learn about the profession as a whole, to learn about the process of becoming an architect and career choices in the industry.  When I was in school no one told me how to become a licensed architect I had to figure it out on my own.

What does Architecture mean to you?     

It is my profession, it is my life!

What is your design process?     

First understand the client’s program goals and budget, then study the site and zoning constraints, roll up my sleeves and dive in.

If you could not be an Architect, what would you be?     

A civil engineer and or real estate developer.

What is your dream project?     

A really tall building in a major city that becomes a landmark for years to come.  If I can be a partner in its ownership even better.

What advice do you have for a future Executive leader?     

Respect and care about the people you are leading, be kind but stern.

What are three key challenges you face as a leader in business today and one trend you see in your industry?     

All challenges revolve around people.  First finding qualified people, there is a tremendous shortage of qualified architects and engineers, second finding people that can see the big picture first before the crawl into the details and finally finding people that can communicate effectively.   As far as trends see my answer to where I see the industry going above

What one thing must an executive leader be able to do to be successful in the next 3 years?      

I am optimistic that we are at the beginning of a sustainable economic growth period.  This will provide many of us with significant projects to choose from and an even more challenging labor shortage.  An executive leader will need to be able to recruit talent and keep them motivated to stay.

What are some executive insights you have gained since you have been sitting in the executive leadership seat – or what is one surprise you have encountered as the world of business continues to morph as we speak?     

I do not know if I am any smarter today at 50 then I was when I got out of school in my early 20’s what I have gained is life experience.  The most important lesson is that people will surprise you. Some will impress you, some will disappoint you, some will be loyal and others not.  I have seen some crazy things happen some good and some bad.   Just when I think I have seen everything someone surprises me. 

Final Thoughts on How to Be Successful?      

Learn your trade, be good at and then learn to be a good communication and leader and business person.

For more exclusive ILMA interviews click here.

We would love to hear from you on what you think about this post. We sincerely appreciate all your comments – and – if you like this post please share it with friends. And feel free to contact us if you would like to discuss ideas for your next project!

Sincerely,
FRANK CUNHA III
I Love My Architect – Facebook

Gift Ideas from ILMA


Our Exclusive ILMA Interview with Jenny Roets @Arch_Girl

Jenny Roets is one of my oldest Twitter Architecture friends – She is extremely passionate about Architecture.  She recently passed the ARE’s and is helping others get motivated to pass.  We were delighted she agreed to answer a few questions:

When and why did you decide to become an Architect?

I was going through a list of majors my junior year in high school. I stopped at Architecture because it just made sense: I really enjoyed my Geometry & Art classes.

What were some of the challenges of achieving your dream?

I have had a lot of challenges. Life got in the way for me while I was in college and again in graduate school. Finding the right fit in employment has also been a challenge, as was the recession where I had to find unrelated employment to survive.

Blueprints

How do you balance design with your family life?

Simple, I don’t have a family yet.

How does your family support what you do?

My parents and brother have been very encouraging throughout the entire process of school, finding work, taking exams. They are happy to be celebrating this accomplishment with me.

What matters most to you in design?

Sustainability. The building should reflect it’s climate, orientation, location, and purpose. When materials fail, design shouldn’t.

Where do you see the profession going over the next few decades?

I think the profession will connect more with engineers / other consultants and contractors to provide a more comprehensive approach. I also feel there will be a shift back towards design with the environment in mind as sustainable design practice becomes more valued by the public.

House Plan

How do you hope to inspire / mentor the next generation of Architects?

I’m already trying to do this! I encourage Architectural Interns that I know in the real world and in social media as much as I can (especially women).

What does Architecture mean to you?

Architecture both responds to and creates environment.

If you could not be an Architect, what would you be?

I have given this a lot of thought, especially since I chose Architecture after the age when everyone asks “what do you want to be when you grow up?” I never came up with anything I felt I would be happy doing, but it would likely be related to math, something like Accounting.

What is your dream project?

I would like to create a building to benefit my hometown of Merrill, WI. I don’t have a type in mind, but I have always wanted to design something great there.

Also Check Out:

We would love to hear from you on what you think about this post. We sincerely appreciate all your comments.

If you like this post please share it with friends. And feel free to contact us if you would like to discuss ideas for your next project!

Have a great weekend!

Sincerely,
Frank Cunha III
I Love My Architect – Facebook

FC3 ARCHITECTURE+DESIGN, LLC
P.O. Box 335, Hamburg, NJ 07419
e-mail: fcunha@fc3arch.com
mobile: 201.681.3551
direct: 973.970.3551
fax: 973.718.4641
web: http://fc3arch.com
Licensed in CT, DC, DE, FL, MD, NJ, NY, PA, VA.


An Exclusive Interview with Architect @FrankCunhaIII

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Ask the Architect

An Exclusive Interview with Architect Frank Cunha III

by Denise Franklin 

Follow Denise Franklin on Twitter

Frank Cunha III, AIA, NCARB is a Registered Architect licensed in CT, DC, DE, FL, MD, NJ, NY, PA and is currently seeking reciprocity in VA as well.  Mr. Cunha is the founder of FC3 Architecture + Design, established in 2005 to serve its clients in various markets, including commercial and residential projects. He writes / blogs for I Love My Architect and Just Architecture.

You can find him online at:

  What was it about Architecture that helped you decide it was the field for you?

I always loved to draw as a child and I always loved to build.  Give me scraps of cardboards and leftover bricks and sticks in the backyard and my imagination would take over.  I was always fascinated with churches and castles.  They have a very obvious Archetype, and from a very early age I always imagined that I too would be able to one day shape the design of our cities and how people inhabit them.  Even when I travel, it is the Architecture that defines the people and the place (unless you are in the wilderness, where nature rules supreme).  In the city, man (men and women) are able to shape the world we live in.  With this ability comes great responsibility not just freedom to do whatever we want.  The industrial and post-industrial eras have taught us that!

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How long have you been in the profession?

 After 5 years of Architecture school and after 3 years of internship and after passing my NCARB IDP Architecture Exam I “officially” became a Registered Architect in January 2004.  It was not easy but it was worth it.  Going through the arduous process allowed me to learn the different aspects of being an Architect.

FC3 Interview 04

It appears that Architecture incorporates many fields of study, for example; astronomy, meteorology, geography and I am sure there is much more.  Could you explain?

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Throughout history, especially before technology and social media distractions, civilizations, would honor the heavens by building monuments.  Examples of this can be seen all over the world and there are plenty of interesting websites that address this. 

Astronomy is one of the oldest sciences so it is no wonder that early civilizations would use the mathematics from the heavens to orient their buildings and monuments. Many pre-historic cultures left behind astronomical artifacts such as the Egyptian and Nubian monuments, and early civilizations such as Babylonians, Greeks, Chinese, Indians, and Maya performed methodical observations of the night sky. Climatology, the study of atmospheric science, is another extension coming out from Astronomy. In Architecture both the disciplines that is astrology and climatology, leads to a concept known as Vastu.

If you want to learn more about these interdisciplinary studies, you can click here or click here.  

FC3 Interview 06

FC3 Interview 07

Today, Architects still consider orientation when placing a building and the building components on the site. The building’s orientation can even help Architects obtain LEED credits from the US Green Building Council, an organization that promotes sustainable design and construction around the world.

 Is there a deciding factor for you when agreeing to take part in projects?

FC3 Interview 08

 One thing I have learned over the past 15 years in the field of Architecture is that there are many components to accepting and working on a project.  While we all need to make money to eat and survive, here are a few things that should be considered before agreeing to take on a project:

  1. Is there a chemistry between the client and the designer, i.e., do you like each other? Can you work well together?
  2. Is the project exciting and challenging?
  3. Can I assemble the right team to complete the project effectively? And do we have the right fee to allow our design team to perform the project effectively?

If the answer to any of these is “no” then I keep looking for another opportunity.  Every time an opportunity passes, two or more new ones appear.  Don’t be hasty just for the sake of getting a project!

 The projects you are sharing today are they based on specific concepts?

 As a young Architect my aesthetic and design concepts are still evolving.

Although we do not force my designs on my clients, we do have some underlying principals we like to maintain on our projects whenever feasible.  

FC3 Architecture takes a Holistic approach to each individual project to meet the client’s specific needs.   We work with our team of expert consultants to bring the most value to the client through rigorous, integrated design practices.  It is our mission to explore and develop the “Architectural Design Aesthetics” & “Building Tectonics  Systems” to engage the following issues on a project-by-project basis, where applicable, to discover and address the project requirements established by the client and the Architect during the Pre-Design phase:

  • Program / Livability / Functional
  • Provide efficient space planning to maximize client’s programmatic needs (don’t over build)
  • Contextual/Site 
  • Determination of most effective use of a given site
  • Optimize access to the site
  • Maximize land, views, lighting, wind, water elements, other natural features, etc.
  • Provide guidance for best use of materials, structure, and form
  • Properly integrate new design into existing contextual surroundings
  • Sustainable / Environmental
  • Coordinate with client’s abatement team when required
  • Coordinate with client’s commissioning team when required
  • Provide guidance and integration on current sustainable trends
  • Sustainable Design
  • Energy Use & Conservation
  • Waste Management
  • Selection of Materials – Reuse, Recycling, Renewable sources, etc.
  • Water Use & Conservation
  • Structural / Tectonic
  • Coordinate with structural team to develop integrated structural design
  • Coordinate with MEP team to develop integrated MEP design
  • Coordinate with other industry experts as needed to meet project goals
  • Historic / Preservation
  • When required, document and research preservation of historic elements
  • Provide design details that are sensitive to preexisting building/site elements
  • Engage our expert consultant team as may be required
  • Economic / Legalization
  • Provide assistance in developing a feasibility study
  • Assist client’s legal counsel with Planning/Zoning Board approvals
  • Constructability / Management
  • Assist client with project schedules and budgets throughout the project
  • Engage our expert construction/project management team as may be required

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For anyone in school considering Architecture as a profession, check out this great article by my colleague, William Martin, AIA.

Click here to see some of Frank’s recent featured projects.

Click here to read more “Ask the Architect” articles.


ILMA of the Week: Frank L. Wright

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Frank Lloyd Wright (born Frank Lincoln Wright, June 8, 1867 – April 9, 1959) was an American Architect, interior designer, writer and educator, who designed more than 1,000 structures and completed 532 works. Wright believed in designing structures which were in harmony with humanity and its environment, a philosophy he called organic architecture. This philosophy was best exemplified by his design for Fallingwater (1935) featured in the photo above, which has been called “the best all-time work of American Architecture“. Wright was a leader of the Prairie School movement of architecture and developed the concept of the Usonian home, his unique vision for urban planning in the United States.

Wright’s portfolio includes original and innovative examples of many different building types, including offices, churches, schools, skyscrapers, hotels, and museums. Wright also designed many of the interior elements of his buildings, such as the furniture and stained glass. Wright authored 20 books and many articles and was a popular lecturer in the United States and in Europe. His colorful personal life often made headlines, most notably for the 1914 fire and murders at his Taliesin studio. Already well known during his lifetime, Wright was recognized in 1991 by the American Institute of Architects as “the greatest American architect of all time.”

Wright’s most famous private residences —Fallingwater— was built from 1934 to 1937 for Mr. and Mrs. Edgar J. Kaufmann Sr., at Mill Run, Pennsylvania, not too far from Pittsburgh. It was designed according to Wright’s desire to place the occupants close to the natural surroundings, with a stream and waterfall running under part of the building. Wright wanted the new residences to live with the waterfalls, to make them part of their everyday lives. He didn’t want them to just look at them every now and again. Constructed over a 30-foot waterfall, the house may look very big on the outside but on the inside it is quite small, which surprises some visitors. It was made with three bedrooms, a massive living room and a dining room. The house was more of a design for a family getaway not for a live-in family. The construction is a series of cantilevered balconies and terraces, using limestone for all verticals and concrete for the horizontals. The house cost $155,000, including the architect’s fee of $8,000. It was one of Wright’s most expensive pieces. Kaufmann’s own engineers argued that the design was not sound. They were overruled by Wright, but the contractor secretly added extra steel to the horizontal concrete elements. In 1994, Robert Silman and Associates examined the building and developed a plan to restore the structure. In the late 1990s, steel supports were added under the lowest cantilever until a detailed structural analysis could be done. In March 2002, post-tensioning of the lowest terrace was completed.

The iconic “Guggenheim Museum” (also featured in the photo above) is located in New York City. This project kept Wright occupied for 16 years (1943–1959) and is probably his most recognized masterpiece. The building rises as a warm beige spiral from its site on Fifth Avenue; its interior is similar to the inside of a seashell. Its unique central geometry was meant to allow visitors to easily experience Guggenheim’s collection of nonobjective geometric paintings by taking an elevator to the top level and then viewing artworks by walking down the slowly descending, central spiral ramp, the floor of which is embedded with circular shapes and triangular light fixtures to complement the geometric nature of the structure. However, when the museum was completed, a number of details of Wright’s design were ignored, such as his desire for the interior to be painted off-white. Further, the Museum currently designs exhibits to be viewed by walking up the curved walkway rather than walking down from the top level.

We would love to hear from you on what you think about this post. We sincerely appreciate all your comments.

If you like this post please share it with friends. And feel free to contact us if you would like to discuss ideas for your next project!

Sincerely,
Frank Cunha III
I Love My Architect – Facebook

FC3 ARCHITECTURE+DESIGN, LLC
P.O. Box 335, Hamburg, NJ 07419
e-mail: fcunha@fc3arch.com
mobile: 201.681.3551
direct: 973.970.3551
fax: 973.718.4641
web: http://fc3arch.com
Licensed in CT, DE, FL, NJ, NY, PA.