DISORIENTED & DOUBLE HUNG WINDOW

Our carpenters’ ingenuity is constantly being challenged to produce real world construction solutions that charm, function and endure, but typically this ingenuity is hidden in the work. They are satisfied with that, as impeccable workmanship is their constant and ultimate aim. Generally, if the carpenter is seen in the work, then a mistake was made!

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DISORIENTED & DOUBLE HUNG WINDOW

URBAN BUILDING CONSTRUCTION PROBLEM SOLVER

Sometimes the master carpenter is like a musician, exhibiting the technical skill to make complex moldings turn a corner, leaving a perfect joint, one too tight to get a hair or a razor into. And sometimes they are there to solve deceptively simple but stubborn problems, like a basement access that is so awkward and inconvenient that it can’t be used from year to year.

 

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URBAN BUILDING CONSTRUCTION PROBLEM SOLVER

FLEXIBLE PROCESS CAN PRODUCE DEFINING DETAILS

Often it is the details that make the project, and sometimes these details only emerge in the process of construction, serendipitously. Such an example was this open plan apartment renovation, with a home office. As the work proceeded, the owner came to understand that he wanted more separation between his office and the adjacent dining room - - without having to give up the open feeling on other occasions. He preferred not to have the extra work done to make the opening smaller, to a size that could handle swinging doors, so Walter Mayne suggested barn doors because they can fit any size opening. They would also be different enough that they would work, even in an apartment where everything else matches. These barn type sliding doors were the perfect solution. The solution worked so well, that we returned to install  similar style doors to the opening from the office to the kitchen area.

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 FLEXIBLE PROCESS CAN PRODUCE DEFINING DETAILS

LESS CAN BE MORE WITH MINIMALIST DESIGN

Clean, uncluttered minimalist design is a modern look, appealing for what it leaves out, such as installation of door, floor and window trim. Certainly there will be a savings with such a design, since the carpenters get to skip this step and go home early?

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LESS CAN BE MORE WITH MINIMALIST DESIGN

SATISFYING CONFLICTING AGENDAS FOR HISTORIC WOOD WINDOWS

In order to preserve the integrity of historic city neighborhoods, the Cambridge Historical Commission has the responsibility to oversee updates to architectural details on “places and buildings that are significant for their history or architecture.” This mandate most particularly applies to exterior details that are visible from a public way. This can present a balancing act when it becomes necessary to replace historic wood window sash with units, which must satisfy modern requirements for energy efficiency.    

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SATISFYING CONFLICTING AGENDAS  FOR HISTORIC WOOD WINDOWS

DESIGN FLEXIBILITY AND RENOVATION OF HISTORIC BUILDINGS

Sometimes historic buildings can take their time giving up their secrets. In such a case, it is well to have a flexible project design, one that takes account of the surprises and opportunities that renovation of an older building can furnish. An example is this 1840’s Gothic mansion on Beacon Hill, designed by Richard Upjohn, who designed the main entrances to the Boston Common. Originally a single 23,000 SF unit, in 1965 it was gutted and entirely stripped of its original finishes and trim in order to partition it into 15 modern residential units. As part of this work, the ceilings were dropped from a lofty 13 feet down to barely 7 feet.

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DESIGN FLEXIBILITY AND RENOVATION OF HISTORIC BUILDINGS

Design Collaborations Between Contractor and Architect

One could argue that the best, and most organic design solutions involve input from the bottom up. S+H's skill set allows them to collaborate with architects to conceptualize designs that will not only delight the client, but provide functionality.

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Design Collaborations Between Contractor and Architect