Once the design was narrowed in, the real fun began- preparing our permit plans. When we went into the permit center, we learned that the exterior design required meeting applicable zoning, sign, and design overlay requirements… which becomes tricky when you are also trying to meet the owner’s goals of achieving a fresh, clean, and modern facade.
Because there was an interest in managing cost and time, we opted to avoid a structural review- which meant the under eave cladding went away and fresh white paint was used instead. This saved on the materials cost as well. We kept the lighting improvements in the design in order to improve the visibility and comfort along the sidewalk. We also discovered that in a commercial setting, concealing a utility bay is quite difficult- especially when abutted to a side walk, which requires accessibility and needs right-of-way standards to be met. So, to meet these requirements, the screen idea was cut in favor of a painted utility bay. Lastly, the large roof top sign fixture had been “grandfathered” in, but it wasn’t something that was up to code and design requirements. The challenge here being that ANY change to the sign would not be approved, but ultimately, it was dated and the owners did not want to keep it as it was. So instead, we decided that it was best to remove the sign and its support structure. Sometimes, the best design plans can end up looking quite different in person… once we had the painters onsite, we realized that the olive green door just didn’t look quite as good as we’d imagined. In response, we chose to paint all three doors the same golden yellow instead.
In the end, the scope of the project changed quite a bit… and the end result was a hybrid of design ideas:
- A painted under eave, with the addition of under eave lighting.
- The Utility bay was painted dark to visually recess and be less of an eyesore.
- The building has been branded with both a new color scheme and a large, illuminated, wall-painted sign.
- In total, the building has been updated and there is improved branding and place making.
It turned out to be a slightly more complicated process than we had originally planned on… but the end result was one that met all of the original project goals and resolved each of the problems that had been posed. Best yet, the client and their tenants are happy. Which really, is what makes these kind of projects to much fun. Best of all, we get to see the benefits of the improved facade on a daily basis; it’s a joy to get to see and enjoy your efforts on a regular basis, it’s a great reminder for why we do what we do.