Our specialized services include research and documentation, master planning, historic structure reports and facility assessments. The rehabilitation, renovation and reuse of older buildings, as well as the sensitive placement of additions on existing structures is our primary focus. While our projects typically involve historic buildings, we welcome work with structures from the more recent past.
Building Research & Analysis
Our methodology involves a two-part process, which consists of both archival research and on-site investigation. Archival research is intended to provide documentation indicating the circumstances under which a structure was built, by whom, the materials used and the original purpose of the space. We also seek to determine the modifications that have been made to a building over time and ascertain significant individuals associated with the spaces. Concurrent with historical fact-finding, we study the physical evidence of the structure itself to locate original and replacement materials and determine their condition.
Restoration is the act or process of accurately depicting the form, features and character of a building exterior or its interior spaces, as they appeared at a pre-determined point in the history of the structure. This process typically involves removing features from other periods in the building’s history and reconstructing missing components from the restoration period.
Rehabilitation is the act or process of making an efficient contemporary use of a building or space possible through repair, alterations and additions, while preserving those portions or features that convey the building’s historical, cultural or architectural values.
Renovation is the process of eliminating the qualities that define the historic character of a building, if they remain extant, and upgrading the structure to adapt it to contemporary need. Renovation is often the selected preservation treatment in the case of an older structure, which exhibits little historic or architectural significance, or a building that has been extensively remodeled.
Historic Structure Reports
We believe a Historic Structure Report is an important tool in the planning and execution of any preservation project. These reports provide information intended to be specific to the implementation of the preservation treatment required by the client. We are committed to a refined methodology of survey, research, documentation and analysis as a means to undertaking quality Historic Structure Reports. We work as a team of specialists in the areas of history, decorative finishes, artwork, furniture & furnishings, planning, codes, cost estimating and scheduling. The data we generate is typically compiled in an illustrated volume that may serve public relations needs or fulfill compliance with a grant or governmental regulations.
Building Envelope Investigation
Isthmus Architecture, Inc. is committed to providing the client with a comprehensive and objective analysis of their building envelope. We provide the client with a detailed final report defining conditions, recommendations, essential issues and constraints, priorities, alternatives, schedule and budget. Our team is also able to prepare construction documents, provide peer review and provide construction administration for repairs, treatments or maintenance the owner decides to implement.
Facility Assessment involves the on-site evaluation of a building and site by a team of skilled professionals, who represent a number of disciplines. The assessment provides the owner with a detailed overview of a building’s condition and potential for extended life, as well as probable associated costs, an important tool in decision making.
Translating the goals of a group, organization or corporation into a plan for the development of architectural form is the objective of Master Planning. The Master Plan contains guidelines for a project's overall character, cost, phasing and other criteria important to the client. The process of planning includes: setting goals, collecting data, identifying key issues and constraints, establishing priorities, evaluating alternatives, considering general preservation guidelines, scheduling and budgeting. Our goal is to establish the vision with which to proceed.
Adaptive Reuse is the process of making changes to an older building to accommodate the requirements of a new owner or tenant. In theory, it puts a new use into an old container. Adaptive Reuse generally involves an older structure with a future at risk due to a changing economy or simply because the building is required to function differently than when originally designed.
Isthmus Architecture, Inc. provides our clients with innovative design solutions in the areas of programming, space planning, and finishes and furniture specifications. Our dedication to quality driven design evolves from our clients’ requirements coupled with our expertise in a manner that is highly sensitive to the existing building architecture, schedule and budget.
Preservation projects typically require the diverse talents of individuals representing a variety of disciplines. The number of national preservation specialists with whom we have longstanding relationships represents an advantage Isthmus Architecture, Inc. brings to its projects. We work well both as team leaders and as team participants, depending upon the requirements of the particular project. In either situation, we are committed to highly collaborative interaction that leads to the development of creative solutions that facilitate our clients’ goals.