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116 Bloomfield St.

Architect's Challenge Showdown: The importance of thoughtful commercial design

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Beautiful homes design gets a lot of attention both here and in other parts of the blogosphere. After all, we spend time, money and effort on them (with the occasional shedding of blood, sweat and tears). How can we not eagerly seek out information and inspiration about houses?

But let’s not forget about commercial projects. The average person might not think about them as often, but well-designed commercial projects are so important to communities. Whether it’s the new apartment building going up in your neighborhood, the old factory being renovated into a restaurant or the office you work in, the importance of commercial projects can’t be overstated.

Marvin has been lucky enough to have some inspiring commercial submissions in the Architect’s Challenge Showdown. Here are three very different, but equally lovely, buildings.

Renovations and alterations to an existing three-story masonry row house achieved a clean modern look while acknowledging the building’s history and context, which dates back to the early 1900s. This elevation realizes an imagined modern equivalent — a reinterpretation of the original row house.

116 Bloomfield St. by Adrian Melia of Minervini Vandermark Architecture
New Jersey

Save The River, a nonprofit environmental organization, sought to increase space for staff, display, meetings and to increase the overall efficiency of operations. This two-story addition and renovation enabled them to double the size of their headquarters building. A modern expansion for an existing traditional building is thoughtfully integrated with the original design: a landmark on Riverside Drive in the riverfront village.

Save the River

Save the River by William Grater of Grater Architects , PC
New York

This multi-use building is a signature structure in the historic “Dublin” neighborhood of Saratoga Springs, New York. Currently, the building is home to the local pub and teahouse on the ground floor and an architectural firm’s offices on the second and third floor. The multi-use building reflects a sustainable design philosophy and provides an example of sensibly integrated green building technologies.


Beekman St. Multi-Use Building by Michael Phinney of Phinney Design Group
New York

Go check out all the great commercial project in the Showdown and cast your vote today! What examples of thoughtful commercial design do you see in your community?