Building Our Community
What is Municipal and Civic Architecture?
Civic Architecture is the design of buildings that fill a key public need and that represent our most important institutions to our community and to the world. Municipalities, government agencies, public safety organizations, libraries, and religions… all are entities that require a building that can meet their complex operational needs while presenting an architectural image that describes the purpose and mission of the organization that inhabits it.
Our Experience with Civic and Municipal Projects
Matthew Carter, Principal Architect at Carter Architectural Design, has over 25 years of practical experience programming, designing, detailing, and constructing Civic buildings, and understands the important public nature of projects designed to serve communities. Much of his work has been carried out locally here in Bangor, Maine. He has had the privilege of leading design teams that have created churches, libraries, municipal buildings, police stations, fire stations, and emergency operations centers throughout the state of Maine, and in Pennsylvania, Alabama and Maryland as well. Mr. Carter brings his experience and skill to every public building he designs, and he also shares his deep passion for and understanding of the needs of civic clients. He helps his clients to create facilities that not only serve their operational goals, but that also express the importance of their role in the greater community at large.
Understanding and Satisfying your Project Requirements and Parameters
Often, civic clients understand at least part of the needs that their facilities must serve to be relevant to their community of interest, but they may not know everything that will need to be included in the final project. Carter Architectural Design has extensive expertise in helping our clients to fully analyze their needs to determine the size and features that should be included in their projects. This needs analysis is the first important step in designing a new facility, since it sets the initial size and scope of the building and can have a direct effect on its final cost. Managing and understanding design needs and parameters is one of the key ways that Carter Architectural Design works to control project cost because an early review of the project needs as compared to project cost can help our clients to make sure that they can afford their institutional goals.
As facilities that serve the public, civic projects often have special programming, accessibility, and code concerns that have direct legal and cost impacts on the way that they must be designed. Carter Architectural Design specializes in code and accessibility reviews, and we place special emphasis and understanding on the fact that our clients need this information early in the design process so that its effect on their facility can be managed to address the relevant safety and accessibility concerns in the most efficient manner.
Renovation and Reuse
Renovation work is often part of civic projects, and while reusing and improving existing facilities can be a cost-effective way of creating new facilities and addressing new needs, it can also present unforeseen problems for projects if not managed correctly. Carter Architectural Design has extensive experience in addressing the project concerns relevant when designing additions and renovations to existing buildings. Existing Facilities Surveys are an important part of the service we provide when helping our clients to plan renovation projects.
A Team Approach
By its very definition, Civic Architecture provides a design that serves a whole community of people. Each of those people has their own specific goals when visiting a community organization, and therefore have different criteria that the architecture must meet in order to be truly successful in serving their needs and aspirations. Carter Architectural Design has deep experience in working on projects with many shareholder groups, and in meeting with those groups to create architecture that is more than the sum of its various parts and functions. In fact, we believe that a design process that involves many interested parties can, if managed correctly, provide an architecture that is richer and more meaningful because it is the result of the coordination of the design criteria of all the people that use it.
How a project is procured can be as important to project success as the way the facility is designed. There are many ways that a project can be designed and delivered into operation, and Carter Architectural Design has direct experience in all of them, from the traditional Design-Bid-Build model to more modern Construction Managed projects and on to Design-Build projects that feature contractor selection and involvement early in the design process. All these methods of project delivery have their own benefits and complications, and the selection of the way that the project will be procured can be tailored directly to the experience and the needs of the client. Carter Architectural Design provides expertise in the selection of this key project feature to its clients so that they can get their completed facility in a way that is best suited to their needs and experience level.
Civic clients desiring to create newly built facilities often need to create consensus, political will or generate funding (sometimes all three!) to make their project a reality. To do so, a civic organization must clearly tell the story of their need for a project, describe the ways that their proposed project satisfies those needs and the way that the project will serve the best interest of their community. The most important ingredient needed to tell that story is information. Often such information is graphic in nature, with images that describe the extent of the project and the more qualitative aspects of what the project will look like when it is complete. Written and statistical information is also important since the size and cost of the final facility must also be shared with project donors and shareholders. Carter Architectural Design excels in providing powerful project exhibits, creating detailed and understandable written information, and evocative, memorable, and exciting graphic images of its client’s projects. These documents are indispensable in helping shareholders to understand a project, and in building the consensus and community needed to make a project viable and achievable.
Carter Architectural Design is ready today to help you to make your civic project a reality. Contact our staff to start your project today.