View of a 3D laser scan used to reference the existing conditions of the building
View from the Philadelphia office located in old city
During the summer of 2022 I worked as a preservation architect in the Philadelphia office of Strada LLC a design firm specializing in architectural design, preservation, landscape architecture and master planning.
While working at Strada I aided adaptive re-use and renovation projects at all phases of design and construction. These projects included the full renovation of a historic school in Camden N.J., the adaptive reuse of a bank building in Moorestown N.J. and the adaptive re-use of the Delaware Power Station in Philadelphia. Many of the projects in the office were re-use or renovations of existing buildings. I engaged with the issues of reusing existing buildings as a designer, assessing the existing conditions through analyzing existing documentation of the building to create a full picture of the building’s historic uses, the existing fabric and identifying structural systems. This type of research is the essential preliminary step before altering the fabric of the building to accommodate new uses. The skills I learned about assessing building conditions in Documentation 601 Recording were particularly useful in the analysis of building documentation and condition assessments.
In design and construction phases of projects I used building information modeling (BIM) software to prepare construction documents to send to contractors, clients and historical commissions, made site visits to understand the physical conditions of the building that can’ not be understood from documentation alone and to ensure that new construction was being completed to standards set in the construction drawings.
this internship experience taught me a lot about the unseen aspects that affect decision making regarding a building’s reuse. As an architect working on an existing building, it is critical to navigate different stakeholder relationships, such as ownership, budgeting, feasibility and the desires of local historical commissions and the national park service in cases of national historic landmarks. Through this experience I became more proficient in analyzing existing architectural drawings and documentation and producing documentation which built on skills used in the Documentation 601 recording course. Through working at Strada I was able to make professional relationships with preservation minded architects inside the firm and in the larger Philadelphia design community through collaboration on larger projects.