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Boca Raton architects Palm Beach architects RNA converted .pdf


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ADDITIONS AND RENOVATIONS TO HISTORIC BUILDINGS USING CONTEMPORARY STYLE

Bundeswehr Military History Museum in Desden, Germany - Wikimedia Commons

If you foolishly ignore beauty, you will soon find yourself without it but if you invest in beauty, it will remain
with you all the days of your life – Frank Lloyd Wright. What is simple a shape to one may be a masterpiece
to another. Find an architect to create the balance between what once was and what something needs to
become is naturally a challenge as they design additions to and rehabilitate historic properties. This task
is not only challenging but also exhilarating for an architect. The Palm Beach architects, Boca Raton
architects and West Palm Beach architects’ guidelines for preserving, rehabilitating, restoring and
reconstructing historic buildings are discussed in the Secretary of Interior Standards for the Treatment of
Historic Properties. Those responsible for developing and promulgating preservation standards and
guidance, specifically as it relates to historic buildings, is the office of Technical Preservation Services (TPS)
in the Cultural Resources Directorate of the National Park Service.
There is no formula for designing a new addition or related new construction on a site, nor is there
generally only one design approach. Given the task to create a new addition or add on to an existing
structure the architect must keep in mind the proportions between the original historical building and the
current new addition. Dresden’s Military History Museum in Germany, designed by Daniel Libeskind, is an
ideal example of how the architect kept in mind the massing scale and detail of the original building yet
the new addition is clearly unlike the original neoclassical structure.
Rex Nichols, the chairman of historical preservation board in Boca Raton, says “one of the more
challenging aspects of a design is to incorporate a fresh, clean, minimalist, contemporary style that is
compatible to the historic building. Part of an architect’s responsibility as they plan their design is to keep
in mind the use of current technology and sustainable materials and practices such as impact windows
and doors with low E glass, maximum insulation and solar panels for energy conservation”.
The topic of sustainability shaped by Florida architects can also be found in detail in the Secretary of
Interior Standards for the Treatment of Historic Properties. New additions and related new construction
that meet the standards can be any architectural style, traditional, contemporary or a simplified version
of the historic building. To maintain the historic character and the identity of the building being enlarged
many architects would argue that there should be a balance between how different the new addition is
and its compatibility to the original historical building. The danger in this approach is the possibility of
there not being any distinction between the old and the new design resulting in predictable, dull solutions.

As one looks around at many contemporary buildings, the excitement of the design is the expression of
the architectural proportions and forms which do not necessarily relate to the function of the building.
By using contemporary architecture the architect has the freedom to create a less predictable and more
exciting design solution while still taking advantage of the most current and up to date intelligent
materials and technology available. The final design of the new construction is a clearly distinct piece of
architectural style that stands as its own and both compliments the original historical building yet
simultaneously does not distract from or hinder the integrity of the original.
By Michael Hutchinson and Rex Nichols


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