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About

Re:form Design Studio focuses on high-end residential, hospitality and workplace projects.

Building upon traditions of modernist architecture, commitment to purity of formal expressions, and attention to individual project requirements, Re:form Design Studio creates finely tailored and integrated spaces that reinforce the sense of identity and wellbeing.

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Q&A

If you are considering purchasing commercial property with a plan to convert it into a dwelling unit, first you need to consult Zoning Resolution and Zoning Map to confirm that a particular area the building is located in is "zoned" for residential occupancy.

Practically speaking, if an owner of a commercial space wants to convert it to residential use, the rules are pretty straightforward. The city requires that the converted space have two exits, windows, and adequate ventilation, and that the owner get an amended certificate of occupancy to reflect the change in use.

To get the new C of O, the owner has to apply with the Department of Buildings and submit plans drawn up by a registered architect or professional engineer that show how that the apartment is up to code. For more information, check out this page on the Department of Buildings website.

But be warned, when a place is converted from one use to another without permission from the city, it is considered an illegal conversion. These often lack basic safety features, like adequate exits in case of a fire. And when apartments don’t have proper permits, they often have illegal gas and electric work done by unlicensed workers, creating major fire hazards.

- Feasibility research: zoning analyses, C of O documentation research, existing property conditions analyses
- If conversion is feasible, schematic design of new dwelling unit
- Engagement of MEP, Structural Engineers and other design professionals as needed
- Preparation of Department of Building filing documents and request for new C of O
- Addressing of DOB objections and plans adjustments
- Obtaining of building permits
- Construction phase, progress DOB inspections
- Final DOB inspection and issuance of C of O

Interior Design process is composed of several distinct phases:
1. Conceptual Design: phase during which initial interview takes place and project requirements and budget are established. Designer prepares detailed project program, images that captures previously discussed aspects of desired design and develops a project concepts.
2. Schematic Design: phase during which preliminary drawings are prepared for clients' review and comments, other design professionals / consultants are engaged as required by the scope of the project.
3. Design Development: phase that starts after preliminary plans are approved and overall direction of design is finalized. Designer prepares detailed plans and elevations, coordinates with consultants and prepares documents for filing with local building authorities.
During this phase all project furniture, finishes and equipment (FF&E) are being specified, including paint colors, sofas, tiles, faucets, chandeliers, window treatments, etc.
4. Construction Documents: phase during which designer develops in conjunction with consultants documents - detailed drawings and specifications - that will be used for construction by GC and sub-contractors (plumber, electrical, custom cabinetry, AV systems, HVAC systems)
5. Contract Administration: phase during which previously developed documents are used to obtain bid from contractors, bids are viewed, contract is awarded and construction commence. During this phase Designer makes regular job site visits to ensure that design intent is carried through and address arising questions.
6. Final Installation: this phase takes place after the construction is completed and the place is thoroughly cleaned. Furniture, window treatments, area rugs, decorative lighting, decorative accessories are delivered and placed.
7. Post-occupancy Evaluation: after 6 months of the space being occupied by end user, Designers informally contacts project shareholders to receive a feedback and to address minor comments, if any.

Re:form Design Studio sensibility is rooted in Modernist Architecture and minimalist approach to design, however - every project is a collaboration with Client's and is driven by unique requirements, therefore always results in unique and exciting spaces that address specific end user needs and reflects Client's tastes and sense of identity.

Re:form Design Studio collaborative approach to design process ensures that Clients' requirements are implemented in a way that elevates the experience of space, caters to wellbeing of end users and strengthens the sense of identity and belonging.

Services

Interior design encompasses the analysis, planning, design, documentation, and management of interior non-structural/non-seismic construction and alteration projects in compliance with applicable building design and construction, fire, life-safety, and energy codes, standards, regulations, and guidelines for the purpose of obtaining a building permit, as allowed by law.

Management of project budget, contracts, schedule, consultants and resources. Establish contractually independent relationships to coordinate with, and/or hire allied design professionals and consultants.

Collect data from client and stakeholders by engaging in programming, surveys, focus groups, charrette exercises, and benchmarking to maximize design outcomes and occupant satisfaction.

Application of creative and innovative thinking that interprets collected project data and translates a unique image or abstract idea as a design concept, the foundation of a design solution. The concept is then described using visualization and communication strategies.

Selection of interior building products, materials, and finishes; furniture, furnishings, equipment, and casework; signage; window treatments, and other non-structural/non-seismic interior elements, components, and assemblies. Selections shall be made based on client and occupant needs, project budget, maintenance and cleaning requirements, lifecycle performance, sustainable attributes, environmental impact, installation methods, and code-compliance.

Develop contract documents for the purposes of communicating design intent and obtaining a building permit, as allowed by law. Documentation by phases may include schematic, design development, and construction drawings and specifications. Drawings may consist of floor plans, partition plans, reflected ceiling plans, and finish plans; furniture, furnishings, and equipment plans; wayfinding and signage plans; code plans; coordination plans; and elevations, sections, schedules, and details illustrating the design of non-load-bearing / non-seismic interior construction and/or alterations.

Overseeing non-structural/non-seismic interior design scope in concert with the scope of allied design professionals and consultants, including, but not limited to, the work of architects, mechanical, electrical, plumbing, and fire-protection engineers and designers, and acoustical, audio-visual, low-voltage, food service, sustainability, security, technology, and other specialty consultants. Coordination can include, but is not limited to: Placement, style and finish of mechanical, electrical, plumbing, and fire-protection devices, fixtures, and appurtenances (i.e., accessories) with the design of the interior environment. Ceiling materials and heights; interior partition locations. Acoustical appropriateness of spatial arrangements, construction, and finish materials. Working closely with contractors to respect budgetary constraints and contribute to value engineering efforts.

Administration of the contract as the owner’s agent, including the distribution and analysis of construction bids, construction administration, review of contractor payment applications, review of shop drawings and submittals, field observation, punch list reports, and project closeout.

Tasks intended to measure success of the design solution by implementing various means of data collection, which may include occupant surveys, focus groups, walkthroughs, or stakeholder meetings. Collection and reporting findings can range from casually to scientifically gathered, depending on the project’s scope and goals.