Our client is a contractor, and stymied after a number of attempts at getting approvals for a design he came to us for some help in negotiating with the Planning Department in Alameda. It is a rarity that we get to do everything we want to do in designing a house, and with stronger design review guidelines and review boards in most municipalities we have had to hone our negotiating skills and learn to pick the right battles to fight.Read More
Over the years we have had the great fortune of collaborating with many talented people. This has been essential to many of our projects since there are so many factors that go into making a business successful. One of our colleagues, Leslie Laskin Reese, discusses the specifics for establishing a realistic budget for opening a restaurant in her blog post, “Opening a restaurant…the reality of budgets”. Be sure to check out the article! Link listed below.
As a restaurant designer, I have always approached each project with a fresh eye, and tried to completely understand the operator's goals before concepting the space. I have been fortunate to work with talented and ambitious chefs and operators like Staffan Terge and Umberto Giben from Perbacco, and Mark Gordon and Laurie Thomas from Terzo. Each of them already was an ace chef or operator before deciding to open a new venture, which certainly made our collaborative task of designing their restaurant a little easier. But their experience also generated higher expectations, which gave rise to unique challenges in the work. With both Perbacco and Terzo, the spaces the restaurant took over were in very poor shape, and just developing the infrastructure to support a full-service restaurant was no small feat. Understanding the technical requirements of gas, power, water, sewage, and exhaust service is a significant part of the design process, and only after you get that figured out can you even start to think about the creative aspects of the design.Read More