About DmA Architecture & Design, llc
DmA Architecture & Design, LLC is a full service boutique architecture and interior design practice. The Principal Daniel Martinez has over 20 years of experience in multiple project types including hi-end custom residential, commercial, hospitality and sacred structures. DmA Architecture specializes in gut-renovation as well as new construction.
Our Design Philosophy-Just as fashion seeks to elevate the person without consuming their individuality, so architecture seeks to restore the soul. Like the great sculptors of the renaissance who believed that hidden in material, art and soul were waiting to be revealed, we believe that intrinsic to design is the ability to see what is there and what can be. Whether a blank canvas, plot of land or a existing property that needs to be rejuvenated, we begin with a question. The question of story and purpose.
Collaborating with our clients and understanding their story releases a wealth of knowledge, ideas and artistic expression where comprehensive, purposeful design solutions are born. It is this story waiting to be told where we find our uniqueness that defines who we are, identifies and attracts others to us.
Here is where we are revealed and others are invited to partake and weaved into the fabric of our story. Like a cape that adorns the mannequin, the purpose of architecture and design is to adorn the soul and elevate the human experience.
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DmA specializes in gut-renovation. We re-think or rather reimagine a space for adaptive re-use. In addition, DmA specializes in church design. The principal is also a minster and an international keynote speaker.
DmA uses Revit software as its primary design and construction document medium. We find that using B.I.M. software early in the design process enables client understanding via 3d visualization as well as consultant coordination of integrated building systems.
Questions and Answers
What is important to know about your profession?
One of the greatest misconceptions that client's have about architects is that we only draw plans. When a client seeks a architect solely based on price they reduce their decision making to a mere commodity. In fact, plans are only a byproduct of a more complex process. Architects are a great resource having undergone rigorous training in history, psychology, urban planning etc. We are trained to be critical thinkers and problem solvers.
What do you recommend to know before hiring you?
In addition to having a legal survey of the property, we recommend clients have a prioritized "wish list" of what they desire in the building they are planning to build. For certain clients, especially churches and organizations that expected to grow they need to have a well defined plan to design to the expected grown and build flexibility into their programs. For residential clients, they may want to consider aging in place design. In either case potential clients should perform a needs assessment.
What we may not know about you?
In addition to being an architect Daniel is an ordained minister and have traveled nationally and internationally as a keynote speaker. He usually travels about twice a year speaking to congregations from 500 to 2000 in size. The largest audience he has ministered to was 10,000. Daniel's thesis was in mega-church design and he designed a facility for a 10,000 seat sanctuary and master plan encompassing 96 acres.
What are you most proud of?
One of the projects that I am proud of in the last 12 months was the renovation of a small 3500sf structure. I was first approached by the client because they were fined for working without a permit. Like many clients who attempt to self perform, they did not know how to properly optimize the space. The client had purchase a old synagogue for their new church facility. After meeting the client I was able reconfigure the building and thus increase the occupancy capacity as well as provide much needed functions the client believed was not possible.
How can we save money hiring you?
The best recommendation for customers who are looking to save money is develop and prioritize their Scope of Work. Custom architecture is meant to fit like a well tailored suit and accentuates the end-user. Customers may want fill out a survey to help define or refine their ideas. We find that indecision creates scope creep and cost over-runs.
What questions should a customer ask before hiring you?
Hiring a design professional is not just about price but more like buying a pair of good shoes. A collaborative fit both in design sense and personality is essential for success. Even a technically qualified architect may not be the "best fit". The following are some questions you should ask a professional before hiring:
- Are you licensed to practice? Why is not a requirement to hold a architecture license to do most residential work, architect's must pass both rigorous training and licensing exams for the privilege and responsibility of using the title "Architect". In fact, it is illegal for someone to use the word architect, architecture or even architectural designer in their title if they are not licensed.
- What is your design philosophy? Architecture is not merely drawing plans and elevations for building department approval. Your design professional should be able effectively communicate their design philosophy and the manner in which they work with their clients.
- How do you structure your fees? Fee structure can seem confusing to many potential clients especially if engaging an the services of an architect for the first time. The old adage "You get what you pay for" must be stated. Architecture fee can vary depending on several factors such complexity, time frame, building type, renovation, etc. At DmA, we offer a blended fee. In the beginning of the design process there a generally a lot of unknowns. Thus, we usually begin with an hourly rate for design. Once a design is finalized we can get preliminary bids on the cost of construction and determine a set fee for the construction documents. Finally, we them do construction administration on an hourly basis to assist the owner in ensuring that the design intent of their project is adhered to. We find that projects come in act 10-17% of construction costs.
- Do you offer holistic services? At DmA we can suggest other design professional and can assemble a cohesive team.
Daniel began his career in the urban fabric of NYC. A NYC native raised in the city in the late sixties he was was strongly influenced by urban blight and the need to restore community. That passion to restore community goes beyond brick and mortar but bringing a building back to life by creating a sense of place. Early in his career he began working on projects for work-loft legalization, gut-renovation and historic structures. Architecture tells a story and embodies the personality of those who live in it.
How many projects do you average in a year?
DmA averages about 6-8 projects a year of varying sizes. As a architecture firm we value each and every client and seek to build lasting relationships.
What kind of questions do customers ask you?
- What is the cost for your services? The cost of our services depends on the Scope of Work.
- Do you collaborate with your clients? We believe collaboration is key to any successful project. Architects are facilitators of there people dreams and visions.
- How long does it take to design design a building and what is the process? The length of the design process depends on the scope of work to be designed. The process is broken up into phases with client review and sign-off between each phase.
Do you offer any service after finishing the work?
At DmA, we provide an exit interview to rate our client satisfaction. While warranties are outside of the scope of the architect we create punch-lists before signing off on the contractors work.
What types of jobs are the most common?
The most common projects that DmA undertakes are a mixture of custom residential and light commercial.