Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Project Snapshot: City of Cambridge’s Sullivan Chamber

We are nearing completion of the renovation of the City of Cambridge’s historic Sullivan Chamber. The project began 18 months ago with a feasibility study to address audiovisual, acoustic and systems deficiencies in the Chamber and other civic spaces.


Improvements include all new lighting, heating, AV systems, accessibility improvements and the introduction of new acoustic finishes to the coffered ceiling and coves. The renovation will improve thermal comfort in the Chamber and the sound quality of both reinforced (amplified) and live sound.

Any construction project in an existing building presents challenges. The Chambers extensive plaster detailing, 100 year old structure and wood paneling required extreme care in the design and installation of new elements. The newly renovated Chamber will host its first Council meeting on December 10th of this year!


AFTER (Partially Lit)
AFTER (All lights on)

Design Team:
Architecture: LDa Architecture & Interiors
Lighting Design: Lam Partners
MEP/FP: Building Engineering Resources
Acoustic & Audiovisual Engineering: Acentech
General Contractor: Casby Construction
Acoustic Panels: New England Interior Specialties
Acoustical Plaster: BASWAPHON/Angelini Plaster
Electrical: MEGCO Electric

Monday, November 3, 2014

Exploring Rendering Styles

We've been having an internal discussion about how we create renderings in our office - going through the archive and pulling examples over the past decade and looking at the kinds of renderings we're able to produce now with the technology at hand. We were also looking at how individual styles vary within the office. All of this with the idea of defining some standards and styles within the office, sharing tips and techniques and building a library of images.

We thought it would be interesting to share some of the examples we collected and the tools used to create them:

Interior/Exterior Perspective: Hand drawn sketch drawn on trace, colorized in Adobe Photoshop. Used to communicate schematic design to clients.

Interior Perspective: SketchUp rendering, colors and graphics added in Adobe Photoshop. Created to explore wall color and conference room graphics options with client.

Exterior Elevation: AutoCAD drawing, color and background added in Adobe Photoshop. A series of these were made to select exterior material colors and placements with the client.
Interior Perspective: Hand Sketch with actual site photo placed in the windows using Adobe Photoshop. Created during Schematic Design to illustrate the connection to the dramatic rural site.

Interior Perspective: Hand sketch with color and scanned materials added in Adobe Photoshop. Used to assist an interiors client to visualize paint and fabric choices.

Exterior Perspective: Autodesk Revit drawing with added background and figures in Adobe Photoshop. Made as part of an internal series of project illustrations.

Building Section Detail: SketchUp model created to illustrate building components to the builder.

Exterior Elevation: Autodesk Revit drawing with added background and greenery in Adobe Photoshop. Used for approval from local historic commission.

Interior Perspective: Autodesk Revit model, professionally rendered by an outside consultant - Pixate Creative. Used for client's marketing materials, units will be going up for sale once completed.

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

LDa Featured in the Wall Street Journal!

This past weekend, the kitchen from our Rocky Ledge project was featured in the Wall Street Journal. In the Off Duty section of the newspaper, there was a collection of 50 things to try this Fall. One of their ideas discusses the recent switch some homeowners are making from bright, white spaces towards more dark, dramatic d├ęcor. Industry professionals from around the country chimed in with their interpretations of this recent trend. LDa Interior Design Principal, John Day, mentioned that, “dusky kitchens let appliances and hardware shine.” The image shown with the article is a reflection of the close collaboration between client and designer, while working with a space that yearned for something sleek and sophisticated, yet functional.

Whether you are interested in big, bold finishes or pieces with personality, dark is the new way to go. Check out the article below.

Monday, August 25, 2014

Welcome to Miami

LDa is currently working on the interiors of a 26th floor ocean front condo in Miami Beach. Interior Design Principal John Day had the opportunity to travel to South Beach to see the space and get acquainted with the local design scene

This midtown Design District is a relatively new area that has blossomed over the last five years. Well-known names like Holly Hunt, Janus Et Cie, Christiane Liaigre and Jonathan Adler line the streets while local shops and international furniture and finish vendors showcase their talents next door. In addition to designer stores, studios for design professionals, restaurants and fashion boutiques are sprinkled throughout this creative neighborhood.

The shopping experience is not confined to one building with multiple floors like traditional design centers, but rather offers walking, browsing and exploration. Restaurants that have been designed by the local showrooms, cafes and outdoor bars cater to shoppers, all serving to draw a more diverse, longer visiting and younger crowd. 

Shopping at the Miami Design Center was a truly enjoyable experience, one that was not confined by a single building, but rather allowed John and our clients to stroll through the open air mall and browse the variety of styles, tastes, sounds, and brands - all commingled to generate an exciting and expansive collection of designs and materials.

All images were provided by John Day. Thank you to the stores for allowing him to browse your beautiful collections and take some photos for inspiration.

Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Leisure, Comfort, and a Great Spot to Grill...

When designing a deck, there are quite a few puzzle pieces that must come together. One of our current clients is interested in replacing their current deck. I sat down with one of our Designers, Thomas Jonak, and here is what he had to say about the design process.

First thing a designer does is listens to the client. They listen to figure out what the deck is going to be used for, how the homeowners want the deck to interact with the house and outdoor space, what they like and don’t like about their current deck, if they are planning to do any other types of home renovations that could affect the new deck, and how long they expect to live at this residence. Thomas also reached out to a site planner to understand the lay of the land at the client’s home. This is important to understand because it helps him figure out how many stairs to incorporate into the design, the size of each step, and if the land slopes at all, for which they may need to compensate with additional stairs. Here are some of the inspiration images Thomas used to develop four designs for our clients:

At the next meeting, the homeowners met with Thomas and LDa Principal, Treff LaFleche, to review the renderings. They discussed what they liked and didn’t like with about the design. For these homeowners, it was important to incorporate an area for a built-in grill while allowing for a seemingly seamless transition from the interior of the home out to the porch, then having minimal steps onto the grassy area of back yard. Here are some images of the updated design. Stay tuned to see what the finished product looks like!

Tuesday, July 8, 2014

A Trip to the Big Apple

Recently, LDa was invited to tour the new Liaigre showroom in New York City with Jason Ryan, the CEO of Liaigre. The space was finished about a year ago to highlight their collection and showcase their overall design aesthetic in the studio. Two of our Interior Designers, John Day and Jayme Kennerknecht, headed to the Big Apple to check out the new space and scope out some pieces for a design project. 

When asked what his favorite part of the trip was, John said, “Meeting the CEO of Liaigre and hearing about the design and manufacturing process. They have some one-off pieces that are not yet available [to the public] in the showroom and use this opportunity to gauge designer response to the new designs.” Jayme mentioned that her favorite part was, “admiring the juxtaposition of materials in various pieces, in a very interesting way.” 

Check out some of their pictures from the showroom below:


After enjoying lunch with Jason Ryan and Liz Bates, the Showroom Manager, John and Jayme stopped by Holly Hunt, Richard Martin, and John Boone. It’s not every day you have the opportunity to check out these showrooms, as many only have spaces in New York City. Here are some photos from the other showrooms: 

Ralph Lauren:

John Boone: 

Richard Martin: 

Thursday, June 19, 2014

Summer's Here! Pool House Design Tips & Ideas

With summer quickly approaching, figuring out the best ways to cool off is something that is on all of our minds. Some of our clients have asked us to design pools for them. With a pool however, comes towels, toys, and the need for more storage. The solution? A pool house! We polled our designers and here's what they had to say about things to consider when building a fun, yet functional space...
  • When choosing furniture, it is wise to utilize outdoor furniture. It is designed to dry quicker than regular furniture and tends to be more lighter, allowing you to rearrange according to your needs. Invest in multipurpose pieces like a big daybed, for lounging and napping out of the sun, and a large coffee table, great for meals on the patio or games by the pool.
  • Create a seamless transition from pool area to pool house by using glass doors, similar to the ones shown in the drawing below, as either sliding or folding doors. Also, with the influx of perennial insects during the summer months, it is important to take screens into consideration when planning the flow and accessibility of your pool house.

  • To help keep the interior of your pool house clean, install an outdoor shower to allow guests to rinse off before coming inside. 
  • Having a small kitchenette in the pool house will come in handy for food preparation. Also, a small fridge is great for storing refreshing drinks and snacks. 
  • It is important to reflect the aesthetic of the main house in the design of the pool house so the building is complimentary and not obtrusive. 
  • Landscaping is critical as well – you want to build the pool house relative to the pool & adjacent landscaping.  When installing a pool, homeowners typically install a fence to surround the pool area. With this in mind, it is important to consider whether or not the pool house will be in the enclosed fence area or outside, and how accessible the house will be.
When planning to install a pool in your backyard, be sure to refer to your local by-laws and ordinances for any rules and regulations that may exist in your hometown.

The pool house sketched above is coming along! Check out some of the progress photos below. Almost ready for some summer fun. Did somebody yell, "Cannonball"?

Here are some other pool houses we have designed in the past...

Split Oaks Farm

 Split Oaks Farm
 For more pictures from this project, click here.

Thursday, June 5, 2014

Which housing style is best for you?

LDa Principal Treff LaFleche was interviewed for a playful story on housing types that appeared in last week's Sunday Boston Globe -  illustrated by Polly Becker. Local architects were asked to contribute the pros and cons to five common home styles.


Wednesday, May 14, 2014

USA TODAY 2014 Pet Guide

LDa Senior Associate and Interior Designer Jayme Kennerknecht was interviewed by USA TODAY about design choices for homes with pets for their 2014 Pet Guide. Great tips about pet-friendly fabrics and rugs!

The guide is available for purchase here!