Anna Abramowicz received a B.A. from Harvard College, a Master's of Philosophy in Archaeology from Cambridge University and a Master's of Architecture from Columbia University. Prior to founding her firm in 1999, Anna Abramowicz worked for several distinguished New York Architectural firms, among them, Platt Byard Dovell, HOK, and Evans Heintges Architects. Although her primary work was on high rise office towers, she was also project architect on a number of smaller scale residential and preservation projects. She is interested in creative re-use & sustainable design as well as healthcare and housing. A childhood spent in Japan and Italy results in her appreciation of diverse aesthetics and cultures. Anna Abramowicz maintains her primary license in New York, and is NCARB certified which allows her reciprocity with other states.
We offer full services to our clients: for us, full services signifies that we coordinate and provide all the elements required to realize your project. Our first step is meeting you and visiting the proposed site. We take into consideration your likes, dislikes, interests, behaviours and requirements. Requirements can be defined both creatively and technically; for example you may have a restricted budget or your site is located in a zone that has restricted building size, shape or design elements. Additionally you may need a certain type of kitchen to accommodate your physical needs, your children, and practices - or all three or more. We welcome the challenges. Each building type and location will be different, so let's continue with a New York City example. We will start with some napkin sketches until you and we are satisfied, and present your coop board or managing agent with CAD drawings suitable for review. Upon approval, we file for Department of Buildings approval.
During this period, we will also start drawing,detailing,and specifying your project. This phase entails selecting all the elements required to provide a price and build the project. Accordingly, we guide you to selections of materials, such floors and tiles, and products, such as sinks and stoves. We also start coordinating any mechanical (heating and air conditioning), Electrical (lighting, outlets and smart home systems,) Plumbing and Structural components of the Project. We will provide you with licensed design professionals in these fields who are appropriate to your project. We then move on to bidding the project.
We will work with your contractor or provide you with contractor contacts. We will bring the contractors to your project and explain the project and walk them through the drawings and requirements. Contractors may technical questions, and we will respond during the bidding period so that the project is well comprehended before the contractor provides a price. After the prices come in, and you settle on a contractor, we'll help you or your lawyer with an AIA contract that spells out the responsibilities of the contractor. We then 'go to contract', collects licenses and certificates of insurance from the contractors and subcontractors, and pull a permit from the Department of Buildings. We also revise the drawings for construction, adding in any items that may have changed during the bidding period such specifying a less or more expensive finish or revising a structural detail based on discussions with the steel contractor.
Now we start demolition! While we endeavor to make our design as precise as possible, existing apartment walls may conceal elements that cannot be moved. During this period, it is possible that hidden conditions are revealed, and changes must be made to the design. We provide sketches to you and the contractor to reflect these changes. Additionally, the contractor will provide their own drawings which illustrate, for example, structural or mechanical designs of their own - so called shop drawings. We review these shop drawings to ensure the final design conforms with your requirements.
The contractor, while working on project, will submit requests for payment; we'll review these to ensure that you are paying according to the work performed, and in accordance with the contractor. We'll also review any change order proposals; change orders (or up charges) may occur because concealed conditions require more work on the part of the contractor or because you've decided to upgrade some of your choices.
Periodically, we visit the site, either to answer questions from contractor or perform inspections required by the Department of Buildings. We generally visit the site at least once a week in the beginning, if not more. A lot of things come up during demolition, and we want to be there.
Afterwards: when you can move into your new home, there may be some unfinished items -- punch list items. These are minor in nature, and don't preclude you from using your home, but we'll visit the site periodically to check on the progress of the final touches. These items typically don't stop us from signing off on the project.
After you've lived the space for a month or so, you may want assistance in selecting some new furniture or adding some built-ins if we didn't provide them in the first round. We've happy to help you with that and thank you for coming back to us.