Project Managers Carry the Architectural Torch
By Gary Schmidt
Architect and Project Manager, Kimmerle Project Management
Architects wear many hats working on multifaceted projects, including functioning as a project manager. The role of an architectural firm is multidimensional to support numerous aspects of the work sometimes occurring simultaneously. Clients hire full-service firms such as Kimmerle Group to handle complex projects from inception to completion to manage companies’ real estate planning, design and development services in the areas of: corporate; commercial; office/retail; healthcare; planning and urban design; education; residential and historic preservation.
Our six divisions support our diverse capabilities, each armed with a unique focus yet working synergistically to accomplish the goals and objectives of our clients’ projects. As leader of Kimmerle Project Management, my team and I provide comprehensive owner representation and project management services for our custom projects in the areas of: luxury retail; hospitality and corporate commercial interiors. By assuming this responsibility, we free our clients to remain focused on their core operations and additionally, it allows employees to concentrate on their daily responsibilities.
Our successful outcomes have increased the demand for project management services. The field is growing and is adding increased career opportunities for professionals entering the workforce. As a matter of fact, the Project Management Institute, a nonprofit professional organization dedicated to academic research, forecasts 6.2 million jobs globally by 2020. If you are considering becoming a project manager, a suggested career path might include planning an education with a Bachelor’s in architecture. Coursework should cover building materials and construction methods; engineering and design; architecture management and business. Advanced abilities in computers, electronics and mathematics are required. Contemplating a Master’s degree and/or additional certifications can give you a competitive edge.
A prime example exemplifying our multidisciplinary talented team working together for a turnkey project is for the clinical-stage biotherapeutics company, Bellerophon Therapeutics, located in Warren, N.J. The biotechnology firm retained Kimmerle Group to design the firm’s workspace. Working under a tight 3-month schedule, the client wanted a distinct, unique design aesthetic as a newly independent firm. Partner Paul Newman of Kimmerle Newman Architects (KNA), collaborated with executives and developed a bright, open floor plan to be the company’s first home. Dramatic transparent elements were integrated into central conference functions, to ensure daylight and bridge all parts of the company’s operations and enhance team communications. Senior Project Manager Elizabeth Houston of the KNA Interiors team created an enlivened scheme focused around collaborative spaces for employees, with bold accents in primary tones running through spaces.
Fellow project manager Jim Mensinger and I oversaw technical vendors, schedules and minimized the firm’s budgetary outlays. Senior Director Meghan Barlotta of Kimmerle Workspace procured new furniture and fixtures, which were incorporated in wood tones, along with a seating program that carried the three-tone accent program into all project areas. The creation upheld the vision of Bellerophon and enabled their employees to concentrate on daily business activities.
An orchestrated effort ensures each phase of a project – from anticipation to completion – is managed in a customized approach with a meticulous eye for detail and innate knowledge of all facets of the work. When a client can trust a firm to act on their behalf it reduces stress and frees them to concentrate on their area of expertise.
Gary Schmidt, Project Manager, is a registered architect and LEED-accredited professional. He has a broad array of projects in many locations in the New York metropolitan area and across the United States, including mixed-use developments and adaptive reuse projects. Gary has served as an adjunct professor at Parsons School of Design. He earned a bachelor’s degree in architecture from Syracuse University.
The award-winning Kimmerle Group is comprised of six divisions, each with complementary specialties, including Kimmerle Newman Architects, Urban Studio, Real Estate Services, Workspace, Project Management and Branding. The multidisciplinary team, which was named the 2016 AIA NJ Architecture Firm of the Year, has established an outstanding reputation for its design and development work in corporate architecture and interiors, education, healthcare, urban design and planning, industrial and retail, private and multifamily housing and historic preservation. Kimmerle Group possesses a national project footprint and is active in the Tri-state area and across the United States. The firm’s headquarters in Harding Township, NJ is an NJBIA Good Neighbor Award winner for 2017, and CPE’s 2016 Distinguished Achievement Award for Best Design. The firm is also located in the Chelsea Arts district of New York City with offices at West 20th and 6th Avenue. To learn more visit www.kimmerle.com.