PROJECT PROFILE: [New] A Boston Loft Renovation / by Nima Yadollahpour

We are starting a new series on our What's New blog called Project Profile which will be a continuously updated journal on select new projects we are undertaking. Hopefully these journals will present various project challenges and will serve as a guide and provide insight into the design and construction process for anyone who may be considering to embark on a project.

Our first feature is a major gut renovation of a 3,500 square foot loft in Boston's Leather District. The client had initially started the project with another Boston architect; however midway through the initial design process had decided to take the project in a different direction and start from the beginning with another designer. In mid 2017 ONY architecture was contacted and a series of pre-project meetings and interviews began to discuss the full scope of the project, but also review ONY's credentials, approach to the design process, as well as the design services proposal. By December ONY was hired and the design process was scheduled to start. This project log will be outlined per the typical architectural design process.


The first step in any project is to gather information on the existing conditions of the site. For a new construction project this could be a surveyed plot/site plan, or for a renovation or addition to an existing structure the existing conditions would be a thoroughly measured survey of the building plans, elevations and sections. These drawings would be used as the background by an architect or designer to develop a scheme for the new project. For this reason, it is absolutely critical to have an exact survey to avoid inaccuracies in the design and construction process, which could lead to bad design, costly construction errors, or even structural miscalculations.

For our Boston Loft Renovation project we had received an existing conditions plan which was surveyed by the originally hired architect. Like all projects, to ensure accuracy, we remeasured the entire loft and produced our own existing plans - with measurements within a 1/4". Once we overlaid our thorough survey over the survey done by the previous designer, the discrepancies were surprising. Simple measurements between existing structural columns, windows, and major walls were significantly inaccurate. The extra time we put into fastidious measuring and re-measuring was well worth the effort.

ONY existing conditions (yellow) - Other's existing conditions (gray)