BONIN ARCHITECTS is proud to be one of the many great event sponsors and prize donors for the 1st Annual Mt. Sunapee Duck Drop. The event is this Saturday, October 7th, we hope to see you there with your friends and family for a fun day!
The Shoreland Water Quality Protection Act (RSA 483-B) is an important safeguard for one of New Hampshire’s most precious and valuable natural resources, our Lakes and smaller bodies of water. Maintaining water quality is essential in protecting our quality of life, the health of the environment, the natural beauty we are so proud of, and NH’s tourism industry and economy. Earlier this month, “Senate Bill 30” went into effect. As part of this bill, a few important changes are taking place regarding the SWQPA.
The most noticeable change will be in calculating the vegetative score of waterfront sites. In the past, sites were divided into 50’x50’ segments along the length of a parcel’s shoreline. These sections are scored based on the sizes, quantities, and types of vegetation located within. For example, a 6”-12” caliper tree is worth 10 points, 15 points for a tree greater than 12”, and there are points per square foot of natural groundcover. The minimum score to be maintained was 50 points. The new bill has changed this grid to 50’x25’ and has proportionately decreased the minimum score from 50 to 25.
The “Natural Woodland Buffer,” was defined as the area located between 50’ and 150’ of the Reference Line (mean high water elevation). The definition has been replaced by two new terms. The “Woodland Buffer” and “Natural Woodland.” The “Woodland Buffer” is now defined as the area between the reference line and 150’, including the 50’ “Waterfront Buffer”. “Natural Woodland” is defined as “a forested area consisting of various species of trees, saplings, shrubs, and ground covers in any combination and at any stage of growth”. Within the Woodland Buffer between 50’ and 150’, 25% needs to be maintained in an unaltered state or improved with additional vegetation as” Natural Woodland.” Other changes apply more to the administrative policies and do not affect the design or management of the shorefront.
It is important to remember that even though these changes have gone into effect on the state level, most towns (New London, Newbury, Sunapee, for example) have their requirements for their respective zoning ordinances. These regulations are often more stringent than the state’s and must be followed. These laws, state or local, are designed to protect our water resources, keeping New Hampshire beautiful and clean.
Craftsmanship - "the quality of design and work in something made by hand; artistry."
Build - "to cause to be constructed."
All houses are built; however, craftsmanship sets a home apart. Quality, durability, thoughtfulness in design, and artistry are attributes found throughout the process of creating a custom home. The design process contains skill and understanding as an architect brings the functional needs and a family’s vision of their home to life. The construction process then integrates many trades, masons, and carpenters, for example, each with their unique experience and knowledge of their craft, further building upon the whole of the design.
For example, as the masons complete work on this chimney, their attention to detail and artistry will be followed and complimented by the carpenter's millwork and finally the cedar shingles on wall and roof. Traditional materials, thoughtful design, and craftsmanship from talented builders result in a unique home to be enjoyed by generations to come.
Many lakefront homes existed before the adoption of zoning regulations. In part, this is both benefit and challenge when building a new home. For these homeowners, it was the impetus for freedom in design focused on family and enjoyment of the Lake.
Striving for creative solutions that were “...in any way fun and inventive”, the clients eagerly asked we share all concepts with them during the architectural design process. Unique ideas and existing treasures were consistently explored and incorporated; such as the salvaged porthole windows and the reclaimed chestnut in the recreation room. The narrow lot offered challenges imposed by setbacks from neighbors and Lake Sunapee itself. However, creativity and thoughtful arrangement of rooms allow the design to capture views from all levels of the home. The highlight, a folding glass NanaWall for unobstructed lake views from the main floor.
Thank you, Rick and Cindy, for sharing your adventure with us! It was a pleasure, and we wish you many, many years of enjoyment on the lake with family and friends.
“From the first meeting to the move in date, Bonin Architects was there for us all along the way… extremely professional and their positive demeanor made the project very enjoyable. I would definitely build another house with them!”
- Rick, Newbury, NH
What specifically does an architect do? How does it add value to my project? These are questions you may ask yourself, yet seldom is that question directly asked of us. The National Council of Architectural Registration Boards defines the role of an architect as, “…the primary building professional qualified to protect the health, safety, and welfare of the public through the enhancement of the quality of the built environment and the richness of space and form.” We feel this an appropriate definition, pragmatic and poetic, as is our role. The professional caring for the well-being of your family while also attending to the quality of space where your family lives and gathers.
On several occasions, while interviewed for publication, this question was considered. In one article the value was defined as, “An Architect will enrich the process through integrity, conscientious design, environmental awareness and the application of skills specific to their trade. When you involve an Architect, you are ensuring that your welfare and vision are paramount.”, in a separate article, “Designing and building a home is a new experience for the majority of homeowners, merely defining the scope of the project can be a daunting task. Hiring an architect is one of the best first steps. The architect is the owner’s representative, keeping the owner’s vision, needs, and desires in mind, with the primary goal a successful project.”
We believe a successful project is meeting the client’s vision and budget with as few difficulties as possible. As one periodical summarized, “Any choice that improves the impact that the home will have is an improvement worth pursuing. Hiring an Architect is one such choice.”
For more information, contact us at any time.
If someone were to characterize a New Englander, self-reliant is a trait often cited. That’s particularly true here in New Hampshire. We have a way of “figuring it out.” As is true for many small firms, that sentiment permeates our office. We wear many hats so to speak. With the design and launch of our updated website, we’ve decided to take a fresh look at the BA&A brand. So lately we’ve been wearing our graphic design hats.
Our challenge: Update our brand to reflect our product better, and do so without abandoning the visual recognition we’ve built over the last decade.
The design process for a logo is similar to architectural or landscape design. You start with a program, analyze restrictions and benefits, and review the possible options. From there you take the best ideas and refine them until the best solution presents itself. It’s substantial work, and I appreciate the graphic designer's profession more than ever. So, keep an eye out for our new look, coming soon.
Thank you to New Hampshire Home Magazine for featuring our firm in the July/August edition-Settling into Lakeside Living. We would like to thank our fantastic clients, David and Lisa Andrews, along with the members of our design team, the engineers, contractors and sub-contractors who all worked together to make this wonderful home a reality for this great family, who will enjoy their years for generations to come. Here’s a link to the featured article.
Working with energetic and dedicated professionals is an incredible aspect of the team approach. Bringing your dreams to life through the design of a home is only a portion of the process, it continues well beyond the completion of construction.
Take this week for instance. We spent two days with an amazing photographer on two projects, a lakefront home, and a commercial project. We have collaborated with John W. Hession of Advanced Digital Photography many times, not only is he an amazing photographer, he mentors others in his field and is always open in sharing his knowledge of the art and science of photography.
We spent over a day staging and photographing a home on beautiful Lake Sunapee with the blessing of the homeowners while they were away for a few days. We hope to return for a few more photos later this summer and capture them and their family in the process of enjoying the view of Mount Sunapee with their feet in the sand and perhaps enjoying a bit of waterskiing in the cove.
While watching Midtown’s loftier skyscrapers appear and disappear in the morning clouds, we discussed what a great trip this was. Learning with and from peers, presentations by industry specialists and squeezing in a Broadway Musical. We were even informed we honored 'typical NY style' by arriving with three minutes to spare before they closed the doors!
Architects and Landscape Architects are required by their respective licensing boards to complete continuing education on a yearly basis. The need for continuing education serves many purposes. Notably, it is a requirement to maintain licensure, but the core purpose is to ensure professionals stay current with industry advances, new materials, new building methods and innovations in technology to improve how we convey design. Also, regulations for safety, comfort and energy conservation and building codes continue to evolve.
Architecture touches projects ranging from home design to city planning, and continual learning benefits everyone by increasing value brought to a homeowner or community. We learn to build durable buildings, requiring less maintenance and lowering your upkeep costs. We discover advancements in technology to decrease energy consumption, reducing your utility bills. And we learn to design for comfort and health, creating healthy environments for your families. We continually strive to further our knowledge, so we bring the best value to the table for everyone.
As a Landscape Architect and admirer of the local New Hampshire Flora, early June is one of my favorite times of the year. One of the most impressive native NH wildflowers starts blooming and never fails to catch my eye. Small colonies of Lupines (Lupinus sp.) jut out along the sides of the road as you're driving through the countryside. You’ll recognize them by their large spikes of purple to pink flowers and unmistakable compound leaves.
Here are some in bloom in a wildflower meadow we created for clients of ours in the Lakes Region. As part of this landscape design, we reclaimed a significant portion of the lawn and re-vegetated much of the waterfront landscape with native NH plant species. Locally, a great place to see lupines for yourself is the traffic circle at the base of Mount Sunapee in Newbury. The flowers usually stay in bloom for the entire month of June; get out and see them while you can.
From an architect's perspective, watching a home 'come to life' during construction is always rewarding.
From a homeowner's perspective, feelings may range from apprehension to elation. A design firm understands not just building but spatial relationships, visualizing the home in three dimensions, albeit in our heads at times. However, many people are not able to easily understand two-dimensional drawings or making the leap to imagine the home and how it relates to the lakefront for example.
This is where technology, in concert with creativity, bring the homeowners vision to an accurate and understandable medium. 3-D renderings, such as above, are prepared long before construction begins; providing realistic images for discussion and refinement during the design process. During construction, renderings also provide easy reference for proposed changes.
Welcome to our updated website! Here, we will keep you informed about current projects, events, and news involving our firm. Members of our design team will contribute on a regular basis. We’ll include photos and stories of projects under construction, projects in design, events we’re attending, as well as links to any publications we’ve been featured in throughout New England and around the country. If you haven’t had a chance, please take the time to “Like” us on Facebook too!