The latest assignment to come out of the new York City Council headquarters is certainly something that requires a lot of teamwork between Period Mouldings – the mouldings manufacturer, Millers – the construction company, the planners and the English Heritage.

So what is the problem?

Sometimes as architects, developers and construction companies things come up that seem to offer a real position of conflict.

In this case a beautiful architrave that is 190mm wide is standing in the way of progress.

The usual suspect of replacing it with some less than worthy architrave is quickly dismissed and lead to a lot of head scratching on what to do next.

The result was a creative solution offered by the site designer and architect that meant Period Mouldings had to turn their vision into reality.

The approach

Similar to all of our bespoke work of which we produce over 100 designs per annum we started with the original and looked to deal with the problems associated with changing the architrave but yet visually keeping it similar.

In addition we had to recognisant of the curved sections that formed the arches with these being evident above the glass sliding doors. It was therefore critical that the design visually left the users of the facility with a “together” experience that was in line with the quality of the original mould and was compliant with the requirements of planners and heritage specialists.

So we started by producing a CAD of the original mould and then working alongside the design team restructured the mould so that it would have the desired effect.

The result was a form of “faux” architrave that owed a lot of its origins to the concepts pioneered elsewhere in our mouldings proposition where we produce moulds for a number of London designers who utilise “faux” wainscoting on a regular basis.

Once the format had been agreed visually we set about making the items in a single piece to aid in terms of installation and offered the flexibility for the design to be used elsewhere if felt appropriate.

So what is the result?

In its simplest form the glass sliding doors are compliant with the regulations. Children should not be able to get their fingers in any dangerous places. But perhaps the real winner is the building where it has managed to hang on to its heritage even when utilised in a modern capacity. And perhaps this sparks a new wave of creativity from architects and designers that supports there reticence to destroy installed items in the name of progress by ripping out history and sentencing it to the nearest skip.