This commercial shell building is a project we completed in Lewes, Delaware with the help of Lighthouse Construction, Inc.. In this design/build project, we were actually hired by the construction company. This method can make things easier on the client as they only have one point of contact for the building. It does require a lot of trust in that contractor. The architect is no longer his advocate but an employee of his contractor. This construction method can speed up the time and save money, but does remove oversight on the contractor.
Commercial shell construction can be a challenge as you aren’t designing for a specific client, but a nice generalist building. Easy subdivision and flexible mechanical systems are prioritized over unique architecture or specialized solutions. That is what makes projects like the Central Hotel more fun and interesting. Having a tenant can allow you to “brand” a building for them and make it more unique.
The client’s brief was simple. He came to us with a footprint set by his civil engineer for the site. We then took that footprint and created a simple single story shell. Our staff designed this shell to be flexible with many doors so they could subdivide it many ways. We clad it in brick to match the existing building on the site. Architectural distinctiveness to stand out was provided by the blue metal roof and dormers . Buildings like this are meant to be simple, flexible, an inexpensive to build. They still have to be attractive and sometimes memorable, depending on the market desired.