There are so many things that can define a downtown: nightlife, retail, architecture and all of the above. But at the core, a healthy, vibrant Main Street is the town or city’s nucleus, the city’s economic and social hub.
That’s how Michael Petrovick, one half of Catlin & Petrovick Architects of Keene, sees it anyway. But maybe it’s the visionary nature of an architect, Petrovick also thinks that part of having a vibrant downtown is helping it exist in the time we find ourselves in.
“A Main Street needs to be current with the times,” Petrovick says. “I think many of our Main Streets are deeply rooted in history which is great. But we have to allow that history to continue to evolve….[Historic Commissions] should maintain a city or town’s history and not let it be destroyed, but there should be a balance that allows more exciting buildings to be built.”
That innovative bent infuses the work that Catlin&Petrovick do.
Petrovick and partner John Catlin, each had his own successful solo careers before teaming up in 2013.
Catlin launched Catlin & Associates Architects, Inc. in 1976 in Boston where he specialized in, among other things, residential, commercial and historic projects, before setting his focus on buildings designed for the elderly.
As for Petrovick, he made his bones working for a variety of firms in New York. During that time he co-created large projects in the residential, commercial and healthcare sectors as well as renovating custom homes for clients throughout Long Island and upstate New York. By 1998, he had his own firm in New Hampshire and where he completed residential, commercial, municipal, industrial and historic projects in New Hampshire, Massachusetts, Maine, Connecticut, Rhode Island and New York.
The According to company marketing materials, Petrovick’s continued work on commercial and residential properties as those that are, “specifically designed to meld modern needs with the unique New England vernacular [and] have established his reputation throughout the Northeast.”
Eventually the two joined forces and since then have completed projects, across the eastern United States, with the majority in New Hampshire and Massachusetts
“We use a lot of leading edge tech in our business,” Petrovick says. “But we also design our buildings that are actually leading edge as well.”
He explains this mainly falls in the category of Project Information Management Software (PMIS), which by definition is a way of organizing information in a way that allows organizations to execute projects successfully. It usually consists of one or more software applications and a methodical process for using and gathering project information.
“[PMIS] is really state of the art,” Petrovick says, “ which helps us manage our project during the design process but also helps manage them during the construction process.”
What that means in practical terms, he says, is it leads to them being more efficient and ultimately creating a more economical project for their clients.
“We don’t generate as much paper,” he says.”We’re not using a lot of mail, we’re not using a lot of currier.” All of which means a leaner project that saves the client money.
The same principals apply in the buildings the company designs, Petrovick says.
“We try to do buildings that are leading edge as far as their footprint on the environment, carbon emissions, all that sort of thing,” he says. “Our buildings are done so they are low cost to operate and they are also healthier in that the environments inside the buildings are healthier for their occupants.”
For example, he says, they create buildings that are heavily insulated to ensure the owner has lower heating and cooling costs. They also include into their designs systems which provide regular fresh air.
“So you are not getting stale air in the buildings,” Petrovick says. “We like to make buildings that are open, airy, light naturally daylit.”
Going forward, Petrovick has said the plan is to continue to remain current with building trends while continuing to grow the business.
“We continue to educate ourselves and our staff to understand the most current materials, products and methodology in order to provide our clients with the best solution,” he says.
For more information on Catlin & Petrovick visit c-parchitects.com.