J.A. Mihalik Architect, LLC31 Park LaneEssex Fells, NJ 07021 Justin A. Mihalik, AIA NCARB
IntroductionI graduated from the New Jersey Institute of Technology School of Architecture in 1993, and wasalready working with the Port Authority of NY/NJ as an intern. I had worked in the field of architecturesince the summer before entering NJIT. It was very important to me that I work in the field while I wasachieving my degree so that I was well prepared and could find a permanent position once I graduated.The Influences that Impacted my CareerThe internship at the Port Authority was paramount for my career and continues to influence how Ipractice architecture today. Specifically that all the buildings, such as the World Trade Center, NewarkLiberty International Airport, LaGuardia Airport, and JFK International Airport, were major publicstructures. It was exhilarating for me to be designing with the understanding that tens of thousands ofpeople each day would interact and experience these structures. Of course, you cannot interview theclient under these circumstances; in fact, you are the client as well as the designer. So the designthought process was more difficult because the questions normally posed to a client had to beanswered instinctively instead. While at the Port Authority, a significant event took place that foreverchanged my perspective on what it means to be an architect — the terrorist bombing of the WorldTrade Center of 1993. I was one of the many who remained in the building and made the journey downfrom the 73rd floor of Tower One to West Street. It was the first time in my life that I relied upon the lifesafety design of a building. We are all aware of the damage that the building sustained and that it didnot collapse although some lives were lost. What struck me and has stayed with me is that it was thebuilding design, the architect’s design, prevented further loss of life. Architecture is not just aboutaesthetic design, and the fancy details. First and foremost it is about the health, safety and welfare ofthe occupants. Architects must consistently ask themselves if the design is as safe as it can be withinthe client’s budget. In fact, our business is to educate the client about life safety and that building codesdo not provide the maximum level of protection, but the minimum.My CareerI opened my firm in 1998 in Upper Montclair, focusing on building a clientele and a good reputation.My works consisted mainly of residential additions and alterations. In the summer of that year, I hiredmy first employee, a summer intern from Lehigh University. It is my belief that in order for architects toremain at the forefront of the building industry, we must also instruct students on how to become greatarchitects. For this reason, I have maintained a position for an intern in my office every summer.Shortly after that summer, I hired my first full-time employee and focused on growing the firm. Our firstimportant commission came in 2000. It was the rehabilitation and renovation of a 15,000 square footbuilding in Boonton. The project was most challenging for me because it was the complete “gut” of a100-year-old building constructed of brick masonry and wood frame. It was a mixed-use building withretail stores at the main level and offices on the other four levels. The project took 18 months tocomplete and two million dollars of the owner’s money. This project gave me the confidence that I didhave the talent to work with a client to create a vision, prepare the necessary construction documentsfor construction, and then coordinate a construction process to make the design a reality. This projectbrought together all aspects of my training and it was successful. Since that time, we have designedand completed over 250 residential, commercial, retail and institutional projects totaling more than $50million in construction. I currently hold licenses in the states of New Jersey, NewYork, Pennsylvania, Connecticut, Maine, North Carolina and Florida. We have completed projects inmost of these states as well as other states in the field of retail design. I also hold a certificate from theNational Council of Architectural Registration Boards (N.C.A.R.B.).I made a tough, yet very exciting decision to join a larger practice after nine years of being a solepractitioner. On January 1, 2008 I became a Principal of the firm Jarmel Kizel Architects andEngineers, Inc. located in Livingston, New Jersey. I joined the firm as Principal in Charge ofOperations, and Principal in charge of the Retail Design Studio. I currently manage the retail rollout ofa major childcare development center, The Learning Experience, which is now in more than 12states, and at the close of 2008 will have more than 80 centers in operation. Jarmel Kizel is one of thelargest and fastest growing architectural firms in New Jersey. It was bestowed with NJBiz’ magazinesNew Jersey’s Finest award which honors New Jersey’s fifty fastest growing companies.
American Institute of ArchitectsI have been a member of the American Institute of Architects since I received my license in NewJersey in 1998. I have been actively involved on the Board with the Newark & SuburbanArchitects, a Section of the American Institute of Architects since 2004 and have held the positionsof Trustee, Design Day co-chairperson, NJIT liaison chairperson, Continuing Educationchairperson, Treasurer, Delegate to AIA New Jersey, and this year I hold the esteemed title ofPresident. It is fulfilling for me to be actively involved with the Institute and to contribute to thedevelopment of the AIA. As President there are three objectives that I am working on: the first isoutreach for which I have spearheaded an alliance with USGBC-NJ northern, which is the localchapter of USGBC. We held a joint meeting that will become an Annual meeting, and will act as aplatform for the two organizations to share ideas and work together on sustainable issues that affectthe built environment. In addition to this meeting, it was my responsibility to reach out to localgovernment leaders to discuss important issues that affect the profession. I was able to meet withCongressman William Pascrell of the 8th District, Congressman Donald Payne of the 10thDistrict, and Congressman Rodney Frelinghuysen of the 11th District. The purpose of these visitswas to discuss a series of issues including Energy Efficient Commercial Building’s TaxDeduction, Promote Healthy and Safe Communities Through Transportation Funding, EliminateRetainage Rules on Architects and Engineers, and others. The meetings were very inspiring andbeneficial because each of the Congressman were in support of the issues and so much so thatCongressman Pascrell picked up his phone to call one of his staffers to make sure that they werefollowing up to support a bill that the AIA is supporting. The second objective is mentorship forstudents and emerging professionals who are studying and working to become licensed architects. Iam in the process of formally creating a program that will be known as “MatchArch” which will be anonline service that will allow students and emerging professionals to connect with a licensedarchitect in their area who may act as a mentor. It is paramount that licensed architects andmembers of the AIA fulfill an obligation that has existed since the beginning of the profession, whichis to mentor the architects of the future.My third objective is socialresponsibility. My sectionrecently held an internationalcompetition known as “Live theBox” which challengedarchitects, designers, andarchitecture students across theworld to design an urban mixeduse project utilizing shipping Meeting with Congressmancontainers. Here in New Jersey Pascrell during AIAour shipping ports have an Advocacy Weekextreme surplus of shippingcontainers that can be utilized forother means and in thiscase, housing. The competitionwas a huge success receivingwell over 100 submissions frommore than eight countries. Wewill be hosting an awards gala inNovember to honor the winnersas well as talk about theimportance of urban design andthe importance that architects Meeting with Congressmanplay in solving social issues. Frelinghuysen during AIA Advocacy Week
404-408 Main StreetBoonton, New JerseyI was commissioned this project in my second year ofpractice, 2000, and it was a major turning point for mycareer. It was the first adaptive reuse project for me and itbrought together my design and construction experience insuch a way that I never imagined. The project was asensitive project for the owner and the town of Boontonbecause the town was pushing a redevelopment plan of thedowntown area and this building was the largest building at Existing Main Street Elevationthe south end of Main Street. The building was built circa1900 and we were completely gutting the building. The The construction process took eight months toclient was very impressed with my first vision which was to complete. I was somewhat nervous about theeliminate the separations between the three individual units construction process because this was myand open the floor plates. It was imperative for us to do this largest project to date. But I knew that mybecause the building was being used for business offices on experience in the construction field and thethe upper two levels and lower two levels. The Main Street documents themselves would allow the projectlevel was to be retail. Understanding the construction of the to move smoothly, which it did. Throughout thebuilding was paramount to achieve the open floor plates. project there were site meetings to discuss theMy relationship with the owner could not have been better. typical construction issues, but unlike otherHe fully trusted my judgment in design and the construction projects, the meetings were very muchapproach. He was adamant about putting the right materials collaborative between the contractor, the ownerinto the building and not comprising the purity of the and myself. The chemistry of the team allowedoriginal construction. the project to flow smoothly. This situation bolstered my confidence in my personal abilities, but most importantly in the project team. This project taught me how important the project team is to the project and that the relationship between the three parties holds the key to the project being successful. Today, I work very hard upfront with the client to get them to buy into the importance of the “team”. As a result of this, I have much success in delivering a quality project. Completed Main Street Elevation Interior rear vestibule
Accredited Lock Supply Secaucus, New Jersey This project entailed the exterior and interior renovation of 30,000 square feet of space. Accredited Lock is the largest supplier of door hardware on the east coast. This project was challenging because the showroom had to remain in operation throughout the construction process. The façade design was also challenging because the façade was notMain showroom entry in the same plane. The main showroom entry (to the right on the sketch) is setback approximately 100 feet from the entry to the training center on the left. The answer was to marry the architecture for both, similar canopies and façade treatments. The design approach was to allow the materials of the building to be exposed, an industrial feel, which was appropriate due to the nature of the business. The owner was very excited about the concept. We incorporated wood veneers on the column claddings, the furniture, and the face of the sales counter. We incorporated metals throughout, polished concrete floors and a polished concreteView of sales counter countertop with inlay glass tiles. The ceiling of the showroom was painted black so it would disappear, while the mechanical ductwork was bare galvanized metal so it appeared to hover amongst a black backdrop. The project was completed in a little over one year, in two separate phases. The project cost was $2.5 million.View of mezzanine Initial rendering sketch
Accredited Lock Supply Secaucus, New JerseyView of training center entry Initial design sketchView of showroom Detail photographView of showroom
Salerm Cosmetica USA HeadquartersClifton, New JerseySalerm Cosmetica is an international company that producesand distributes its own hair salon products. They are presentlyin over 10 countries world wide. This project involves the newconstruction of their US corporate headquarters located on thesite of their present northeast distribution center. The buildingis to be constructed in place of their existing one, attached totwo other existing buildings. The owner has created a verymodern and chic image of the company and desired the sameof the building. This was the first project that I implementedthe use of BIM technology as well as sustainable design. Thebuilding incorporates a green roof, high performance glass, awell insulated building skin, building management system thatintegrates lighting and HVAC controls, recycling of roof waterfor landscape irrigation, spray foam insulation, and additionalsmart building materials. The building incorporates glass, metalpanels, and brick for the exterior elements. The programincludes: warehouse and truck loading, offices, corporatedining, conference room, training room with raised stage, andproduct showroom. The project iscurrently under construction and isslated for completion in thesummer of 2009. The projectbudget is $4.5 million.
The Learning Experience National Retail RolloutTypical prototype renderingThe Learning Experience is a franchised childcare The construction process is managed in house anddevelopment company now operating more than 40 is quite challenging not only because of thecenters nationwide. By the end of 2008, there will geographic locations of the centers but alsobe more than 80 centers operating in 12 states. because each center typically is built by a differentThese are state of the art centers focusing on child developer.development from 3 months to 5 years of age. The The Learning Experience utilizes the building itselfcenters are designed as three prototypes: 11,000 as a learning tool for the children by labeling eachsf, 12,500 sf, and 15,000 sf. Each center offers an and every item in the building such as, soapindoor playroom called Make Believe Boulevard dispenser, telephone, light switch, door, etc. Thiswhich incorporates a “main street” with building project has literally been a Learning Experience.facades representing a diner, firehouse, market, mechanic garage, and conveniencestore where children can roll play. The playroomincorporates an upper level that is accessed bystairs and exits by way of a slide into a ball pit.The largest center incorporates an enrichedcurriculum called Jelly Bean Junction which addsclassrooms for science, art, dance, and a theatrestage. Although the centers are designed as aprototype, no two floor plans are alike. Each statehas licensing requirements which controlteacher/student ratios, and room size/student ratios.Each design is also modified according to theparticular market that the center is located in. Theexterior building styles change depending upon Make Believe Boulevardlocal architectural requirements. The building hasbeen purposely designed with a residential style sothat the children feel “at home” as well as the factthat most centers are located in residential areas.
Redevelopment Project Morristown, New Jersey This project entailed the redevelopment of a ten acre site know as the “Oxbow Area” which is bounded by Spring Street, and Center St. and Coal Avenue, and is bisected by the Whippany River. The area is a low lying site and extremely restricted to site disturbance. The program includes the following: two buildings of four stories and 80 units of residential, and one building five to six stories with 80 units of residential andRendering- perspective view 40 unit building ground level retail stores. The area has multiple redevelopment sites currently under construction and it was important to the Mayor and Redevelopment Board that the site incorporated architectural elements prevalent to the existing residential homes in the area as well as a modern sleek approach to the mixed-use building. Parking is provided on grade as well as in a parking garage behind the mixed-use building. This is a very exciting project due to its historic setting and its impact on a site that has been underutilized for decades. The project is currently in the approval process. Rendering- perspective view 80 unit buildingRendering- side elevation
Private Residence Smoke Rise, Kinnelon, New Jersey This project was for a past client who came to me with the challenge of designing a very large addition/renovation to his home, and would take advantage of the beautiful views of his rear yard and lake. The initial reason he came back to me was because the architect he chose to work with, told him that there was nothing that could be saved of the original home and that it had to be demolished. The owner could not believeView of completed front elevation that this was the only approach to the project. Since we just completed renovating a historic building in Boonton, he had confidence that I could design the addition. His vision was rustic, ski lodge- like, timbers, large fireplace, with lots of glass overlooking the rear yard. The project was challenging on multiple levels, lots of rock, lots of trees, and deep property setbacks. The result was a success in that 50% of the original first floor remained, the plan was improved by opening rooms to one another, the family room and kitchen have expanded views to the rear as well as a private sitting room off the master bedroom suite. The materials used on the interior and exterior are all natural woods and stone.View of completed entryView of completed family room Existing home viewed from rear
Abbreviated Project ListInstitutional HARLEY DAVIDSON OF BERGENMONTCLAIR STATE UNIVERSITY, COUNTYUPPER MONTCLAIR, NJ Project Architect responsible for theDean Suite Renovations 4,000 sq. ft interior renovation renovation and conversion of an existingincluding private offices, general office 12,000 sq. ft. industrial building into sales andspace, conference rooms, waiting areas. service areas of merchandise and motorcycles, warehouse space, officeProject cost: $250,000. space, and a meeting room.Core Technology Upgrades Installation of a new fiber Hospitalityoptic backbone connecting nine buildings on campus.Consultant in charge of coordinating all penetrations and RADISSON HOTEL, ENGLEWOOD,NJpaths of communication and mechanical lines. Various facilities upgrades including ADAProject cost: $2,000,000 est. accessibility, exterior canopy and entry redesign, health club upgrades.Commercial PRIME HOSPITALITY CORPORATIONACCREDITED LOCK SUPPLY COMPANY AmeriSuites Hotel 125,000 sq. ft. nine-story27,000 sq. ft. interior/exterior renovation incorporating a building consisting of 152 guestnew showroom, sales floor area, administrative suites, meeting rooms, laundry and foodoffices, training room facility, corporate dining accommodations. Project Architect responsibleroom, and executive offices. Project cost: $4,500,000 est. for design development, coordination ofTOWN & COUNTRY PHARMACY contract documents, and shop drawing review.8,000 sq. ft. interior/exterior renovation including a retail Project cost: $5.1 million.pharmacy and doctor’s offices. Project Locations:Project cost: $2,500,000. Secaucus, NJ., Topeka, KA, Albuquerque, NM , Oklahoma City, OK404–408 MAIN STREET, BOONTON, NJ Industrial15,000 sq. ft. multi tenant residential building with streetlevel retail shops converted into business offices and UNITED STATES GYPSUM CO.,upscale retail shops. PORT REDDING, NJProject cost: $2,500,000. 15,000 sq. ft. of new employee diningRetail facilities, training room with kitchen facilities, and management offices. ProjectANN TAYLOR cost: $500,000.Design architect for Ann Taylor Loft stores nationwide Commercialranging from 6,000 to 8,000 sq. ft. UNITED STATES POSTAL SERVICETUMI Project Fix-Up Retail driven alterationInstallation of luggage and handbag displays within program for existing Post Offices in theexisting luggage shops, 150–500 sq. ft. per store. Bronx, Queens, Manhattan and Brooklyn.Locations nationwide Project Architect in charge of design, contract documents and construction administration.THE GAP STORES, INC. Projects included upgrades of main lobbyProject Architect responsible for developing various Gap areas, lighting upgrades in workroom, A.D.A.stores nationally. Responsibilities included the accessibility and compliance, masonry andmanagement and coordination of various brick restoration, and the investigation ofconsultants, design development, contract documents and building failures.construction administration. Project cost(s): $300,000 – $900,000.
Abbreviated Project List (cont.) Professional OrganizationsTransportation ■ American Institute of ArchitectsBOSTON-LOGAN INTERNATIONAL ■ The New Jersey Society of ArchitectsAIRPORT Treasurer, 2009-presentInternational Gateway Addition and alteration to the Delegate, 2006-2008existing terminal. Building program included newticketing hall/check-in counters, retail hall, meeter/ ■ AIA Newark and Suburban Architectsgreeter hall, renovate existing departures lounge, President, 2008new arrivals/departures roadways. Produced detailsof the exterior wall systems, interior finish systems. Board of Trustees, 2004–2009Project cost: $300 million. Design Day Co-Chairman, 2004NEWARK INTERNATIONAL AIRPORT: Continuing Education Chairman, 2005REDEVELOPMENT PROGRAM Treasurer, 2006-2007Automated People Mover Remote Stations Project President, 2008involved the design of four monorail stations atapproximately 12,000 sq. ft. per station. Designed ■ United States Green Building Councilvarious details and handled design alterations during Member, 2004–presentthe construction phase.Project cost: $742.0 million (overall project cost) Professional Licenses andCanopies at Remote Stations 6,100 sq. ft. of exterior Certificationscanopy at two stations. Responsible for the design,coordination and preparation of the contract ■ New Jersey License AI13989documents. ■ New York License 027468Project cost: $650,000. ■ Pennsylvania License RA 402349JOHN F. KENNEDY INTERNATIONAL ■ Connecticut License 10431AIRPORT: REDEVELOPMENT PROGRAM ■ Maine License ARC3160American Airlines Terminal Buildings:Redevelopment of Frontage Area Scope of work ■ North Carolina License 11621included 62,000 sq. ft. of exterior canopy, ■ Florida License AR 95150realignment of existing roadways,crosswalk/walkway areas, drop-off and pick-up ■ N.C.A.R.B. Certification 55,923areas for both on-airport and off-airporttransportation. Responsible for developing the Educationdesign and contract documents for the elements ofthe frontage area: bus shelters, windscreens, and taxi New Jersey Institute of Technology,dispatcher’s booths. Involved in the development of School of Architecture, Newark, NJvarious details of the exterior canopy. Date of Graduation: May 1993Project cost: $43.5 million Bachelor of ArchitectureLA GUARDIA AIRPORT Award: Design Related to Construction and EngineeringCentral Terminal Building: RemodernizationRenovation of existing building into a multi-level,16,000 sq.ft. atrium space encompassed by 50,000sq.ft. of retail spaces and 30,000 sq.ft. of concessionand airline spaces. Assisted in the design of variousinterior and exterior elements by performing variousmaterials studies and the investigations of colorschemes.Project cost: $47.0 million.