19 December 2011

Season's Greetings & Happy Holidays!

Christmas 2011

From all us here at Cornerstone to all of our Clients, Colleagues, Friends and Family. We truly wish all of you our heartfelt Best Wishes for a Safe, Happy & Healthy Holiday Season and Prosperous New Year! Please help us celebrate our 25th year in 2012! More to come...

05 December 2011

Design for the New Age

By: Erin Jimenez, IIDA

For SHI, our goal of design was to create an atmosphere that accurately represented the company, and reflected its unique personality. The use of color, texture, shape and lighting allowed us to convey a design character unique to SHI; one that makes a statement and reflects the company’s image. The initial inspiration for the design at SHI was the headquarters of Google.com. The multiple colors and open space plan seemed to capture much of what SHI was looking for in a direction of design. The fun, collaborative atmosphere was appealing and well suited for this fast growing software company.

The overall design and the flow of the space were to encourage teamwork and collaboration. The open office design of the space keeps the employees feeling connected, collaborative and in touch with one another. The bright colors and fun patterns that are accented throughout the building reflect a friendly atmosphere and a happy and productive work environment.

The intention of the reception area was to give a first impression that was accurate to the image of the company, which we were very successful at conveying. The use of several colors and shapes, as well as textures and surfaces, allowed us to create a techy yet sophisticated reception and lobby area. 

Since the reception area is a mezzanine open to the atrium below, there was a need to address some acoustical issues, due to the fact that the Atrium will be used as a gathering space once the cafeteria is completed.

Each floor consists of two pantry areas, which give the employees an opportunity to bring their lunch or daily snacks, and not have to waste time in leaving the building to eat. The random floor pattern and warm colors of the space make the pantries an inviting place to eat and collaborate. We made sure to provide ample storage with both cabinets and drawers, so as to house the paper products and cutlery that SHI provides for the employees. Each pantry is also equipped with vending machines, water coolers, and microwaves.

Each floor also consists of this conference room prototype. The intention of this room was to provide each quadrant of the office space with a formal conference room. The storefront design allows for the space to feel open and collaborative to the rest of the work area, while the frosted striping on the glass offers just the right amount of privacy for the meeting attendees. The full glass walls allow for natural light to flow through the space, which would normally not receive the benefit of natural sun light with traditional walls.

The open office space was designed with the intention of keeping the space as open and collaborative as possible. The low work stations promote communication and collaboration amongst the employees. This set-up also allows for natural light to travel through the space, to the benefit of every employee. The offices in this building were intentionally designed to be located in the center of the space, instead of along the perimeter of the building, so as to free up the window area for all to enjoy.

Because of the vast size of the space, we used color accents to differentiate the different areas and make it easier for employees to recognize where they are at a glance. The accent colors on each floor provide the employees with way finding and allow them to easily determine what area they are in, which can prove challenging in such a large environment. Accent colors were also used in alcoves to distinguish the types of services that are located there. Restrooms, mechanical rooms, stairwells, IDF and janitors closets were color coated to equip employees with at-a-glance way finding. All of this is designed in an effort to increase productivity and decrease wasted time.

The intention of the color scheme in the stairwells was to keep them fun and inviting, so as to encourage the employees to travel via the stairs, rather than the elevator. The stairs could be especially discouraging to those employees that need to travel 5 floors at a time. So, our focus was to making these stairwells as appealing as possible.

The building is a successful interpretation of the personality of a successful company. The design will continue to inspire and encourage employees and begin to brand the company with a unique look to a productive environment.

28 November 2011

SHI – A Story in Sustainability

By: Donna M. Miller, Associate AIA, LEED AP 

The new world headquarters for SHI International Corporation has been an exciting and significant project for both the client and for Cornerstone Architectural Group. This project signifies tremendous growth for our client and a physical representation of their dedication to sustainability with their first Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) certified headquarters. It is also the first LEED project designed by Cornerstone Architectural Group. 

Cornerstone Architectural Group has been involved with the LEED process for SHI International’s new headquarters since the beginning, sparking the client’s original interest in LEED. The initial presentation made by the design team included a list of achievable points based on the Cornerstone’s design standards and characteristics inherent in the existing building. 

The project consists of building infrastructure upgrades and a 220,000 square foot interior alteration that anticipates LEED Commercial Interior (CI) Silver certification. The design includes sustainable strategies such as: an energy efficient lighting design, naturally lit open offices, occupancy sensors, water efficient plumbing fixtures, low VOC finishes, zero irrigation landscaping, and a 500 kW photovoltaic array that will be installed end of 2011/ beginning of 2012. The team took sustainability and air quality even further and instituted construction waste recycling, a paperless submittal process, and the creation of a tobacco free campus.  

The most successful design strategies implemented were the energy efficient lighting design coupled with the naturally lit open office space, and the water efficient plumbing fixtures. 

The existing building consisted of open office floor plates with central cores and ribbon windows around the perimeter, allowing natural light deep into the space. The design team took advantage of this and kept the plan open, with private offices into the corners of the plan, allowing natural light into both the offices and open office spaces. The energy efficient lighting design included direct-indirect lighting fixtures that were centered over the open office furniture, as well as a task lighting component. This allowed people to customize the light level in their space. This lighting design was mocked up for the client to ensure them that there would be comfortable lighting levels. The lighting design resulted in a 35% reduction in the lighting power density. 

The water efficient design for SHI International allowed the team to anticipate a 40% reduction in water usage. This was achieved by using low flow toilets, waterless urinals, and automatic sink faucets. This design is anticipated to achieve 12 points toward LEED Silver Certification. 

Outside of the design aspect of this sustainable project, Cornerstone Architectural Group coordinated the design team, set goals for the LEED Certification, and kept the team on task with these goals. We also coordinated the construction staff, and made frequent site visits to ensure that the intent of the design was being carried out. In continued sustainability awareness, Cornerstone Architectural Group will be teaching a course to SHI International’s facilities staff about sustainability and the LEED GA exam.

21 November 2011

SHI-ning Above

For the past year, Cornerstone Architectural Group has been an integral part in designing and implementing the fit out of the SHI International Corporation’s world headquarters in Somerset, New Jersey.  In 2007, Cornerstone had been part of the design and construction management team that had created SHI’s previous headquarters in Piscataway, New Jersey.  Since then, SHI outgrew its space and again turned to Cornerstone to help master plan for their current and future growth.    Deemed to be one of the largest fit-out projects in the Tri-state area, SHI wanted a space that was open, employee-friendly, and environmentally sound.  In addition, Cornerstone was presented with the task of anticipating future job force growth within SHI’s workforce and worked closely with each department’s managers to ensure space planning and anticipated growth needs were appropriately met.

Much of the interior space in the new headquarters was set aside to be utilized as open office space.  Part of this design concept centered around keeping the focus on the existing structure’s ribbon window design to allow for natural light to stream into a majority of the office areas.  Cornerstone utilized a revolutionary lighting design that involved spreading the direct/indirect lighting sources to an unheard of 18-foot on center spacing.   This allows the light fixture to be over every spine of the furniture system and allowing light to be placed on the functional work surface.  This design, along with personalized lighting systems, allowed Cornerstone to provide employees with the appropriate lighting but also enabled an eco-friendly decrease in the amount of electricity being consumed.

A majority of the open work spaces were kept in the central portion of the building to allow for the open floor plan, while private office spaces were cut out from the existing saw-toothed areas of the building’s structure.  The Cornerstone design team attempted to utilize and integrate as many of the building’s existing strengths to create a plan that addressed the client’s needs but allowed for the minimal amount of demolition to the building’s original partitions.  One of SHI’s main needs was to have an ample amount of meeting spaces, a need that was magnified as the company has grown.  The demand for formal, informal, and quick gathering places was met by integrating a large number of conference and meeting spaces into the design on every floor.   In addition to adjusting the layout to serve the client needs, Cornerstone completely revamped and replaced the building’s entire infrastructure, including new chiller plants, cooling towers, building control systems, fire alarm system, and roofing system.

The SHI project was not only focused on designing office space, but several other unique amenities and services to serve the unique needs of SHI’s work force.   A 3000-square foot gym facility was included in the fit out and includes a free weight area, machine space, and group exercise room.   A comprehensive 3000-square foot Café was designed to serves nearly 1000 employees for 2 meals a day and includes bistro-inspired finishes and state-of-the art kitchen amenities.   A specialized healthcare clinic as well as several mothering rooms were integrated into the design plan to meet the diverse needs of the staff and their families in order to make a wellness-focused place of employment.  In keeping with the wellness-centered philosophy, small details such as a marked walking path and exterior basketball areas were an integral and important portion of the building design.  Bright and fun colors liven and enrich the exit stairwells, encouraging employees to utilize the staircases instead of taking the elevator in the 5-story building.
As the project architect, Marco Migliaro Assoc. AIA, was involved from start to finish of this nearly year-long process. With this project having many phases, Marco managed the four main project phases which included the infrastructure upgrades, roof replacement, fit out, and SHI cloud data center. He was also intimately involved in coordination of services between the project  manager (Jones Lang LaSalle), building systems engineering firm (Becht Engineering BT), civil engineering firm (The Reynolds Group), as well as the coordination of three different contractors, including Tuner Construction, Unity Construction, and Strober-Wright Roofing.  Marco was on-site for a majority of the project in order to provide site-based problem solving and design coordination, as well as being a continuous resource for the client.

Another unique aspect of this project was utilizing a paperless system of coordination and communication.  This was accomplished by using online resources and web-based services such as Dropbox and Submittal Exchange.  Submittal Exchange is an online service that provides a portal for submitting everything from RFIs, submittals, and close out documentation.  This service automatically tracks and logs all items and sends out emails to all involved parties, including clients, the architect, consultants, contractors and even subcontractors.  In addition, all drawings were completed in a DWF format, which is an AutoDesk file similar to a PDF but more practical for architectural application.

Cornerstone and SHI have had a great working relationship and Cornerstone looks forward to future projects in 2012 and beyond, which include a customer briefing center and future fit outs of the remaining office space.  This project has been a unique opportunity that has allowed Cornerstone Architectural Group to utilize state-of-the art communication, unique design concepts and environmentally-forward building materials to meet the needs of a technology-forward company.

Project Photos by JDN Photography

18 November 2011

New Life and Remembrance

Thank You to Donna Miller and Jason Peist for this beautiful shot of the 9-11 Memorial and the One WTC Freedom Tower from your visit on November 12th.

The Memorial remembers and honors the nearly 3,000 people who died in the horrific attacks of February 26, 1993 and September 11, 2001. The Memorial consists of two massive pools set within the footprints of the Twin Towers, with the largest manmade waterfalls in the country cascading down their sides. They are a powerful reminder of the Twin Towers and of the unprecedented loss of life from an attack on our soil. The names of the individuals who were killed in the September 11 attacks in New York City, Pennsylvania, the Pentagon, and the February 1993 World Trade Center bombing are inscribed around the edges of the Memorial pools.

Soaring above the city at 1,776 feet, One World Trade Center will be America's tallest building, and an indelible New York landmark. One WTC incorporates advanced life-safety systems that exceed New York City building code requirements. From structural redundancy to dense fireproofing to biochemical filters, it creates a new standard for high-rise buildings. Extra-wide pressurized stairs, multiple backups on emergency lighting, and concrete protection for all sprinklers will ensure optimal firefighter access. Exits are designed to ensure easy evacuation, and all safety systems will be encased in the core wall, with enhanced elevators. Safe, Sustainable, and Artistically Dynamic. One WTC will stand as a shining beacon for New York's transformed Downtown.

If you would like to visit the Memorial site also, follow this link; http://www.911memorial.org/visit 

17 November 2011

2011 IIDA Holiday Social

On Tuesday, November 15th the New Jersey Chapter of the International Interior Design Association (IIDA) hosted their 2011 Holiday Social, "Soup and Cider by the Fire", at Avila Fine Arts in Bedminster, NJ. Attendees sipped on hot soup and cider around an outdoor bonfire as planning for the 2012 year commenced. The event was well attended by nearly 40 designers, architects and representatives. The NJ IIDA has taken an exciting new direction with the help of newly appointed directors Scott Marchio of The Aztec Corporation (left) and Erin Jimenez of Cornerstone Architectural Group (right). The pair is working hard to breathe new life into the organization, with much success. Keep your eyes open for more great events hosted by the NJ IIDA.

The IIDA promotes the interaction between Architects, Interior Designers and industry representatives. The mission of the chapter is; "To enhance the quality of life through excellence in interior design, and to advance interior design through knowledge, value and community".


11 November 2011

SHI International Opens New Doors in Somerset, NJ

On November 10, 2011, almost 1,000 special guests attended the ribbon cutting ceremony celebrating the grand opening of SHI International Corporation’s world headquarters building in Somerset, NJ. New Jersey Lt. Governor Kim Guadagno delivered the keynote speech to the standing room only audience in the three story high main atrium. SHI’s CEO Thai Lee spoke of the new facility and praised the design team, project managers and builders for their collaborative efforts to deliver the project in less than one year from commencement to completion. SHI occupies more than 50 percent of the 440,000 square feet within the building. Through continued growth, SHI looks to fully occupy the building very soon. LEED Silver certification for Commercial Interiors is anticipated early next year from the USGBC. The interior design implements the best green design practices; including water conservation, energy efficiency, innovative interior lighting design, and the use of recycled materials. Office space for SHI’s Operations, Sales, Accounting, Marketing, IT, Web and Training staff are all contained within the five-story building. A world class data center design solution by the Cornerstone team provides SHI’s newest business venture with a state-of-the-art cloud computing platform. A multi-phase project designed by the Cornerstone design team includes: Interior fit-out for SHI, Roof replacement, a Roof top mounted photovoltaic panel system, Upgraded building automation and fire alarm systems, and a Cloud computing center. Cornerstone is proud to have been part of this most important project, and to have partnered with an outstanding Owner, Design, Management and Construction team that included; Becht Engineering, The Reynolds Group, McQuilkin Associates, Carrol Engineering, JLL, Unity Construction Services, and Turner Construction. CAG’s in house team included; Robert Barranger AIA – Partner in Charge, Marco Migliaro Assoc. AIA – Project Manager, Erin Jimenez IIDA – Interior Designer, Donna Miller Assoc AIA – Project Designer, and Vito Tamborrino AIA – Construction Administrator.

05 October 2011


This year marked an amazing milestone for Cornerstone Architectural Group’s TEAM TAMBO National Multiple Sclerosis Bike Team. In it’s 16th year of riding in, and fund raising for, the “Great New Jersey Country Bike MS Ride”, Team Tambo has hit the $100,000 level! We are very proud to have helped raise funds and awareness for this important charity, which benefits those suffering from Multiple Sclerosis, “THANK YOU” for the continued support of so many of our friends and colleagues, and especially those who donated in our name. We vow to continue our efforts to help eradicate this devastating disease in our lifetime. Please consider joining us in our efforts in the year and years to come.

20 June 2011

The Fanwood - Scotch Plains YMCA Cuts Ribbon on New Pool and Renovation

The Fanwood-Scotch Plains YMCA celebrated the grand opening of its newly expanded facility Saturday afternoon with a ribbon-cutting ceremony that featured remarks from Assemblywoman Linda Stender, D-Scotch Plains and Scotch Plains Mayor Nancy Malool. F-SP Y Director Karin Dreixler, joined at the ceremony by Trustees Chairman Tom Luciano and Board of Directors President Bob Evans, accepted honorary resolutions from the Fanwood, Scotch Plains and Clark municipal councils. Mayor Malool also proclaimed June 2011 "YMCA Month" in Scotch Plains. Luciano offered remarks that recounted the history of the F-SP Y, which opened in 1947, and credited generations of volunteers who helped the community center thrive. "Why does our town now have such a great Y asset?" he said. "Give thanks to the keepers of the flame, all those volunteers that had the grand vision of building a YMCA that would make this a great town to raise a family in." Dreixler, who spoke last, thanked the architects at Cornerstone Architectural Group, which designed the facility, and laughed as she presented them with "I Survived…" T-shirts. Donna and Steve Gartner, lead donors of the center’s capitol campaign, were welcomed to the main entrance of the new building and standing beside Karin Dreixler, Tom Luciano and Bob Evans, Donna Gartner cut the red ribbon. The complex’s biggest addition is a 25-yard pool and natatorium, dedicated by the Gartner family to the center’s aquatic staff, coaches and teachers. After the ribbon-cutting ceremony, guests were invited to tour the newly renovated facility. Trustee Anne Flynn said that she was excited to see the completed additions and renovations. "In a big sense," Luciano said as he surveyed the new pool, "it is almost reaching a culmination of a vision that began 60 years ago….Look at how many volunteers have given a lifetime of service. This is a Y that is all about families and that’s why it is so successful." http://bit.ly/jIrGYW

10 June 2011

International Interior Design Association’s Design Awards Competition

Cornerstone Architectural Group, LLC is proud to be a participant in the 7th Annual PA/NJ/DE Chapter of the International Interior Design Association’s Design Awards Competition. Each year the IIDA recognizes outstanding built work designed by its members in Pennsylvania, New Jersey, and Delaware. This year Cornerstone has submitted the New Jersey Automobile Club’s recently completed AAA Car Care Center in Springfield, NJ. Responsible for execution of the interior design of this facility was Project Designer; Erin B. Jimenez, IIDA in association with interior design consultant; Kiran K. Dhaliwal, IIDA from Design Alternatives, LLC. This project for AAA was the first in the development of a new national prototype in New Jersey, combining their traditional travel services along with their insurance products and full service car care. The facility houses a 15 bay state of the art automobile repair center open to AAA members and the general public. Also, contained in the building are NAPA Auto Parts and Hertz Rent-A-Car counters. This former “Big Box” building sat vacant and unused for several years. Through the New Jersey Automobile Club’s efforts, it became a shining example of adaptive reuse, and creating a facility that combines all of the needs of their members. “Green” approaches to the design, construction, and operation of the facility were paramount considerations. This facility became the first car repair facility in New Jersey to earn “Green Certification” by NJGARP. Competition entries will be judged by a panel of senior design professionals in New York and all entries will be publicly displayed in the rotunda at Liberty Place in Philadelphia prior to the awards ceremony. Winners will be announced at a reception on June 23, 2011 at the Kimmel Center for the Performing Arts in Philadelphia.

03 June 2011

Children's Garden Playhouse

Playhouse 2

Cornerstone Architectural Group was excited to accept a pro bono commission to design a "Children's Garden Playhouse" for the Middlesex County Master Gardeners. The Master Gardeners is part of the Cooperative Extension program of the Rutgers New Jersey Agricultural Experiment Station (NJAES). Their mission is to deliver horticultural programs and educational outreach to the general public, including information on garden and landscape care. Master Gardeners receive extensive hands-on and classroom training through Rutgers NJAES on various topic such as plant biology, propagation, soil science, and disease and pest control. This new Playhouse will be located inside the existing Children's Garden located in Davidson's Mill Pond Park in North Brunswick, NJ. The garden offers children seasonal opportunity for hands-on experience in an actual working flower, vegetable, and herb garden. The playhouse will feature a planted extensive green roof, and is designed to educate visitors about core sustainable design principles such as solar orientation, natural ventilation, and effective use of materials. The playhouse will be constructed in the next few weeks for a total cost of less than $2,400 for materials, and with all volunteer labor which will include members of the Cornerstone team. Look for updates on this project in future issues of our blog.

Playhouse 1

20 May 2011

Our Spring 2011 Newsletter Has Just Been Published - Cornerstone Architectural Group, LLC

Cornerstone Goes Social!

Cornerstone Architectural Group has launched a social media campaign through the use of Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn. By integrating these tools with our existing blog and web page we are better able to stay connected with our clients, colleagues, friends and business partners. Through social media we hope to strengthen our existing relationships, and build new ones, by sharing our thoughts and ideas with you. Our tweets and posts are not just about architecture and our current projects, but also about issues affecting our business and yours, and general topics that we think you will find interesting. So if you are not already "connected," "following" or "liking" us, please click on the links in our newsletter, (below). We look forward to continuing the conversation!

Please click on the following link to read our Spring 2011 Newsletter

13 May 2011

Vito Tamborrino Named Chairman of the Forks Township Planning Commission

At the 2011 Forks Township Pennsylvania’s Planning Commission reorganizational meeting, Cornerstone’s very own Vito Tamborrino, Jr., AIA was unanimously voted and named Chairman of the Commission. Vito had been the acting Chairman for the past 5 months, as well as previously having been the Chairman from 2003–2006. He has been an active member of the Commission since 1997 and has been involved in two major Zoning Ordinance revisions, two Comprehensive Plans, the development of the new Township municipal building complex, a Township wide recreational path web that connects all major areas of the Township, and the development of one of the area’s first Solar Ordinances. He is currently working with the Commission and the Township on its third Zoning Ordinance revision, as well as the planning of a new 50 acre park. CAG is very proud of our team’s efforts to improve our communities and make them more “livable”. Good Luck Vito!

06 May 2011

Team Tambo - $100,000

This year will mark an important milestone for Cornerstone Architectural Group’s TEAM TAMBO National Multiple Sclerosis Bike Team. As the team enters its 16th year of riding in the “Great New Jersey Country Bike MS Ride” to benefit those suffering from Multiple Sclerosis, it hopes to surpass a total of $100,000 raised for this important charity. To do so, we are looking for riders of all ages and experience to ride with us this September (24th and 25th) to help in this effort. Don’t worry if you’re not an experienced rider. As long as you have the drive to help us meet our goal this year, there is a ride for you. Each year Bob Longo and Vito Tamborrino ride the two day 100 mile option, but there are numerous rides for all. MS has a 20 mile and 50 mile one day option on Saturday, September 24th. They have a 50 mile option on Sunday, September 25th. . . , and for those “super riders” you can do both days with Bob and Vito and add some extra miles with the inclusion of each day’s “Power Loops.” The event starts in Morristown, NJ on Saturday and passes through historic towns, farmlands and back roads of New Jersey. There are fully stocked rest areas along the route every 10-15 miles, as well as a lunch break. The routes are monitored for safety by volunteer EMT’s, HAM radio operators and the Wayne Police Department. There will also be bicycle repair shop volunteers along the route and at the stops, just in case of any mechanical problems. Saturday finishes at the Parsippany Hilton where everyone is treated to a BBQ dinner, music, and a comedy show. If you are staying to ride the next day, your overnight accommodations will be at the Hilton. If not, they will have buses available to take you back to Morristown to your car, and all arranged by the great people of the MS Society. In the morning a great breakfast is provided and everyone is back to Morristown for the finish, more food and celebration of a great feeling of accomplishment. We really hope you will join us this year at this wonderful event. If you would like more information, please see the NJ Metro Chapter Website, or contact Bob Longo or Vito Tamborrino at Cornerstone. If you register at the website, just make sure you click the “Join a Team” tab and select TEAM TAMBO as your preferred team and you will automatically be included with us. Hope to see you in September !

29 April 2011

The Fanwood - Scotch Plains YMCA Completes Its Latest Phase

January 2011 ushered in a new year for all of us, and it also marked the “beginning of a new era” for the Fanwood – Scotch Plains YMCA with completion of its latest phase of construction and finalization of their master plan that was promised to the communities of Scotch Plains and Fanwood, and the Y’s members 5 years ago. Completion of this portion of their facility plan added a new 2 story building to the existing complex. It contains a second natatorium with a 6 lane / 25 yard competition pool, a state of the art child care facility, Y program classrooms, administrative offices, and basement storage spaces. Previous phases created a new 2 level wellness center, and doubled the Y’s parking capacity. The very last piece of the plan, the renovation of the Y’s original 1970’s first natatorium, is now underway. Completion of this last portion will unify the look of the Y throughout their entire complex. Cornerstone Architectural Group is very proud to be associated with these projects and wishes the F-SP Y and all its members many fruitful years in their “new” facility. Cornerstone truly believes in the YMCA’s Mission ‘For Youth Development, For Healthy Living and For Social Responsibility’.

22 April 2011

New Jersey’s Best Buildings

New Jersey Governor Chris Christie thinks Xanadu, (the stalled megamall project in the NJ Meadowlands), is the ugliest structure in the state. A recent Quinnipiac University Poll confirms that most residents agree. Debating what the worst building in our state is might be intriguing, but we are much more interested in a discussion about the Best Buildings in New Jersey. Let’s stop talking about the worst, and begin a discussion about the best. In 2007 the American Institute of Architects, (AIA), published a list of the 150 “Best Buildings” in the country, in celebration of its 150th birthday. While no buildings in New Jersey made that list, our state is home to some great buildings. What is your favorite building in New Jersey? Above are a few of our favorites.

15 April 2011

Somerset OB/GYN is "Re-Born"

On November 1, 2009 at 2:56 AM, the offices of Somerset OB/GYN Associates, (SOGA), in Bridgewater Township were devastated by a horrific fire that almost destroyed their facility. If it had not been for the heroic work of the Bridgewater FD it surely may have been so. SOGA is a women’s healthcare practice that had been in existence for over 30 years. The day after the fire a principal of SOGA was on the phone with Cornerstone and Waitikowich Construction, the team that had expanded and renovated their offices for them more than ten years previous. Using the plans that had been kept for them, Cornerstone helped SOGA deal with the insurance companies and worked closely with the Township construction officials and the builder. First getting them into temporary offices, and then to reconstruct their facility. Cornerstone provided complete architectural, engineering and interior design services and worked in close concert with Waitikowich Construction, who got them back into their “new” facility in record time. Here, for the women of central New Jersey, SOGA will continue to provide the high quality healthcare services they had always been known for, and now for generations to come.

08 April 2011

Erin Jimenez Appointed Co-Director of IIDA's New Jersey City Center

Cornerstone Architectural Group, LLC is proud to announce that Erin B. Jimenez, Assoc. AIA has been newly named as Co-Director of the International Interior Design Association's (IIDA) New Jersey City Center, a Pennsylvania / New Jersey / Delaware Chapter. The mission of the chapter is; "To enhance the quality of life through excellence in interior design, and to advance interior design through knowledge, value and community". The IIDA promotes the interaction between Architects, Interior Designers and industry representatives. The association offers a forum that promotes and encourages continuing education for the profession through educational lectures and events, as well as providing it's members with exposure to a large network of professionals and resources. Erin is very excited for this opportunity and very much looks forward to the responsibility. The firm encourages and supports Erin in her efforts, and wishes her Good Luck in her tenure as Co-Director!

01 April 2011

Cornerstone Architectural Group Participates in CANstruction Competition

Cornerstone participated in New Jersey’s 2010 CANstruction event at the Prudential Center Arena in Newark this past November. CANstruction is an event where design, engineering, and construction companies create sculptures out of canned food and compete for best design, structural ingenuity, best use of labels etc. The sculptures are dismantled after judging and the food is donated to local food banks just in time for Thanksgiving. This year one of the themes was Newark and Cornerstone built a 10’ flag waving over Military Park. Historically, Military Park was used as a location to recruit and train troops in Newark. The sculpture was over 3000 cans and weighed over 1.5 tons. This year’s event resulted in a record amount, over 45,000 pounds of food, that was donated to local food banks. Cornerstone whole heartedly THANKS all of our participants and sponsors. Click on the photo above and please support them too. Special Thanks to Steve Soriano and Classic Elegance Caterers for doing all the "heavy lifting"!

Cornerstone Plays a Small Part in a Large Humanitarian Effort

Cornerstone has provided design assistance to aid the noble humanitarian efforts of ForThisOne.org to build composting toilets in earthquake ridden Haiti. Construction of the first composting toilet project in the Jubilee Blanc neighborhood of Gonaïves, Haiti is about half-way done. Working with a Haitian construction crew, they now have the foundation and barrel enclosure finished. Next up, the concrete floor of the stalls, toilet bowls, and privacy enclosures need to be completed. The village of Jubilee has no real sanitation facilities left to speak of. There are a few private outhouses in this village, but nothing that is public and accessible to all who live there. There is no running water or sewage system in any of the modest houses and huts that comprise the village, so people have to go far out into the fields. The problem with this is that many of the villagers, including very malnourished children, go shoeless in this same area. Parasites such as hookworms enter the body through the soles of the feet and can rob an already malnourished child of 20% of his nutrients. The idea behind the dry toilets project is to make their living areas more sanitary and improve the health of the whole community. Working with local construction crews gives the opportunity to pass the toilet design and goals of the project onto local people who can then replicate it as needed. Cornerstone is proud to have been a part of this incredible effort. See the recent article in the Brunswick Sentinel.

Cornerstone at the 2010 YMCA of the USA’s General Assembly

The 2010 General Assembly took place July 8-11, 2010, at the Salt Palace Convention Center in beautiful Salt Lake City, Utah. More than 3,000 staff members and community volunteers from YMCAs across the nation gathered at the once-every-three-years meeting to focus on the work being done at 2,687 YMCA facilities nationwide to help children develop in healthy environments and to strengthen families. Mike Soriano represented Cornerstone and participated on behalf of the firm as member of the YMCA of the USA's Partner Provider Network to offer comprehensive architectural design services to YMCAs. This dynamic network expands resources available to YMCAs while ensuring use of new insights consistent with YMCA values and practices. Cornerstone draws from a wealth of knowledge and experience to offer YMCAs exceptional guidance in developing and managing YMCA properties. The firm will partner with Y Associations to ensure that their facilities support program needs, and that services inspire a positive member experience. CAG assists Y’s from “start to finish” to identify areas of significant savings in construction and operational costs while achieving design excellence. Cornerstone will continue focus on the Y’s missions “For Youth Development, For Healthy Living and For Social Responsibility”.