Mitchell Gold + Bob Williams - Air VentWhy does it take so much time to design a commercial air diffuser? While commercial air diffusers maintain a comfortable and consistent temperature, humidity level and air circulation, in the case of a home fashion retailer, these necessary elements also need to be visually appealing, or as much as possible, fade from view.

The Mitchell Gold + Bob Williams’ Natick location, a high-end home furnishings store for designers, combined branding elements, intentional design, and code requirements.  The team was challenged to meet requirements by designing a vent system that circulates comfortable air in this high ceilinged space while blending with the store’s aesthetic.

The solution required attention to detail and a close working relationship with the Mechanical Engineer.  We started with the overall store design: the Company’s corporate guidelines included niches framed by large-scale side jambs and overhead headers; often including a sofa, accessories and artwork, all accented by a painted wall.  We then determined the minimum venting requirements and scaled it up to align perfectly with the outer edges of the niche jambs. This included the precise spacing of the grilles so that the white fin is in perfect rhythm with the opening. The finished product is well-intended and high-functioning while preserving the familiar look and feel of Mitchell Gold + Bob Williams’ in-store experience.

To learn more about our commercial design services, contact Leah at or call us at 617.744.6399.


Groundbreaking at Mitchell Gold + Bob Williams

Groundbreaking at Mitchell Gold + Bob Williams

Commercial projects and residential projects start similarly, with a set of goals; what needs to be accomplished in order to create a space that better serves the people who use it. Whether retail, healthcare, law offices or places of worship, each commercial project has unique characteristics. They may vary in size and scope, and may or may not have professionals in place familiar with the process of design and construction. Some companies have experienced facilities departments, others have designated decision makers, and still others require the owner’s involvement to complete the project. Those with established locations and practices often have decentralized decision-making; others have facilities department or real estate manager whose job it is to act as a direct liaison between the architect and the home office. Depending on who is making the decisions, who is on-site, and the availability of in-house support, the process can vary greatly.

How a company engages with an architect, and the pace at which a project proceeds, will vary from one company to another, but the role of an outside architect remains invaluable. An architect experienced in a variety of commercial projects can provide a range of services from creative design and full project management to taking on the role of advisor offering guided leadership, team management, or someone to generate ideas and priorities with at the earliest stages. In each project, the scope of the work might change, but what should remain constant is good communication, a strong relationship with the client and with all parties involved in the project, and the kind of flexibility and positive attitude that can make even the most challenging of situations, a success.

If you work for or own a business with spatial or design needs, no matter your facilities team, we can help. Call or email us today.


Retail DesignWhen the local franchisees of North Carolina-based Mitchell Gold + Bob Williams decided to lease space in the up and coming development at Third Ave in Burlington, they called on SHDG to help facilitate the build out process. Leah has extensive experience in commercial work and just completed the Mitchell Gold + Bob Williams signature Natick store. The owners sought to carry over their success into this new venture in Burlington.

It’s not uncommon for a company based outside Massachusetts to call on the services of a local architect. A local architect understands the code requirements, obtains permits, stamps documents, works with area engineers, reviews contractor bids, oversees construction and works with the landlord to facilitate the building of the facade. In addition, it was Leah’s job to communicate regularly with the corporate architect and design team to maintain the integrity of the brand, and with the owners for ongoing design review of the interiors.

Managing this kind of project takes the kind of organizational skills and focus on detail that is our specialty at Slocum Hall. We invite you to come take a look at our work. The Mitchell Gold + Bob Williams store is be located at 22 Third Avenue in Burlington. And if you are a company seeking local commercial architect services, get in touch with us at Slocum Hall.