Carmina Wood Design, located in Buffalo , New York is an architecture, engineering, and interior firm which works across several industries by collaborating with clients in true partnership and customizing each project to meet its unique requirements and objectives. Throughout the 20 years of its establishment, they have completed a diverse cross-section of projects, including Historic Preservation, Adaptive Reuse, Health Care, Academic, Multi- and Single-Family Housing, Hospitality, Corporate Offices, Industrial Facilities, Automobile Dealerships, Entertainment Venues, and Recreational Facilities. Carmina Wood Design is one of the leaders in historic adaptive reuse and has spearheaded the restoration of numerous buildings throughout the city, including the Hotel Lafayette and the AP Lofts winning the award for Excellence in Historic Preservation six times.

1. Phoenix Brewery Apartments, Buffalo, 2016

Historic Preservation   |   Mixed-Use

In 2014, Mixed-Use Redevelopment plans were announced for the Phoenix Brewery and were supposed to include 3,000 SqFt of commercial space and thirty-one unique, luxury loft apartments with exposed brick accents, polished concrete floors, tall ceilings, and high-end finishes. The building has 15 one-bedroom and 16 two-bedroom units ranging in size from 714 Sq Ft to 1,314 Sq Ft, each has a unique layout while several have second-level loft areas. The 21 apartments have commanding views of the city; those on the south offer views of the downtown skyline while those to the north look out across the burgeoning medical campus. The outdoor patios on the roofs of both single-story wings and another on the upper roof are available to all the building’s tenants. These amenities, the unique apartment designs, and the building’s prime location on the Medical Campus have led to full lease-up within a few weeks of opening. The project has also won several awards including “Best Preservation Project” 2016, Preservation League of New York State’s “Excellence in Historic Preservation Award 2017”, and The Buffalo Business First’s “Brick x Brick Award for The Best Historic Preservation 2017”.

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Phoenix Brewery Apartments_©carminawooddesign.com
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Phoenix Brewery Apartments_©https://carminawooddesign.com/phoenix
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Phoenix Brewery Apartments_©carminawooddesign.com
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Phoenix Brewery Apartments_©carminawooddesign.com

2. Hotel At Lafayette, Downtown Buffalo, Spring 2012  

Historic Preservation   |   Hospitality   |   Interior Design And Planning  

The rehabilitation commission for The Lafayette Hotel designed by Louise Bethune is one of Carmina Wood Design’s most rewarding and fulfilling Historic Preservation efforts. It was first constructed in 1904 and expanded in 1912, 1917, and then finally in 1926. The 300,000 Sq Ft hotel presented various significant styles from different time periods, resulting in a rich tapestry of architectural history to exhibit and explore. The renovation work respectfully tells the story of the hotel, highlighting each of the significant time periods in appropriate locations based upon programmatic intent and original fabric stability. Programmatic uses in this mixed-use development include banquet spaces, boutique hotel, brewery, restaurants, and loft-style apartments. The final result allows the original narrative of Bethune’s French Renaissance design to exist in harmony, with later Art Modern styling and modern programmatic and client requirements (Hotel @ Lafayette | Carmina Wood Morris | Archinect, 2022).

The project received numerous awards, including AIANYS “The Presidents Citation 2012”, “AIAWNY Design Award 2012”, Brick by Brick’s “The Best Historic Preservation Project 2013”, Preservation Buffalo Niagara’s “Rehabilitation/Adaptive Reuse Award 2013”, The Preservation League of New York State’s “Excellence in Historic Preservation 2013”, and The Buffalo Spree’s “Best Makeover of an Existing Building 2012”.

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Hotel at Lafayette_©James Cavanaugh, 2011
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Hotel at Lafayette_©James Cavanaugh, 2011
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Hotel at Lafayette_©James Cavanaugh, 2011
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Hotel at Lafayette_©James Cavanaugh, 2011
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Hotel at Lafayette_©James Cavanaugh, 2011
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Hotel at Lafayette_©James Cavanaugh, 2011

3. The Calumet Building, Buffalo, 2012   

Historic Preservation

The Calumet Building was designed by Esenwein & Johnson in 1906 for Robert Root in the Chicago Style of architecture. It is also the best example of Art Nouveau-inspired glazed terra cotta in Buffalo city. Unfortunately, the building’s exterior had deteriorated over years, risking the loss of one of Buffalo’s prime examples of its incredible architectural history. The original 1906 façade has been restored according to the Secretary of Interior’s Standards. The restoration work that is carried out includes the reclamation of the beautiful historic windows and storefronts, as well as the addition of a few new windows on the less prominent elevations to allow the building to put up with its modern users. In order to accommodate the contemporary requirements for access and exit, an 1800 Sq Ft addition has been done to the rear of the building. The new addition is a simple brick post and beam tower constructed with the proportions of the southernmost bay on the West elevation to softly compliment the original building (Carmina Wood Design – Architecture Engineering & Interior Design Firm in Buffalo, NY, 2022).

The Calumet Building_©carminawooddesign.com
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The Calumet Building_©buffoloah.com
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The Calumet Building_©carminawooddesign.com
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The Calumet Building_©carminawooddesign.com

4. LAPC Lofts, Buffalo, 2014

Historic Preservation    |    Housing

This Mixed-Use Redevelopment project involved the conversion of an old chapel (Lafayette Avenue Presbyterian Church) into multi-level units which opens up the wooden trusses that have been concealed since the 70s. It includes the restoration of a parlor, the addition of handicapped accessibility, and two-story loft units to the gymnasium. This has also opened up the potential for weddings, receptions, and so much more. Each loft has its own variation around the theme, some showcase the repurposed fireplaces and stained-glass windows, while others incorporate the old bowling alley lanes into the flooring.

The project has won two awards: The Preservation League of New York State’s “Excellence in Historic Preservation Award 2014” and The Preservation Buffalo Niagara’s “Outstanding Project Award 2016”.

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LAPC Lofts_©buffaloah.com
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LAPC Lofts_©carminawooddesign.com
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LAPC Lofts_©carminawooddesign.com
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LAPC Lofts_©carminawooddesign.com

5. 550 Seneca Street Lofts, Buffalo, 2015

Historic Preservation    |    Housing

This early 1900’s commercial building reuse project transfigures a former bakery warehouse into 41 beautiful apartments. It consists of 7,000 Sq Ft of commercial space on the first floor and one and two-bedroom apartments detailing 10 different floor plans ranging from 700 Sq Ft to 1,250 Sq Ft of space on the upper floors. The building features an urbanized exterior with a painted epoxy filler, enhanced by the geometric grid windows opening up to the views of Larkinville. The interiors display brick floored hallways, high ceilings, exposed cement columns and mechanicals, and pendant light fixtures.

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550 Seneca Street Lofts_©The Buffalo News
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550 Seneca Street Lofts_©The Buffalo News
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550 Seneca Street Lofts_©senecastreetlofts.com

6. 100 South, Buffalo, 2011

Historic Preservation    |    Housing

The building, located on the corner of South Elmwood Avenue and West Mohawk Street in Buffalo, Erie County, New York was first completed in 1916 by the Turner Construction Company, designed by local architects Wood and Bradney. Originally it was developed for the Robertson-Cataract Electric Company. The completed reconstruction and restoration project offers 26 loft apartments on the upper floors, tenant space on the first floor, and the basement which is transformed into underground parking for the residents. The roof areas contain private patios which can be accessed through the lofts. 

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100 South_©The Buffalo & Erie County Historical Society
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100 South_©James Cavanaugh, 2011
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100 South_©James Cavanaugh, 2011

7. Bosche Building, Buffalo, 2016

Historic Preservation    |    Housing

The historic Bosche Building at 916-918 Main Street is redeveloped into one and two-bedroom apartments that feature a shared atrium that can be accessed by all tenants, handicap accessibility, exposed brick and ductwork, and high loft-style ceilings. Each apartment unit includes granite countertops, stainless steel appliances, an in-unit washer and dryer, central air conditioning, and abundant natural lighting from the large Pella windows. Also, there is a shared rooftop patio space overlooking the downtown Buffalo skyline. The project was the Finalist for Business First’s Brick x Brick Award for “The Best Green Construction/Rehab 2017”.

 

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Bosche Building_©carminawooddesign.com
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Bosche Building_©carminawooddesign.com
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Bosche Building_©carminawooddesign.com

8. Webb Lofts, Buffalo, 2007

Historic Preservation    |    Mixed-Use

The Webb Building constructed in 1888 had been abandoned for over 20 years due to a roof collapse that had damaged the structure through the first floor. The completely reconstructed building now includes 32 loft apartments on the upper floors, and a daycare center catering to the special needs of preschool-aged students on the first and lower floors. The project was awarded the “Excellence in Historic Preservation Award 2008” by the Preservation League of New York State, The Brick by Brick’s “Best Townhouse/Apartment/Condo 2008”, and AIA of WNY: Buffalo Chapter’s “Merit Award for Historic Preservation 2009”.

 

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Webb Lofts_©carminawooddesign.com
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Webb Lofts_©carminawooddesign.com
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Webb Lofts_©carminawooddesign.com

9. Ten Lafayette / The Tishman Building, Downtown Buffalo, 2014

Historic Preservation    |    Hospitality    |    Interior Design And Planning

The iconic Tishman Building, a historic landmark that overlooks Lafayette Square in the heart of downtown Buffalo, was redeveloped into Hilton Garden Inn, a downtown hotel occupying floors 1 through 14 while the ground level is a shared lobby used by the residential and commercial business tenants. The floors 15 through 17 accommodate apartments, 6 per floor for a total of 18 apartments. Floors 18 through 20 are occupied by the Hamister Group, Inc as their corporate offices. Every floor of the building is configured to fit the specific requirements of the tenants. The project won The Preservation League of New York State’s “Excellence in Historic Preservation Award 2014” and The Brick by Brick’s “Best Restoration Award 2015”. 

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The Tishman Building_©www.carminawooddesign.com
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The Tishman Building_©www.carminawooddesign.com
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The Tishman Building_©www.carminawooddesign.com
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The Tishman Building_©www.carminawooddesign.com
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The Tishman Building_©www.carminawooddesign.com

10. William Seneca Building, Irving / Cattaraugus     Territories, 2011

Institutional    |    Interior Design And Planning

Presently a government office for the Seneca Nation of Indians on the Cattaraugus Territories, this 50,000 Sq Ft project includes the Seneca Nation’s executive offices, planning offices, police rooms, clerk and treasurer cabins, public works, and council chambers, and some social services offices. The building features Green Design Principles and incorporates indigenous plants and imagery exhibiting respect for the Native American culture. It has won The Brick by Brick’s “Best New Office/Development 2011” award.

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William Seneca Building_©www.carminawooddesign.com
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William Seneca Building_©www.carminawooddesign.com
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William Seneca Building_©www.carminawooddesign.com
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William Seneca Building_©www.carminawooddesign.com

11. Chez Ann, Buffalo, 2014

Commercial    |    Interior Design And Planning

This project is an expansion of the Chez Ann Salon & Spa from 2,694 Sq Ft to 4,025 Sq Ft. The alterations included the reconfiguration of walls and openings, the identification of a new salon care space with electrical and plumbing work, and the interior finishes. The project was a Finalist for The Brick by Brick’s Best Retail Award 2015. 

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Chez Ann_©www.carminawooddesign.com
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Chez Ann_©www.carminawooddesign.com
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Chez Ann_©www.carminawooddesign.com

12. Roost, Buffalo, 2016

Commercial    |    Interior Design And Planning

The project was done in partnership with restaurateur Martin Danilowicz to transition his restaurant, Martin Cooks, to the Crescendo building at 1502 Niagara Street. The project highlights the industrial elements of the space with signature utilitarian elements. True to the name of the restaurant, we created the entranceway with a dramatic and colorful rooster mural by Chuck Tingley (Carmina Wood Design – Architecture Engineering & Interior Design Firm in Buffalo, NY, 2022). The bar is unique and seats thirty people at a bowling alley surface, while the guests can enjoy the view of one of the two Marana Forni’s wood-fired rotary pizza ovens in the country. It can host 117 diners at a time and everything in the space serves a purpose including the chef’s table, back booths, banquet seating, private dining area, a patio above the private parking garage, and bar stools laid out along the windows. 

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Roost_©www.buffalorising.com
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Roost_©www.roostwny.com
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Roost_©www.buffalorising.com

13. The Chautauqua Centre, Jamestown, NY, 2013

Healthcare 

The multi-level facility is a great new asset for the community in Jamestown. The Chautauqua Centre offers primary care, pediatric care, dental care, women’s health care, substance abuse care, and psychiatric care. It also includes a pharmacy, community kitchen, and fitness center. 

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The Chautauqua Centre_©www.carminawooddesign.com
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The Chautauqua Centre_©www.carminawooddesign.com
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The Chautauqua Centre_©www.carminawooddesign.com

14. The McGuire Development Offices, Cheektowaga, NY, 2018

Corporate Offices | Interior Design And Planning

This project seeks to integrate two companies: The McGuire Group (Healthcare Service Provider) and The McGuire Development Company (Commercial Real Estate Developer), into one office space and facilitate a new company culture. The new space separates the employees into two “suites” with common areas in the middle for healthy interaction amongst the people. Private offices are located at the exterior with support staff centralized. A variety of touchdown spaces like phone rooms and collaborative meeting areas allow for the flexibility needed in the modern office (Carmina Wood Design – Architecture Engineering & Interior Design Firm in Buffalo, NY, 2022). 

The repetition of architectural features and materials creates fluidity between the two suites. The combination of warm, neutral, and earthy tones for the flooring and walls and vibrant, colorful, and flamboyant furniture creates a dynamic workspace. The reception area welcomes clients with a coffee bar, customized bench seating, bold signages, fun light fixtures, and bright geometric tiles. The large lunch room is equipped with games, vending machines, and a variety of seating that brings the users together to facilitate the new company culture.

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The McGuire Development Offices_©www.carminawooddesign.com
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The McGuire Development Offices_©www.carminawooddesign.com
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The McGuire Development Offices_©www.carminawooddesign.com
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The McGuire Development Offices_©www.carminawooddesign.com

15. Kenmore Teachers’ Federal Credit Union, Kenmore, 2016    

Institutional | Interior Design And Planning

The 4,800 Sq Ft site on Sheridan Drive is redesigned into new workstations, private offices, conference facilities, banking lobby space, break-room, and drive-through operations for the Kenmore Teachers’ Federal Credit Union. The space crunch that was previously felt by users is resolved and the functions of the facility and the staff’s work environment are optimized.

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Kenmore Teachers’ Federal Credit Union_©www.carminawooddesign.com
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Kenmore Teachers’ Federal Credit Union_©www.carminawooddesign.com
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Kenmore Teachers’ Federal Credit Union_©www.carminawooddesign.com

References:

  1. Archinect. 2022. Hotel @ Lafayette | Carmina Wood Morris | Archinect. [online] Available at: [Accessed 6 August 2022].
  2. Carmina Wood Design. 2022. Carmina Wood Design – Architecture Engineering & Interior Design Firm in Buffalo, NY. [online] Available at: [Accessed 4 August 2022].

Illustrations:

IMAGES 01, 02, 03, 04 : 

Phoenix Brewery Apartments © https://carminawooddesign.com/phoenix

IMAGES 05, 06, 07, 08, 09, 10 : 

Hotel at Lafayette ©James Cavanaugh, 2011

IMAGES 11, 12, 13, 14 : 

The Calumet Building © https://carminawooddesign.com/the-calumet-building

IMAGE 15 : LAPC Lofts © https://buffaloah.com/a/elmwd/590/ext/

IMAGES 16, 17, 18 : LAPC Lofts © https://carminawooddesign.com/lapc-lofts

IMAGE 19, 20 : 550 Seneca Street Lofts ©The Buffalo News

IMAGES 21: 550 Seneca Street Lofts © https://senecastreetlofts.com

IMAGE 22 : 100 South ©The Buffalo & Erie County Historical Society

IMAGES 23, 24 : 100 South_James Cavanaugh, 2011

IMAGES 25, 26, 27 : 

Bosche Building © https://carminawooddesign.com/bosche-918-main

IMAGES 28, 29, 30 : 

Webb Lofts © https://carminawooddesign.com/webb-lofts

IMAGES 31, 32, 33, 34, 35 :

The Tishman Building © https://carminawooddesign.com/10-lafayette

IMAGES 36, 37, 38, 39 :

William Seneca Building © https://carminawooddesign.com/williamsenecabuilding

IMAGES 40, 41, 42 :

Chez Ann © https://carminawooddesign.com/chez-ann

IMAGE 43 : Roost © https://www.buffalorising.com/2016/12/roost/

IMAGE 44 : Roost © https://www.roostwny.com/eat

IMAGE 45: Roost © https://www.buffalorising.com/2016/12/roost/

IMAGES 46, 47, 48 : 

The Chautauqua Centre 

© https://carminawooddesign.com/the-chautauqua-center-jamestown

IMAGES 49, 50, 51, 52 :

The McGuire Development Offices © https://carminawooddesign.com/mcguire-offices

IMAGES 53, 54, 55 :

Kenmore Teachers’ Federal Credit Union © https://carminawooddesign.com/ktfcu

Author

Chandni is an architect by profession, a passionate designer and a self-taught writer with a keen interest in travel, photography and baking. She calls herself an avid learner who likes to research, understand and analyze various design-related fields for the communication of comprehensive ideas and development of sensible policies. She is an ardent believer that when creativity melds together with social and global issues, we can bring the world together. Furthermore, she would like to create an architecture to live by, more than to live in.

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