Jonathan McKim, AIA, NCARB, CDT: Born and raised in Chester County, Pennsylvania, and having cut my teeth in the Philadelphia and Phoenix regions, I'm now happily living in San Francisco, California. With a nuts and bolts philosophy that I began developing as an intern in 1998 and now having nearly two decades in the trenches, I’ve learned to take a laid-back approach that puts clients at ease during what can be a stressful period in their lives. I do this by taking personal ownership and approaching each residential project as if it were for a close friend.
I hold a five-year Professional Bachelor of Architecture from Temple University, I’m a member of the American Institute of Architects (AIA), hold a certificate with the National Council of Architectural Registration Boards (NCARB), a Construction Documents Technologist (CDT) certificate from the Construction Specifications Institute, I’m pursuing LEED AP BD+C and LEED Homes accreditation, and I am currently registered/licensed to practice architecture in California and Arizona (New Mexico, Hawaii, Texas, and Colorado are pending final approval).
CONSULTANT ARCHITECTURAL SERVICES:
Consultant Architect Under California General Order 156-CPUC - As a certified LGBTBE through the NGLCC, I provide consultant architectural services to California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC) clients under General Order 156 by subcontracting with other architectural and engineering firms. I also subcontract with Private Military Companies (PMC) for international contracts. Typically my Contracts run in six month increments.
QC/Peer Reviews - I provide this service as a 1099-independent consultant to clients, contractors, and A/E firms. This is not a Bluebeam session review, for I’ve found Bluebeam to be an ineffective tool for reviewing any project of any significant complexity. Instead, the Contract Documents must be reviewed in the form that they’ll take when in the construction/job site trailer. This may sound a bit old school, however, it is the only truly thorough method for providing a high quality QC/peer review, which is to say via a full-size set of drawings including all consultant drawings, completed specifications, and a box or two of red pens.
Construction Administration Services - I make my services available for construction administration (CA), however, only when I have been involved in the development of CDs or conducted a thorough QC/peer review. At this time I do not offer standalone CA services since I’ve found that more often than not, clients contact me for standalone CA when the project is beyond repair, at which point the client needs a lawyer, not another architect. Sorry to be blunt, but this is a fact.
Architectural Facilities Assessments (AFA) - I provide this service to multi-family, commercial/corporate, and institutional/government facilities. My AFAs are based on an in depth site analysis followed by a detailed report, which may include recommendations for additional analysis by a third party licensed engineer who is removed from any possible conflicts of interest. Please note that I expect to have the client’s full cooperation in the event that I discover any life safety and health issues, and that as a licensed professional (and one with empathy) I will not be a party to a client’s attempts to conceal life safety and health concerns. See Kitchell Capital Expenditures Mangers, Inc. v. Jonathan McKim, California Superior Court - Sacramento, 10/03/2018 for clarification of this disclaimer.
ARCHITECTURAL SERVICES (High-end Residential, Branded Prototype Site Adaptations, and Tenant Improvements/TIs):
Design Philosophy - I provide high-end custom residential design in addition to predesigned house plans, which offers the best of both worlds since I can work on a personal level with custom home clients as a facilitator of their imaginations and dreams, while simultaneously providing predesigned plans through an online distributor. I’ve found this to be a truly unique and inspiring way of bringing high quality residential design within reach of anyone seeking something other than cookie cutter grade.
I confess that I’m comfortable working in both traditional and modern motifs, however, my preferred modus operandi honestly fluctuates when working on predesigns, often leaning toward traditional having found a certain warmth and charm in the character of traditional residential architecture that’s often lost in our modern epoch. At the same time my work for high-end custom design clients tends to lean more toward modern since the design is the result of their imagination and dreams. Again, my approach of offering both predesigned and custom home designs really is the best of both worlds.
Sustainability - often it’s just a buzzword that architects like to throw around like a wet rag. Not me. In fact, years ago (don’t ask how many) my design thesis and document was based on sustainable design, and I’ll admit that I get more than just a little irritated with my fellow architects when I see them playing lip service to sustainability. For me, just because you’re LEED AP means little. I want to see your technical details and specifications since that is where I’ll know if an architect is truly practicing sustainable design, or tossing me a wet rag.
Branded Prototype Site Adaptations and Tenant Improvements - In addition to high-end residential, I offer both branded prototype site adaptations (please note that I only offer this service to NGLCC Corporate Partners seeing that I chose to work with companies that recognize the social value of inclusion) and tenant improvements. Visit www.NGLCC.org for a list of NGLCC Corporate Partners.
Atelier: at·el·ier atelier /ˌadlˈyā/ noun - a workshop or studio, especially one used by an artist or designer. /// An atelier (French: [atəlje]) is the private workshop or studio of a professional artist in the fine or decorative arts, where a principal master and a number of assistants, students, and apprentices can work together producing pieces of fine art or visual art released under the master's name or supervision. ~Wikipedia
So, why do I have an atelier instead of an office? Is it because I was seeking a fancy French word to throw into my firm’s name? Well, not to sound indigent, but I surely hope that I don’t come across as being that shallow. The real reason is Louis I. Kahn, one of the 20th century’s greatest architects to ever grace the profession of architecture. Through the latter half of his career, Kahn worked from a small atelier in Philadelphia, where he and his small team produced architecture, or as my thesis adviser who trained under and worked for Kahn would say, “sculpted space” that was more akin to works of fine art.
You see, an atelier is quite different from an office. Kahn was notorious for not keeping regular hours and in fact, it was not uncommon for Kahn to be found working at his drafting board at 3:00 AM, often tinkering with the 50th revisions of what many would consider a minor detail. But this is what makes architecture an art, and not merely a profession. For me, Kahn embodied the true spirit of what it means to be an architect, and although I do not claim to be on the same level as Kahn, I do claim that it is his spirit and the spirit of an atelier instead of an office that keeps me in love with this profession.
Consultant Fees - consultant clients have two options for fees, an hourly rate or a lump sum. Within the lump sum fee option, the client can chose to pay 50% at contract signing with the remaining 50% due in 45 calendar days, or pay the full amount at contract signing and receive a 10% discount.
Design Fees - Who likes surprises when it comes to money? I don’t, and therefore, I like to be upfront with my clients when it comes to my fees, which range from 8% to 15% of construction. For example, if you’re planning to construct a new home with a budget of $500,000, the design fees will typically fall near the high of 15%, while a $1,000,000 home will have design fees falling closer to the mid-range of 11.5%, and a $2,000,000 home will fall within the low of 8%.
Please feel free to contact me if you’re considering a new home. However, be forewarned that once I start talking about architecture, it’s often hard for me to stop.
250 Douglass Street, 16
San Francisco, CA 94114
p: +1 310 908 6564
DUNS Number 116942326
NGLCC Certification Number 10964
NCARB Certificate Number 77692
Architect’s Registration Numbers: CA C36089; AZ 50052