BLOG - Architectural Metals

Best Interior / Tenant Improvement Project in the Nation, Engineering News Record (ENR)

Posted by Daniel Couturier on Fri, Aug 28, 2015

Monumental Stairs - Monumental Results

Couturier Iron Craft, Inc. a key player in the Carter's Inc. relocation improvement project in Atlanta, Georgia.

Brought on board by Perkins + Will and Choate Construction, Atlanta, Couturier Iron Craft is credited for the manufacturing and installation of the two decorative metal stairs and glass railing system connecting the 17th, 18th and 19th floors of the award winning space. Couturier attributes the recognition of "Best of the Best Projects" as a reflection of talent, skills and creativity of all individuals involved on the project. (Read more below)

Engineering News Record magazine (ENR) released its national “Best of the Best Projects” winners for 2014, designed to identify the pinnacle of design and construction achievements in the U.S. among projects completed between June 2013 and June 2014. Choate Construction Company won two of these awards.

The Carter’s, Inc. build out in Atlanta, GA won for the Best Interiors/Tenant Improvement category in the nation.

The William Carter Company, better known as Carter’s, Inc., was founded in 1865 and is the leading brand of children’s clothing, gifts and accessories in America, selling more than 10 products for every child born in the United States.  The Company owns the Carter’s and OshKosh B’gosh brands, two of the most recognized brands in the marketplace.  In an effort to attract and retain high quality talent, improve productivity, promote collaboration and encourage sustainability, Carter’s, Inc. relocated their headquarters to occupy 11 floors at Phipps Tower in Atlanta.

Carter’s 275,000-SF LEED Gold certified space, designed by Perkins + Will, highlights the company’s heritage of quality, innovation, and value throughout each of its 11 floors.  While their products might be developed for a juvenile crowd, their office space is sophisticated and contemporary. As each brand under the Carter’s, Inc. umbrella is unique, the design scheme of each floor is also unique through the use of different materials and colors schemes.

Each floor includes a library for informal gatherings equipped with a coffee bar and seating area as well as a break room with both bar-height and traditional table seating.  Features throughout the spaces include custom product display cases, extensive use of glass wall systems, wood wall and ceiling systems, high-end lighting with daylight harvesting, and over 100,000 SF of walnut wood flooring.  Two exposed staircases allow easy transition between the 17th, 18th and 19th floors, encouraging employee collaborating and connectivity. (


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Couturier Iron Craft, Inc. Earns Gold & Silver NOMMA Awards

Posted by Daniel Couturier on Thu, Jul 23, 2015

Couturier Earns Gold and Silver Awards at 2015 National Ornamental & Miscellaneous Metal Association Convention.

The National Ornamental & Miscellaneous Metals Association awarded Couturier Iron Craft both Gold and Silver awards for outstanding work in the Commercial Staircase category and Art/Sculpture category. The awards were presented on March 14, 2015 at the annual METALFAB conference in King of Prussia, PA.The Earnest Wiemann Top Job Awards competition in a annual event that recognizes outstanding work in the ornamental and miscellaneous metals industry. The event is open to over 1,000 member firms throughout the U.S. and in 14 foreign countries.

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Couturier Iron Craft at Chicago 2014 AIA Convention

Posted by Daniel Couturier on Mon, May 12, 2014

Couturier Iron Craft will be exhibiting at the Chicago AIA Convention June 26th-28th, McCormick Place.  Stop by and visit our booth #3652, see why Couturier has become a number one choice for custom staircase and railing products for so many unique projects.

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Tags: curved stairs, spiral stairs, ornamental metals, decorative stairs, aia national convention 2014, stainless steel railing, stairs, curved staircase, decorative metals, stairway

Ornamental Metals: 3 Advantages of Water Jet Cutting

Posted by Leander Rabe on Mon, Mar 17, 2014

Gates, stairways, balustrades, portals, balconies, fences, trellises, domes, ornamental signage...the list is endless in the ways ornamental metals can be utilized to enhance and beautify any architectural design project.

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Tags: ornamental metals, water jet cutting, decorative metals, water jet

Standard vs. Spiral Staircase: Increasing Aesthetics with Curve Appeal

Posted by Daniel Couturier on Wed, Mar 12, 2014
When designing a project, architects often contemplate what architectural focal points will drive it home for the potential buyer. When choosing the right stair arrangement, a spiral staircase  can add a classic or contemporary draw depending on the design. Nothing says dramatic like an creatively elegant staircase.
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Tags: spiral stairs, spiral stairway, spiral staircase

Comparing Several Types of Decorative Metals for Your Handrail

Posted by Leander Rabe on Fri, Mar 07, 2014

From aluminum to iron and stainless steel, railings can be made using a variety of mediums.

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Tags: metal railings, metal railing, stainless, railing, decorative metals

Michigan Construction & Design Trade Show 2014 Feb 5th, 2014

Posted by Daniel Couturier on Tue, Dec 03, 2013

Couturier Iron Craft, Inc. will be exhibiting at the Michigan Construction & Design Trade Show on February 5th, 2014 at Motor City Casino, Detroit, MI. Stop by our booth #312 and see a wide range of custom decorative metal stair and railing products offered to meet your project requirements.

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Tags: spiral stairway, decorative stairs, construction industry, construction association of michigan, stainless steel railing, stairs, curved staircase, stainless, railing, decorative metals, stairway, staircase, design, CAM

How a Fortress Mentality Prevents a Successful Design Project

Posted by Leander Rabe on Thu, Oct 24, 2013
Fortress mentality - "a situation in which a group of people feel they are under attack and therefore refuse to listen to any criticism or views that do not fit with their own position and aims."  

Precisely the wrong way to go about a new design/build project, where collaboration between the major players - owner, architect, general contractor, subs, is essential for completing a project to specs, on time, on budget, and to everyone's satisfaction.

If each member of the team has their own ideas or agenda, the end result is likely to be unsatisfactory to all.

When planning a project, it is vitally important to find a collaborative partner, one that has significant amounts of experience, professionalism, and a track record of accomplishments.

While following this mandate is important at every step of the job, it is especially important when contemplating unique architectural and functional elements to new construction or remodeling, like ornamental staircases, railings, and formed metals.

The idea might begin with the owner, and pass to the design or architectural firm. It will pass through the bidding process with generals, who in turn will interact with subs for some of the detail work. The owner will select the general contractor based on a number of factors, including the bid price; intangibles also figure into the equation, such as the contractor's track record in general, past work on similar projects, valued-added services that they can bring to the project. 

The project owner must evaluate the bids, taking care to make sure the general has a history of being able to co-operate with everyone involved in the project. The record of cooperation might be the result of having an excellent construction project manager (CPM) on staff, or having shown a history of being able to work with outside PMs.

The owner might have a history of working with a particular PM and proposes that s/he work with the general and the subs to keep the collaboration mentality alive from start-to-finish.

The CPM is ultimately responsible for the success of the project, and must have management skills as well as a background in the type of project being undertaken. 

S/he will initiate and set-up the following:
  • Create a communication to keep everyone involved up-to-speed throughout the project
  • Maximize resources by obtaining materials and labor to keep the project within scope and budget
  • Clearly communicate the requirements and expectations of all involved to all parties
  • Implement the tasks of the project on a timely yet logical basis.

Clearly stated goals, excellent communication, great planning and keeping all parties involved in the process will go a long way towards eliminating 'fortress mentality' on a construction project, and lead to the job coming in on time, on budget, and to everyone's satisfaction.
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Tags: spiral stairs, construction industry, railing, design, spiral staircase

West Michigan Design & Construction Expo - DeltaPlex - Oct. 17, 2013

Posted by Daniel Couturier on Wed, Aug 28, 2013

Couturier Iron Craft, Inc. will be exhibiting at the 2013 West Michigan Design and Construction Expo on October 17th at the DeltaPLex in Grand Rapids MI. Stop by our booth #612 and see the wide range of decorative metal railing and staircase products offered to meet your project requirements.

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Tags: metal railing, curved stairs, construction industry, stairs, CSI, West Michigan Design and construction expo

State of the Construction Industry

Posted by Leander Rabe on Mon, Aug 26, 2013
Couturier Iron Craft has done well to weather the recent challenges of the construction industry.  Lately the news has highlighted a turnaround in that industry.  However, the news can sometimes be hard to quantify.  Maxwell Systems has created a very helpful infographic.  It is built on the data they mined from the the Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Census Bureau and U.S. Department of Commerce.
Here are some of the highlights of the infographic's numbers:
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Tags: metal railings, curved stairs, custom built, construction industry, curved stairway