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T Schaniel Architecture
  About Tom Schaniel, principal and architect
T Schaniel Architecture opened for business on January 1, 2001 in Mammoth Lakes, California. The firm’s specialty is serving the unique architectural needs of the Eastern Sierra, particularly along the 395 corridor from Ridgecrest to the Nevada state line. We believe the main roll of an Architect is to integrate, and we have made this goal of integration the primary focus of T Schaniel Architecture. A good Architect must serve several masters. Of course, his first master is his client. But there are many other masters, which include the users of the space, the planning and building department staff, the contractors who have to build his designs, the building code, the laws of physics, the forces of economics, the aesthetic sensibilities of the public, and the real concern for buildings that use our limited resources wisely. Good architecture integrates the needs of all these different masters, creating a solution to their myriad of problems that leaves them all (and of course above all, the client) satisfied. While serving all of these masters inherently means compromise is inevitable, the key to good architecture is that everyone feels like they got what they wanted. The other core principle for T Schaniel Architecture is to always value relationships. We believe that strong relationships with our clients are key to successful design. For most clients we have to understand their wants and needs to create a successful design. But of nearly equal importance are our relationships in the industry. We have strong relationships with contractors, who respect the practical engineering background we have. We also have worked hard to gain the respect of the staff of the planning, building and public works departments for Mono County, the Town of Mammoth Lakes, Inyo County and the City of Bishop. And this development of relationships has been key to our integrated approach to design.
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In 2005 T Schaniel Architecture relocated to Bishop, California. While Mammoth Lakes and Mono County are still important centers for our work, the move did slowly open up the City of Bishop and Inyo County markets. We believe that as we approach our 10th anniversary as a firm, and the 17th year of practicing in the Eastern Sierra for Tom Schaniel, the principal of the firm, we have an ideal blend of experience and drive. We have moved from primarily residential remodel work, to new single family residences, to mixed use and multi-family projects and now to where commercial and institutional work represent over half of our current work in progress. Because Mr. Schaniel worked for Bill Jenkins Associates, Engineers, a firm specializing in structural engineering, for his first 8 years in the Sierra, we have a very practical background. Since then, we have expanded on that background, using our expertise in the areas of construction administration and observation, providing those service to our clients for our designs, and for clients with projects that were designed by out of the area Architects. We have also expanded the firm’s expertise into accessible design, including retrofit accessible projects, challenging tenant improvements, including putting a woodshop in a former pizza parlor and an Indian restaurant into a non-restaurant space in a local mall, and public work, including an addition to a fire station that required full bid construction documents and contract administration. Still, our original core, residential design in snow country, is an important component of our current and future workload. And the engineering skills that we honed while working for Bill Jenkins are still used in the firm today, where we pride ourselves, that as part of our integral approach we do the majority of our engineering in house. Still we have often been pursued for and have pursued strategic alliances with other architectural firms.
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When the projects increase in scope, it becomes critical for architects and other professionals to work together, in a team approach, to achieve the integrated design approach that we believe is key. To accomplish this wide array of services, we find it critical to stay up to date both in our education and in the tools we use. Currently our primary continuing education concerns are current code issues and code changes, accessible and barrier free design and environmentally friendly, sustainable design. We also keep up to date on our software, using AutoCAD Architecture 2011, SketchUp Pro, EnergyPro energy compliance software, for our architectural tools, and EnerCalc, MathCad, and RISA, along with proprietary software developed by Bill Jenkins Associates and licensed by our firm for our structural analysis needs.

T Schaniel Architecture staff currently consists of Tom Schaniel, Principal and Architect, and Brenda Schaniel, Office Manager.

Thank you for your consideration of our firm. We hope that we get the chance to start a relationship with you, and also a chance to provide unique solutions to your building design problems.

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T Schaniel, Architect, 2302 Navajo Cir., Bishop, CA 93514, (760) 873-4024