HB Design & Build

819 Westminster Street

Providence, RI 02903


Michael Bulman: 401.219.0660

Andrew Tower: 401.965.8857

HB is a design & build studio specializing in unique and creative small scale architecture projects. We are trained as architects and licensed as builders to provide services to take a building project from conception, through design, construction and finish. HB refers to the grade of lead of a standard pencil. Along the continuum of pencil leads, HB (Hard Black) is the middle weight, and can be considered the most fundamental tool of both Architects and Builders. As a design & build studio, HB occupies both worlds. From conception to construction, there are infinite moments during which a work can be influenced by it’s place, material, method of construction, program or context…It is most often in the process of making, that a work finds it’s design. We are delighted by the unique set of questions that each individual work can pose, and take every opportunity to experiment with new materials, methods and ways of creating place. HB enjoys taking on design and construction problems at a range of scale from residential, to commercial, to furniture and object... conceptual design occurs fluidly across the spectrum of scale. A spatial concept will hopefully soak it’s way into the detail…a piece of furniture can start to form space. The path of the making can ideally be felt in the place made. There is no clear moment at which a place is finished being made, and starts being used. Completion can be felt when an object or place is given time to react to and be acted upon by it’s surroundings, to be used, to weather, to grow in dialogue with the forces it has been created by.

The shop is a place primarily to test ideas. The design process often shifts back and forth between the office, the computer, the drafting table and the table saw. Making models and mockups to test and refine various parts or pieces is essential to making things that you have not already made before. With a range of woodworking and metalworking tools the shop has the capacity to turn out work of all types and scales.

Our clients represent a powerful and inspirational force in every project. We enjoy the design process as a conversation to better understand one’s desire to create a particular type of space and place. We build place which has been tailored to the ideals of the client, and through constant conversation the design emerges as a collaboration between many minds. We hope to enable those we work with to reach a deeper understanding of what goes into making space, so that they can learn to translate & share their ideals. More often than not, our projects are “ongoing” and clients become friends and collaborators, with new works or new phases constantly emerging.

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