Practice Overview PRACTICE OVERVIEW (This Page)

Professional Profile (Text)
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Partial Client List:
Representative Areas of Practice

Contract Interiors

CoreStates Financial Corporation

Interiors projects totalling over 150,000 square feet in net area ranging in size from 7,000 square feet to over 50,000 square feet. Services included physical surveys, Furniture and equipment inventories, design, documentation, and construction observation. CoreStates Groups for which services were provided include Human Resources, Trust and Investment, Appraisal, and Graphic Communications Groups. The Human Resources Group project represented a healthy challenge in that it entailed the relocation of over two hundred workers onto two floors of the Centre Square Complex, a Center City Philadelphia high rise office tower, while both floors were occupied.
Retail Commercial Facilities

Recent Large scale . . .

Franklin Mills Mall

Designed by Cambridge Seven Architects, Philadelphia's Franklin Mills Mall encompasses over two million square feet of retail construction. During construction of the mall, Western Development Corporation, the developer, had a need for on-site architectural representation, and for design and documentation services for both tenant and landlord-related construction. Manos provided architectural services for over a half million square feet of improvements at Franklin Mills. Included were landlord "white-box" services, tenant fit-up services, surveys, lease outline drawings, lease area verification drawings, and alterations to the mall itself, both interior and in the form of additions. To provide those services, Manos built a full- time, on-site office, staffed by an architect and four drafters (the office was in a construction trailer modified to resemble an architectural office complete with drafting boards, blueline printer, and all necessary office furniture and equipment), offering immediate response to frequent construction-related design and documentation requests.

Liberty Plaza and Cooper's Plaza

In 1978, French retailer Carrefour commenced a retail program in the United States with the construction of two very large "hypermarkets," one adjacent to Philadelphia's Franklin Mills Mall and the other in Voorhees Township in New Jersey. The Philadelphia project was completed in 1988 and the Voorhees project in 1991. Carrefour terminated operations at both sites in 1992. The two properties were acquired by The Mills Corporation in April of 1994. The Franklin Mills site was renamed "Liberty Plaza" and the Voorhees site "Cooper's Plaza." The Liberty Plaza building contains over 300,000 square feet and Cooper's Plaza over 200,000 square feet of net rentable area. Both buildings were converted to "Power Centers," a form of strip center occupied by high-volume, national retailers. Tenants at the sites include Bradlees, Pathmark, Marshalls, and Service Merchandise. Manos provided all base building change-over architectural and engineering services.

Service Merchandise

Also provided was construction documentation services for the two Service Merchandise stores, one in each center. The stores range in size from 54,000 square feet to 58,000 square feet.


Comprising an addition of 54,000 square feet to Franklin Mills Mall, Spiegel Ultimate Outlet also absorbed 6,000 square feet of previously-existing interior mall space when it opened in 1989. Manos architects provided complete architectural services to Western Development Corporation in the construction of this addition (tenant interiors were designed by others). This project was fast-tracked.


Other major retailers at Franklin Mills for whom services were provided include Bloomingdale's Outlet Store, Neiman- Marcus, and Youngworld - and - while not retailers in the usual sense but mall tenants nonetheless, a YMCA Kid's Corner and the Franklin Mills Montessori School.
Smaller scale . . .
Architectural services have been provided to smaller-scale retailers since 1969 for over five million square feet of retail space comprised of stores ranging in size from 300 square feet to 12,000 square feet. Retailers have included:
Home offices of retailers have been located in such diverse cities as New York, northern New Jersey, Massachusetts, Texas, Central Pennsylvania, and Philadelphia. Following, as they do, regional mall construction, those retailers have constructed stores throughout the country. Design, construction documentation, and construction administration services have provided for stores in forty-four states.
Most retail projects for which architectural services have been provided entail the construction of large numbers of stores in short time frames, a characteristic of the retail industry. Nonetheless, Manos continues to design "mom-and-pop" stores whenever an interesting design or implementation challenge arises in the interest of servicing that particular segment of the retail economy.

Retail Programs
Involvement with smaller segments of retail programs is sometimes by way of "infill" services to retailers whose usual consultants or in-house staffs are overloaded and cannot turn out the required volume of work within the allotted time. Examples of work in infill and in smaller programs includes AT&T Stores, Spencer Gifts, Anderson-Little Stores, and Clarke Shoes.


Involvement with larger programs includes participation in the strategy of the program itself in addition to the design of the stores and the direction of the resultant construction program. The largest example of this is the Mothercare program involving the construction of over 300 new and the renovation of 173 existing stores.
During the Mothercare program, which commenced in 1978, Manos developed the first microcomputer-based, computer-assisted, graphical, store planning, cost-budgeting, event scheduling, component-ordering system of its kind to be used in the retail industry. This system eventually enabled the production of up to seven stores per week, including the generating of purchase orders for equipment, lighting, furnishings, and display fixtures. The management of this program by Manos enabled Mothercare to open every store on schedule and within 97% of construction cost projection (i.e. of each dollar projected for construction cost, 97 cents was actually spent). This program, reported in store planning trade journals, led to the publication by McGraw-Hill of a workbook, "Microcomputer Applications in the Design Office," authored by George Manos on the subject.

Payless Shoesource

More recently, architectural services have been provided to Payless ShoeSource and, prior to Payless, its predecessor, Volume Shoe Corporation, for over seventy stores in the Pennsylvania-New Jersey-Maryland area. Services include preliminary store layout and design and construction documentation. Projects generally entail interior tenant fit-up and storefront work, and free-standing stores when applicable.
Food Service
Having been raised in a restaurant-owning family, Manos is intimately familiar with the operation of food service facilities, providing a solid basis for restaurant and kitchen design. Approximately twenty five food service facilities have been designed including Cavanaugh's Country House Tavern (Washington Township, NJ), a 125-seat restaurant, Finizio's (Franklin Mills), and Aunt Pearl's Cinnamon Rolls (Franklin Mills).
In 1984 the McCrory's chain terminated the operation of its in-house restaurant facilities and commenced the conversion of fifteen of its restaurants to "Trolly Stop" fast food operations, from The Bronx in New York to Baton Rouge, LA, which conversions were surveyed, designed, documented, and administered by Manos.
Computer Applications
Computer applications have been a part of services offered since 1977. Attention is paid to the appropriate but not exclusive use of computers in the design and documentation process in recognition of the fact that appropriate design and documentation decisions can only be made at this time by humans. On average, currently, approximately 85 percent of all services are computer-assisted.
Manos Architects is among the first architectural firms in the US to offer Internet-based "Extranet" project management services to clients. Using The Internet as a "records room," project team members with password access to our Extranet sites can view and download drawing files, read job meeting minutes, post Requests For Information ("RFI's"), receive responses to RFI's, review project construction schedules, contact other team members, review Applications for Payment, view job progress photographs, and essentially conduct all project-related business via the site. With all important job-related information accessible to all team members at all times in one place, project coordination is effected very efficiently and with minimal chance for confusion or receipt of contradictory information.
Each technical and administrative staff member has a computer. Technical staff currently uses 166 MHz and 200 MHz IBM 6x86, and a few DX/4-100 VLB systems running DesignCAD v6.xx 2D and 3D design, drafting, and illustration software. Drawings are available in .DW2, .DXF and .DWG formats. Plotters include HP DesignJet 200-E E-size and Calcomp 1023 8-pen D-size. Image input is from an HP ScanJet IIcx, up to 8-1/2 X 14 format. Printers include HP LaserJet III, HP DeskJet 1200C color, and Star NX2420 24-pin (dot matrix).
Four modems are online, all with Internet access. A bulletin board is online 24/7 for drawing and file swaps at (215) 563-1170 using ProCOMM Plus communications software. Although throughput speeds of modem-to-modem file swaps using the bulletin board are faster than file swaps made over The Internet, The Internet nonetheless seems to be becoming the medium of choice for data exchange. Photorealistic rendering is done using DesignCAD 3D v4.0 and Visual Software's "Renderize Live" v2.0. Images are edited using Aldus "Photostyler" v2.0. Word processing, including specification writing, and desktop publishing are done using WordPerfect v6.0 for Windows.
Construction cost projections are made using the "National Construction Estimator" from Craftsman Book Company, updated annually (we have found this software to give a higher degree of accuracy than other systems we have tried), and project scheduling is done using Primavera Systems's "Suretrak."
Available upon request