With a permanent and high-profile office firmly established, a small architecture firm is looking to make a large impact on the region.
Alloy5 LLC moved into its more visible space on West Broad Street in Bethlehem in April, renovating the interior of a vacant building into an 8,000-square-foot office.
With large open workspaces, extensive use of glass, and wide, expansive windows, the new space in the stand-alone building gives the firm more room for its 13 employees. The site also raises the profile of a company focused on transparency and embracing collaboration in its daily work.
“I like this office because it represents us,” said Randy Galiotto, principal of Alloy5. “We really work with the client. It’s an open, collaborative space. I would say we have a style. The office is a good representation, very clean design, economical.”
The office space also gives the firm more permanence, noted Michael Metzger, principal and president of Alloy5.
“What I really like about it is the character, the exposed brick, a lot of natural light,” Metzger said. “It flows well for a visitor.”
The firm, which formed nearly three years ago, had been renting office space in Main Street Commons a short distance away on Main Street in Bethlehem but found itself running out of space.
Alloy5 began looking for space and found it in the western portion of the city.
Metzger said he was familiar with the building at 530 W. Broad, which had once been a dry cleaning business, sporting goods shop and, later, bicycle shop that vacated two years ago.
“We’re in a great location,” Galiotto said. “It’s obvious development is pushing west in Bethlehem. It was just enough space with some room to grow.”
Galiotto said the firm bought the building in August 2016 and hired Boyle Construction of South Whitehall Township to renovate and do some exterior work, a project that began last December.
Originally, the firm had a goal of hiring 10 people in 10 years. Having already exceeded that goal, the firm is looking for small, steady growth.
“We’ll grow with the right people,” Galiotto said. “Everyone has a different skill set.”
Aside from architecture, the firm takes on development work for projects and offers graphic design services.
Galiotto and Metzger hired Chris Connors, Alloy5’s first employee, to design branding elements for clients. These elements can include designs for everything from business cards to logos and signage. Metzger sees the ability to offer these services under one roof as an asset and as especially good for clients just starting out.
Business has been picking up considerably, with the firm landing projects for municipalities, school districts and commercial clients throughout the region. So far, the firm has completed 250 projects for more than 200 clients.
BEHIND THE NAME
The firm’s top executives have lengthy experience in the industry. About five of Alloy5’s employees, including Galiotto, previously worked at Spillman Farmer Architects in Bethlehem, one of the region’s oldest and most well-known architectural firms.
So what’s behind the name, Alloy5?
“We named it Alloy5 because we didn’t want to name it after ourselves,” Galiotto said. “We really wanted it to become a team-focused practice.”
Metzger said he and Galiotto had been working together for many years and saw the aspect of coming together to create something stronger, similar to an alloy or mixture of metals.
TAKING THE LEAD
One of Alloy5’s newest projects is Dallas Intermediate School in Dallas, Luzerne County.
The firm is the architect of record for the project, which will involve building a school to serve about 600 students in grades three through five.
Alloy5 was one of about 25 architecture firms that responded to a request for proposals for the $18 million project, which should finish construction in fall 2019, said Thomas Duffy, superintendent for the Dallas School District.
“We picked up on the group’s confident simplicity in describing to us what would be their role,” Duffy said. “There’s a few attributes you are looking for in a firm, the easiest is the know-how. They brought an unbelievable ability to communicate with all stakeholders.”
Alloy5 oversaw several meetings with different stakeholders about the project, including teachers, parents and school staff. The firm also supported the zoning and land development process by presenting the project to township officials, Duffy said.