Architecture, in its highest form, is a collaborative process.
EACH COMPONENT OF A PROJECT’S PROCESS IS CRITICAL for its overall quality and unique character, and fostering a collaborative spirit that begins early on in the design process is an important aspect of our approach.
AND WE CONTINUALLY FINE-TUNE THAT UNDERSTANDING as the project progresses, taking the same collaborative approach with our clients that we do with the rest of the project team.
The design typically begins with an initial in-depth consultation with you to gain a full understanding of your construction budget, and your needs and desires–your “vision”–for the project. A project program begins to take shape and a wish list is developed. This stage also involves thoroughly documenting the existing conditions of the building (if there is one) and the site to understand their unique features, nuances and context. With an up-to-date property survey, we perform a preliminary zoning analysis to determine whether any bulk requirements will affect the project design. If necessary, and with your approval, we retain in civil/environmental engineers or other specialists to identify additional constraints.
At this stage we begin to examine the potential of the building in various configurations. A series of initial sketches are the first attempt to transform the program into a plan, and locate the building on the site. The intent is to deal more with environmental and spatial relationships than the “feel” of the spaces. We investigate various options to determine the general layout and direction of the project. We ask the big questions about how you want to live and ultimately how the space around you will be resolved.
Once a basic layout and scope have been agreed upon, the design is further detailed to include construction methods, materials and to create the “feel” of the project. We communicate our design concepts through drawings, sketches, and digital 3D models, such as the one shown here, to ensure that you have a thorough understanding of the building and feel completely comfortable moving forward. We bring our structural and mechanical consultants on board at this stage to introduce them to the project and ensure maximum efficiency in the design. Also at this stage, we will invite contractors to review the design and offer recommendations to ensure that the project can be built within the realm of initial cost expectations.
With your final approval of the design, we finalize the construction details, specify materials, coordinate our drawings with those of our consultants, and verify that the proposed design complies with applicable building codes and zoning regulations. A building permit and construction drawing set is the product of this process.
We serve as your representative and advocate during construction, working to ensure that the design is constructed in accordance with the contract documents. To that end, we assist the contractor in resolving any issues and answering questions that arise during construction; we also provide supplementary details as needed. Unforeseen conditions invariably arise and new opportunities present themselves throughout the construction process. The small details of the design continue to evolve and develop as the building is erected. If the scope of work allows, the project may be fully detailed, right down to the furnishings and fixtures. We can assist you with the selection and sourcing of plumbing and light fixtures, kitchen cabinetry, millwork, tile and furniture. Of course, the interiors are always an inseparable aspect of the architecture and these considerations play an important role throughout the design process.