Design is a Process
As important as the design are the project processes – the ‘services that wrap around the design process’. Projects are not linear, their are organic and fluid and evolve as they develop. Successful projects need a successful brief and vision. To help with this one needs to be inquisitive, proactive, flexible and most important, good at listening! In the end it comes down to three elements:
Listening and understanding - Developing the brief
Clients are motivated to build by a blend of personal and business considerations.
Listening is key to developing a successful brief. Balancing client ambition against stakeholder needs, user requirements, budget, programme, planning and design often requires compromise and expectation management. Clients are almost always constrained by the capital or time available.
Understanding the value – not just energy efficiency, or the building performance – but how a building translates into real returns for the client is key to forming the vision and delivering a successful outcome. The most common reason for budget overspend are ‘briefing issues’ and a lack of communication during the early stages about expectations and brief.
Listening. Understanding. Communicating. Delivering.
- It’s simple really
Championing the vision
All projects begin with a vision.
Design communicates the vision and it is the architect’s role to help formalise the vision through concept designs and to maintain and communicate it throughout the design process to everyone involved. Successful outcomes cannot be delivered by an individual. Successful buildings are delivered by the collaboration of many people – stakeholder, engineers specialist consultants and particularly an engaged client. Getting everyone buying into the vision brings a shared responsibility, accountability and reward.
A strong vision ensures quality. A building’s quality these days focuses on building users, linking sustainability and wellness to operating costs, user satisfaction, place making and community value, resilience, and long-term adaptability or flexibility. Priorities constantly shift over the course of a project and political as well as technical challenges require constant re-assessment to ensure the project delivers on quality, time and budget.
We see challenges as opportunities for improvements. Our team strives to accommodate change by seeking pragmatic and practical solutions but never lose sight of the vision.
Delivering Technical Talent
Turning the vision into reality - technical detailing, on site delivery and successful handover.
We employ an integrated, collaborative approach to building design where key principles of healthy, low energy and sustainable design are considered from the outset and where architecture and engineering solutions complement each other to offer pragmatic, practical and economic solutions.
Where the architectural design is developed independently from other disciplines often the engineering becomes a problem fix for any short falls. Often building modelling happens too late in the project where the building design is already fixed and the full potential cannot longer be achieved resulting in more expensive over engineered renewables and services strategies.
By involving all disciplines in the design process from the outset, when analysing site information and client’s brief, identifying key performance indicators and project aspirations through to initial design stage, detail design stage and tender stage an optimum design can be achieved that holistically considers all aspects of a project and responds to its challenges in the most economic way.