When we are first approached by prospective clients, we have found that few fully understand what an architect does. Many interview draftspeople and volume builders also, and find it difficult to distinguish between the various levels of expertise and design engagement on offer. Invariably, a large part of our first discussion is devoted to explaining how our services differ from those of other building designers and why there is great value in the cost of an architect.
What follows is the 1st of ten articles that explore the question: why engage an architect? An archive of the series can be accessed here.
1. Our work is all about you
Every client is unique. You have a unique personality and lifestyle. Your tastes are unique, as are your work habits and hobbies. You might work from home, entertain regularly or have your parents visit each month. You might be a passionate chef, film enthusiast or weekend craftsman. You may be starting a family, on the brink of your children leaving home, or not interested in kids at all. You might be cautious with the money you spend on your house, or excited about stepping into the unknown.
Unlike volume builders, we do not assume we know what your house should be like before we’ve even met you. We do know that your home should complement your personality and nurture your daily life. It should fit you like a glove, growing and changing as you do. It should delight, inspire and comfort you. It should be as unique as you are.
Which is why we design every project from scratch.
We start each project with a blank page, and keep it blank until we have taken the opportunity to learn about you, your family and your lifestyle. We assist you to formulate a detailed project brief, describing everything from how long you hope to live in your new house, to how many bedrooms you need, to what sort of storage requirements you have. We ask you to explain the requirements you have for every room, their sizes, intended furniture and connections to one another. We encourage you to develop a portfolio of space, joinery and materials ideas that you like, either online or in hardcopy.
Only then do we put pen to paper and begin our design work.
In architecture, there is no such thing as one size fits all. The house we design for you will be unique, with no other like it on the planet. It will be as powerfully influenced by your personality as it is ours.
- You, author’s own image.