¬†My¬†architecture is¬†built on earnest research rather than assumed or arrogant presumptions.¬† Before I design, I sincerely listen to, inquire of, and learn about both my client and their site, because for me, this is where I discover the fundamental understandings that fuel our creative inspiration.¬†¬†Just as importantly, it is here that the boundaries for project schedules and costs are defined.
¬†From ambiguity and confusion, we distill clarity.¬† This phase is concerned with the creation of a valid design concept that honors the design program established in the previous phase.¬†¬† Conceptual design usually involves the exploration of alternative design options, gaining focus on a strong fundamental solution defined with a broad brush, upon which the specific details can be developed.
¬†Technically coherent, concise, complete, and contract-capable contract documents are an invaluable project management tool, and always represent an excellent investment, more than paying for themselves.¬†¬† They support, and control, the work of the diverse group of entities that become involved in the project before, during, and after construction.¬†¬†¬† They have a profound impact on both the cost and the quality of the completed project.
¬†How to build it?¬† Who to build it?¬† When will it be finished – how much will it cost?¬†¬† These questions have been underlying every step of work completed to this point, but it is now time to¬†resolve them¬†contractually. ¬† Whether¬†interacting with¬†one contractor or many, whether bid negotiated,¬†I¬†normally¬†remain active through this phase of the project in support of clients.¬†¬†¬†It has been my experience that¬†remaining¬†closely involved with projects all the way through every step of their production is the best way to¬†foster desired outcomes.
¬†The vision becomes reality.¬† It is time to harvest the benefits of thorough preparation as the team grows and the site becomes a steadily unfolding story.¬†¬† While the best architects never stop thinking about design, and always demand appropriate quality of material and craftsmanship, I believe the ideal role of the architect is to support¬† a committed team of technicians, craftsmen and artisans in a collaboration of service to the project.¬† During construction, a stream of questions, problems, and opportunities are inevitably addressed.¬†¬†¬†¬†The architect, with a global understanding of the project,¬†should be¬†actively involved in the resolution of¬†questions and conflicts.
¬†The first passing of the seasons in a new structure is a time to test, observe, take notes, and confirm that all is functioning as it should.¬†¬†¬†¬†I recommend building a one-year warranty into the construction contract extending to cover the work of all subcontractors and¬†suppliers.