Finding Beauty in Functionality
Finding Beauty in Functionality
From the exuberance of creating a city in our sandbox as a kid to the excitement of sketching the house of our dreams, being creative in the built environment is something we LOVE to do! Designing a home is one of our favorites, because working with the Client is such a personal and interactive process. Designing other kinds of buildings can yield similar enjoyment, though buildings for the public can take longer to design and be a more complex process.
In our practice, design projects are the gems that we embrace as special occasions under unique circumstances. For example:
- Two of the homes we’ve designed came after settlement of a construction claim, though both had very different issues and design criteria.
- A recreational facility that we designed followed a similar settlement, but the commission was awarded because we won a design competition.
- A performing arts theater we designed was for a theater company’s first new facility. They had never worked with an architect before!
Master planning involves evaluating each Client’s need for expansion and their existing spatial capabilities. Often this evaluation occurs across the organization; at other times it is localized to a specific facility. Evaluation of governmental requirements also occurs during this process.
In each master plan we have prepared, the first order of business has been to assist the Client in defining what is needed for the project. In architectural parlance, this is called programming. The process can include interviewing key stakeholders in the proposed facility to understand their needs (or goals) for the project, and then studying the spatial parameters that would meet those needs. The conclusion of programming is usually the preparation of a program document that outlines the spaces required, beneficial adjacencies, and functions/contents for each space.
Once the needs, capabilities and requirements have been defined, adjacencies, opportunities for synergistic interactions, and key architectural concepts are explored. Client collaboration is very important during this process, so meetings are frequent; in some cases, we have conducted workshops with a variety of users as a means of getting all the key players to the table to work toward common project goals. The final documentation is usually a set of conceptual design drawings, the program document, and an “order-of-magnitude” cost estimate.
We see a close relationship between architecture and interior design. Many of our projects include a collaborative process that blends the unique expertise of both disciplines. Our team capabilities include design, including interior space planning, preparation of construction documents and the specification of fixtures, finishes and furnishings. We also provide project coordination services from the preliminary planning phases, through construction, to final installation.
Our team’s interior design capabilities are anchored by professional interior designer Patricia K. Weiss, ASID, NCIDQ. Patricia brings significant experience in the design of interiors to our team; please refer to her biography on the About page.