All building projects are different, every client, every site and therefore every brief is unique. There is no single solution to your project and there is a range of architects able to offer their own approach. Selecting the right architect is one of the most significant decisions you can make.
When should I bring the architect into the picture?
The early you bring an architect on board the better. We can help you define your project in every respect, carry out site analysis, and provide a variety of other pre-design services.
Should I meet with more than one firm?
Usually, yes. One obvious exception is when you already have a good relationship with an architect. Typically you should interview three to five firms – enough to see the range of possibilities but not so many that an already tough decision will be further complicated.
How do I find suitable architects to contact?
Talk to individuals who have built similar projects. If there are projects you admired – whether similar to your own or not – find out who designed them. Alternatively you can find an architect at www.findanarchitect.com.au.
What can I realistically expect to learn from an interview? How can I structure the interview to make it as informative as possible?
You can learn how the architect may approach your project. Review the firm’s work that is similar in type and size to yours or that have addressed similar issues.
Why are formal interviews desirable?
An interview addresses one issue that cannot be covered in brochures: the chemistry between you and your architect.
Should I expect a firm to deliver all the services necessary to complete the project?
Not necessarily. You may have considerable project-planning, design, and construction expertise and may be capable of undertaking some tasks yourself. Alternatively, you may find it necessary to add other consultants to the team. Discussion with your architect will establish who will coordinate owner-supplied work or other services.
What is “green” architecture, and do I need to discuss it?
“Green” or sustainable design refers to the important practice of creating architecture that is friendly to both the environment and the end user and inhabitants.
How should I follow up?
By contacting referees. Ask past clients to assess the performance of both the firm and the resulting architecture. Notify the selected firm or short-listed firms as soon as possible to ensure their availability.
On what should I base my decision?
Personal confidence in the architect is paramount. Seek also an appropriate balance among design ability, technical competence, professional service, and cost.
Selection Is a Mutual Process
The most thoughtful architects are as careful in selecting their clients as owners are in selecting architects. Be prepared to answer questions about your project’s purpose, budget, time frame, site, and the team of players you anticipate being involved with the project.
Explore how clients and architects worked together on real projects. See how architects help their clients visualize projects, then guide them through the build.
If you’d like to discuss your project, please contact me for an obligation free consultation.