Concept & Research
The design process begins by hand. Taking pencil to paper slows the ability to create and facilitates careful decision making. This is important for the first phase of design because it allows us to explore our clients functional goals and form the underlying concepts for the project. While this is happening, research is conducted in the background in order to better understand the site and adjacent spaces.
The existing conditions are measured and translated into a working digital file. Spatial conditions, natural light, building orientation, construction precedents, and the surrounding landscape are recorded to kick off the schematic design phase.
At this point we begin meeting regularly with our clients to draw, revise, draw, and revise until we’ve reached an iteration to start developing in detail. The schematic phase is the first response cycle which lays out the spatial configuration, material palette, site limitations, and code requirements in a scaled 2D format; initial blueprints. In this moment, ideas will be presented, discarded and added depending on how well it meets our goals. Major changes are encouraged in this phase because the design is still plastic. The design is repeatedly massaged until we have plans, exterior elevations, and basic material ideas inline with the concept and scope.
This phase zooms into the project by introducing the first iteration of interior elevations. The material palette, light fixtures, plumbing fixtures, major appliances, and furniture are all loaded into the drawing set. A general 3D model is created to visualize the lighting conditions and spatial relationships. In some cases, supplemental renderings and drawings are created to paint an even more accurate image of the proposed work. Engineering is received during this phase and is also loaded into the drawing set. In the background the permit application is applied for and submitted based on when engineering is received. Now, minor architectural details are being worked out and interior design decisions are finalizing in order to create construction bids.
Design Development - Models & Rendering
Construction Documents & Specifications Binder
There is always overlap between the various moving parts in this process. By now comments from the City of Seattle are received and the drawing set is being adjusted to obtain the building permit. Creating the construction set and managing the permit application are the main priorities for the architect. Any delay in the permit application will delay the construction start date in most cases. Depending on the scale of work and the scope, a Shops Set is created and issued with the construction set. This drawing set contains blueprints for fabricating custom furniture and built-ins. Issuing this drawing set on the first day of construction often reduces Construction Administration time; phone conversations and drawing revisions between the architect and contractor. In addition, the specifications are being finalized during this phase and a specifications binder is issued at the beginning of construction. By now, 99% of all interior decisions, drawing documents and diagrams are complete. Some interior decisions, such a paint and furniture, can wait until construction has reached drywall.
At last the construction is underway. Bi-weekly site meetings are held to discuss progress, scheduling, and design modifications. In the background the architect is communicating with the general contractor, sub contractors, and cabinet shop to answer any questions that arise. If we are building your project then this management process is streamlined.
- under construction -