DESIGN PROCESS

WORKING WITH US

The decision to undertake a new build or to renovate your home can be an extremely daunting process. Many specialist consultants are required and it’s often difficult to know where to begin – that’s where you need a great architect.

A great architect asks questions and is a great listener. Understanding you, your patterns, your budget and your requirements are critical to the whole process.

A great architect spends time on your site to understand it’s constraints, qualities and opportunities.

A great architect has a detailed knowledge of spatial arrangement and understands what makes both an amazing and functional space. You can have both – that’s why you’ve come to an architect in the first place.

A great architect adds value. The benefits of great and functional design are tangible and can greatly enhance and enrich the spaces in which we live.

A great architect understands quality construction and the materials used to achieve it. They will also guide you on sustainability aspects relevant to your project.

A great architect can help navigate the regulatory minefield of council requirements and help clarify the best way to approach what should be an ultimately rewarding experience.

A great architect will research, rigorously test ideas, design, document and supervise the construction of your project. The design process is both a complex and very personal journey with your architect. It makes sense that all members of this team stay on during construction to ensure all the hard work and great ideas developed during the design process are actually implemented.

REFER TO THE STAGES OF OUR DESIGN PROCESS BELOW:

CONCEPT DESIGN

This is where we establish and refine your brief.

What do you want to achieve?

What is important to you – better use of space, more natural light, connection with the garden or simply making it more functional?

What you love about the site or your existing house and what you’d like to change.

The brief will be an evolving discussion that allows us to achieve a highly tailored outcome.

Now that we are beginning to understand you and your requirements, we need to understand your site. A survey will be completed to provide specific details of the site including existing buildings, boundaries, land levels, neighbouring properties and services.

We visit site to further understand it’s constraints, opportunities and orientation.

Where is your best access to sun, where does your best breezes and worst weather come from?

Once we know more about you and your site, we are ready to start designing.

SKETCH DESIGN

Early phases of the sketch design will involve basic space planning exercises to test the relationship between brief and budget. During this stage, aspects of the brief will be challenged and further refined to ensure it better relates to the budget and the critical design outcomes.

Now we will develop several design schemes that respond to the space planning exercises and will really define your preferred direction for the project.

Once this preferred direction is established, we will work towards a full sketch design package including resolved floor plans, building elevations, sections and a 3D model.

This will combine to give you a better understanding of the design and ensure we are addressing all relevant aspects of orientation and maximising all site opportunities.

Potential material choices and construction methods will be refined at this stage also.

At this point, its often useful to get a cost estimate done by a quantity surveyor to ensure the design you love is still on track with your budget.

TOWN PLANNING

This is where we re-confirm that all relevant aspects of the local authorities town planning requirements have been satisfied.

We will confirm that you are completely happy with the design direction before submitting all required documentation in order to obtain planning permission from council.

The length and complexity of this process is highly dependant on each specific project, and we can advise on engaging a specialist town planner where required.

We are experienced in navigating this process and will ensure it is as smooth as possible.

DESIGN DEVELOPMENT

This is where we turn our attentions towards the interior of the project and further refine material choices. This process involves going room by room, and establishing specific requirements and preferences. Interior ideas will be resolved through sketches and further development of the 3D model of the project.

The interior of the house needs just as much attention, if not more, than the exterior. Amazing and functional spaces rely heavily on successful and considered connections from inside to out.

We will also get soil testing done and start working with the structural engineer.

DOCUMENTATION

The documentation stage is where we prepare the full set of drawings and specification required to accurately tender the project to several selected builders to establish the construction cost. The document set is also lodged with the building certifier to obtain Building Approval.

Detailed sections through the project are coordinated with the structural engineering, and combined with smaller construction details and a highly detailed interior drawing package.

All the great ideas and detail needs to be communicated through a complete set of documents that could be used by a builder to complete the project.

TENDERING

There are several different methods of tendering the project, but the end game is to select a builder that you want to work with, that commits to a fixed building price for the scope of the work defined in the documentation set.

This process is very important. Price is critical but so to is your ability to work closely with the builder on what is a very personal and often challenging construction process.

We will guide you through this process to the point where a building contract can be signed and work can begin on site.

CONSTRUCTION

This is a very important stage of the project to have your architect working with you.

Great projects are more often than not delivered through a collaborative construction process involving the client, the builder and the architect. We will handle any tough construction questions which may arise and ensure that all details and great ideas we developed with you during the design process are actually implemented in your project as expected. Things on site rarely go exactly as intended, so it is important that we are there to further resolve construction details, develop new ones as required and ensure the overall design intent remains intact. We also manage the building contract between yourself and the builder to ensure a smooth and amicable relationship during the course of construction. We have plenty of experience with building contracts, and will independently assess and process payment claims by the builder to ensure you feel confident you are only paying for work that has been completed. At the end of the build, we will inspect for any defects or details which may have been missed to ensure your transition into your completed project is as smooth and exciting as possible.

PHOTOGRAPHY

Getting your project photographed professionally is like the final stage of documentation.

For me, each project is a very personal journey with my clients.

The project has been designed with them, for them and I like to encourage them to be a big part of the photoshoot.

It’s a really fun way to end the whole process and it’s a reminder that it’s not all about the building, rather it’s about the people who will live in it.

Here’s a little behind the scenes footage from our photoshoot at the Cabbage Tree House.