Once we have interrogated the client’s brief and worked though the underlying and sometimes unsaid aims, we present the core concept of the scheme. This will be the essence of the project, from which a vast number of elements and details will be designed and developed. From the very beginning we work with both two dimensional and 3 dimensional drawings as well as physical models, these are used not only as tools for design, but also as a way to be able to communicate options and concepts to the client. We often go through a stage of white modelling, these models allow us and the client to focus on space and light without the distraction of materiality and colour, which we develop later or in parallel.
We like our clients to have constant feedback about the likely costs of a project. This allows our designs to be viewed in the context of cost and ensures that appropriate solutions are developed. In order to do this, we work with a number of cost consultants who give our clients entirely independent advice, they project costs from even the earliest sketch and then, as the project and details develop, give ever greater accuracy.
So much of the product of our design is about the skillful manipulation and application of materials. In order to ensure our clients understand and enjoy these details we advise on a process of making physical samples. These samples, which are often 1:1 scale, allow elements of the final project to be realised and commented on even before construction has begun. Once agreed, they become part of the tender process, setting out benchmarks which everyone in the team can then ensure are reached. They are a critical part of our quality control philosophy and most clients highly value having undertaken this process.
The construction phase can be a baffling and frustrating time for many clients. We have developed a number of processes which provide detailed reporting to clients in order to keep them up to date with progress and to ascertain any issues with programme as early as possible. This allows our clients to remain well briefed on the progress of the works and completion dates. As Architects and designers, we typically provide a full service, which means that we remain with the client right up until post occupation and are able to provide a continuity from the first brief to any teething problems in those first days of occupation.