hether you are building a commercial building or a dream home, collaboration is the key to success when selecting an architect. To ensure a successful project, invest some time in finding the right match.
In many ways working with an architect is like having a private tutor or a special friend who will see you and your needs in a different way. Even the most observant of us will not learn about all of the interesting elements in a space. Often it takes time to learn how to use or enjoy a room or a space. With architectural design the ordinary can become the extraordinary when simple elements are used to delight, such as making use of the way a reading room looks different in the light that changes from morning to the afternoon, or the way the kids finally can have a project in a special room without disturbing the whole house.
However, do not think for a minute that the architect possesses super powers. The architect will begin by showing you what you already might know but will bring his unique perspective. In other words, the job of the architect is to show you how familiar ideas can be assembled in new and different ways.
What other points should you consider when selecting an architect?
Proof is in the projects
We all have different skills and tastes. The same holds true for architects – some are known for modern or contemporary design, others incorporate traditional concepts. However, in this age of specialization, an architect’s training generally prepares him for a wide range of projects. Professional training coupled with an ability to observe and listen enables most architects to design a variety of projects.
Request to see architectural drawings and live examples of completed projects. Consider how the architect’s style fits in with yours. Is there variety in the work or does the architect have a particular design interest? Discussing style also allows the two of you to develop a common vocabulary about the space and design.
When working with your architect, be prepared to be pleasantly surprised, too. Some the best projects have begun with one idea or design feature and evolved into a style that the client had not considered.
Ask yourself if the architect seems ready and interested to work on the scale of the project you have in mind. Is your project intended to add a master suite to an existing house, to finally take in that wonderful view you have? Or, is your project a complete rebuild that attempts to transform a traditional space into a contemporary one?
Seek out an architect who can sketch and show ideas that will challenge you and inspire you.
Spend time on the architect’s website to get a feel for recently completed projects. A step that many find invaluable is to meet with the architect face-to-face to discuss thoughts, ideas, processes, and vocabulary used during the process.
Experience breeds success
To get a sense of the architect’s breadth of experience, inquire about his most interesting project, his most challenging design problem and more importantly about his most interesting client.
Ask the architect to tell you about his experience with community groups, contractors and permitting requirements. The level of knowledge obtained in these areas will prepare him for your project.
Does the architect have a good understanding of the community in which your project is located? In California, the permitting environment can be so complex that even a simple project can depend on the ability to communicate the true nature of the design to the various city plan checkers. It takes a combination of patience and persistence – and of knowing what the path is and how the rules apply to your project – to meet deadlines and complete a project.
Additionally, ask yourself if the architect has experience designing the same scale and size of your project. Does the architect have sufficient staff to provide for everything from design through permitting through to managing construction?
Bear in mind that the work of the architect will change as the project develops. You will need someone to keep track of the vision for your project, and that someone is the architect.
At the completion of the project, prepare to be surprised once more. There is so much to be learned from each other. The architect who can listen and sketch ideas can make you think about how all of these elements can join together to make a great design. Architects frequently find that one design element can lead to something new and different in the design, which creates excitement for everyone involved.
Nancy has been licensed to sell real estate since 1991. This includes sales experience in residential, land and investment properties. Due to her vast experience and expertise in the handling of complicated real estate transaction, she as the chosen as the Official Real Estate Sponsor of the Pasadena Bar Association for 5 years.
Nancy approaches each home sale as a new work that will be given a glorious Premiere! The staging, set design, and presentation all result in her listings being the “buzz” all over town. Nancy harnesses the power of the Internet to give her listings a competitive edge. She sees the Web as the most valuable way to respond to the constantly changing real estate climate. Nancy has the experience, knowledge and flexibility to harness the power of the Web in real estate transactions to get her sellers’ properties the best exposure, worldwide.
Like most people in this field, Nancy had another career before entering real estate. After graduating from Northwestern University School of Music, she attended the Juilliard School. Nancy went to Europe for the summer to continue her vocal training and stayed for 12 years! She sang professionally as a lyric soprano soloist in Austria, Switzerland, and Germany. Nancy is fluent in German and has a very good ear for languages! Her years of living abroad have given her a deep understanding of Buyers and Sellers from varying cultures and traditions. This experience is a valuable tool in understanding client needs and translates into a superb skill in negotiating on behalf of her clients. The experience of living in Europe as well as recent trips to visit family in Asia, she has a deep understanding of varying architectural and decorating styles.