This week I spent the entire week designing. I promised the client that I would give them three plan options to review this week. I’m working on the final touches today and sending them along. Typically it would be best to meet directly with the client, but in this modern technology world, it has become easier to share information with clients who are out of state. It no longer requires that you work with someone local, but people still value working with an Architect nearby. In this case, I am near by the project, not the client, and that is ideal. As construction gets under way next fall, it will be ideal to show up on the site to answer any questions that may come up during construction. Now that this is a renovation project, something will surely come up. Even in new construction, there are questions that need to be answered. For this reason, I build time and funds into the project budget to allow the contractor to call me to come to the site to answer questions. The scale, proportion, or even the feeling of a space can be totally altered if a client doesn’t want to spend the money to have the Architect come visit the site, or if the contractor doesn’t feel they can or need call you. Therefore, planing ahead and building it into the contract from the very beginning of the project makes for a happy client and a beautiful end product.
But I digress, this week is all about plans! I spent most of the week running from meeting to meeting, but during those hours that I was in the office, it was strictly devoted to creating a functional and beautiful space for my clients. I turn off the phone, email, and any other distracting devices and I let the focus remain solely on the project in front of me. I use a combination of hand sketching on trace paper to work out an idea in my head, CADD drawings to produce presentation plans that will show the concept to the client, and research. In my opinion, visual research is the backbone of architecture. It opens a path of creative thinking. I firmly believe in exposure to the work that has come before us, research into the style, what makes that style unique, and then the blending of each and every piece to pull together a custom and beautiful project that is representative of the lifestyle of each individual client. This make their home uniquely their own. What works for me, and what I like, is not the same as what the client likes or wants. Don’t get me wrong, I’m always very proud of each project and I love the results. I think that is why I became an Architect. So I could play with all the different design styles and continue to develop beautiful, well articulated, functional spaces that inspire me, my clients, and in some cases, millions of other homeowners. The amount of information you need to know as an architect is astounding, but it is worth it at the end of each and every project. So today, as we journey on towards a craftsman style lakefront bungalow, I will ask my clients if they want more space, less space, open areas to below and it will start to pull together the next, new and unique home that in the end the clients not only live in, but love to live in. Being that this is a lake front property in Maine, I hope it will become a place where they come to visit and never want to leave until the leaves have fallen and fall quickly ebbs into winter.