How we do it
The way we work differs from project to project and from client to client. Although the approach for each project may be different we believe communication is key to everything we do.
Working closely together with our clients is very important to us. Our transparent design process ensures that our clients can follow every step in the design and contribute when they desire to do so.
Next to working closely with our client, we also like to involve the end-user and local residents as much as possible. We have experienced that rather than waiting until a design is finalised, open dialogue about a project leads to the way of least resistance. Rather than forcing a new design on to its context we believe in moulding the existing environment into a new shape that will suit new activities.
We design buildings that provide a healthy living and / or working environment and do not create problems for following generations. Sustainability is not only the result of how a building is built, how it performs and how it can be demolished. The sustainable qualities of a building also depend on the location of the project and on the impact that a new building has on its surroundings. All these considerations form part of our design process.
Through wind and sun simulations, the building's energy use and indoor environment can be optimised and negative effects for its surroundings can be avoided. A sustainable design can also add value for the developer. We have experience with international rating systems like LEED and BREEAM which quantify sustainability and translate it into a sellable end product.
Because of the complexity of many projects there is no single answer to many design issues. We communicate our design proposals showing multiple options. Each option is subject to criticism by ourselves and by our client. In this way we ensure the option we choose to develop is the right solution for the project.
We present our proposals in schemes, drawings, 3D visualizations, architectural models and 3D prints. 3D visualization is an important tool in our design process. All of our sketches and 3D visualizations are produced in-house which allows for more control and a quick response to last minute changes.
House on a dykeA quick sketch to communicate a concept of a row of houses on a dyke with a free view over the Dutch "polder" landscape
Different projects of different scales each require their own individual approach. A fast track process for some projects is required to very quickly provide graphic material illustrating the aspirations of our client. Images which convey the right atmosphere can be used to convince potential investors. One brainstorm session with our client is often enough for us to start work.
During the planning application we will take care of most of the administrative tasks and the communication with local authorities. We have experience with presentations to local officials and we understand the sometimes difficult relationship between local politics and public opinion. In collaboration with our clients we carefully prepare our presentations. We make sure the message that our clients wish to convey will be understood by local politicians and the general public.
Technical development of the design
It is a big step from a design concept to a detailed design that can be built. This step is not done by the architect alone and for different projects different consultants will be necessary.
Our involvement differs from project to project. We have the know-how to make a coordinated drawing set that contains all information for each phase of the building process. In projects where others are responsible for the technical design, we will still check the aesthetics of the work on site to make sure the end result looks good. Our growing network of consultants helps us with specialisations outside of the architects profession. Structure, Building Physics, Project management, Budget Control, and Mechanical & Electrical services will be done by external consultants or contractors.
We believe that a good architectural office should have the knowledge to follow a design through to construction. This guarantees that the aesthetic quality sought at the beginning of the process can be achieved in the built result.
As architects we have a lot of experience with the construction of buildings in different scales. Cost savings are sometimes necessary during the construction. Although budget control and time management are the responsibility of the contractor or project manager, we can come up with creative solutions, helping the the contractor to finish the project on time and within budget.
After the opening of the building we are also available to our client. We can help with the marketing and the production of sales brochures.
We can provide post occupancy studies which allow small technical adjustments to be made when necessary. Explaining to the occupants how to use the building ensures an efficient use of the building and avoids complaints in the near future. The feedback we get from these studies also helps to continuously improve our design process.