How architects get started on a new design

A new Archiscapes commercial building will be breaking ground soon and I thought it might be interesting to show everyone the “time lapse” version of how the plans progressed from the first sketches to the construction documents.

Here are some of the first sketches…

Many clients ask us how we get started on a design. Even in neighborhoods that require a certain architectural style or if a client comes to us with pictures and ideas for what kind of style home or office they have been dreaming about, it’s still a wide-open playbook as far as where to go next. Not only does every style have a lot of variations, but many people want a hybrid of a certain kind of style. For instance, some clients want a very European or Mediterranean style home, but also love a bit of a playful, kid-friendly feel to the interiors. Others want a rustic beach cabin, but love ultra modern interiors. You can mix very different styles to create a whole new feel to a home. When done correctly, with the proper (a.k.a. historically correct) architectural details, introducing dynamically contrasting styles can have a great effect. The most important thing to remember on any home is that you need to make it functional for your family’s lifestyle. So if an Industrial Russian style home with Pottery Barn bedrooms is how you need to live, we can find a way to balance the two and make it flow.

On this project, we knew what the commercial neighborhood’s guidelines were and we knew the interior spacial requirements of the new owners. Still, that left us with pretty free reign to come up with a style and feel for the office.  The result is a commercial building that we believe will be a crowing jewel for the area. Artistic iron work, a gently slopping roof, beautiful detailing around the windows and doors… it’s going to be amazing to watch it come out of the ground.

Here’s a shot of the interior courtyard (or at least what the initial sketches proposed for that area).

Next post will show how it started to take shape as the construction documents moved along.