The client has a good idea of what s/he wants; but knows that a good architect can fulfil all of that plus a whole lot more, beyond expectation, more beautiful, functional, energy efficient and economically buildable than he/she could have imagined. The client hopes for a collaborative creative emergence of something loveable and durable, but is wary of having some Grand Design foisted on them.
Where to find a ‘good’ architect? Apart from saying ‘Talk to Tom’, it’s almost as hard as finding the right builder – or Lawyer, Accountant, Dentist … Local recommendation is often a poor guide. It obviously won’t be the average low-cost architect/surveyor/other plan-drawer; the client is ready to invest in architect’s time spent on two things initially (and other things to follow).
Firstly, time with the client, to see into the desires and functions that lie behind ‘what s/he wants’; to offer solution(s) and learn collaboratively; and to make sure the client understands what it will look like and feel like;
Secondly, time to investigate the existing site, surroundings and/or building including accurate measured/drawn survey, boundaries, underground drains, sun, views, neighbours - the more the merrier. Loveable and durable design comes from synthesising as many genuine constraints as possible, instead of simplistically ignoring them until they surface as ‘unforeseen problems’.
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