DESIGN APPROACH

Introduction

As architects and designers the realisation of our work is our consuming passion, not simply the creation of virtual or paper proposals. Our approach is very much hands-on from project inception through to completion engaging fully with all stake-holders along the way.

For us good design addresses all four key stages of the design process; Concept, Scheme, Detailed and Implementation. Each design stage should add its own intrinsic value whilst also respecting the spirit of the preceding and pending stages i.e. understanding the whole is paramount to the success of the finished project.

These four phases can be summarised:

1. Concept Design

The concept stage of any design offers the opportunity to set the agenda for the design solution with some innovative problem solving. A well thought out concept can bring clarity, order and simplicity to a situation where confusion once reigned - and in itself can add immense value to a design proposal.

The Concept Design describes the essence of the solution and defines its nature and spirit. It creates the foundation upon which the rest of the design is built and is therefore important to get right. Whilst ideas can be complex, Mies van der Rohe's statement "Less is more" is still a valid thought to hold onto in the design process.

2. Scheme Design

Embodying the spirit of the concept, the scheme design stage weaves into the proposal the specific programme requirements addressing functionality and brief, whilst constantly checking back to the concept to test validity.

Whilst this can sometimes be a difficult transition to make in the design process, it is vitality important to get right if the clarity of a great concept is not to be lost. At times this may require challenging accepted common practice. However, doing so can add further value to a carefully considered concept.

3. Detailed Design

Capturing the essence and clarity of the concept and scheme design in the detailed design will further elevate the built outcome. In order to enrich any design the selection of materials and fittings is paramount and good detailing is just as important as the original concept.

4. Implementation

Implementing any design requires a broad range of skills and an ability to work compatibly with an expanding team responsible for building delivery. Added to which is the need for a fundamental understanding of the procurement process and the roles and responsibilities of specialist/designing subcontractors together with their co-ordination.

Our ability to work successfully with such teams to deliver our designs is evidenced by our completed works and, as stated above, remains a major driver for our practice.