Choosing Your Architect: A Practical Guide

This week on our podcast we discuss the role of the architect in our current projects and share some exciting updates – including some fantastic Joint Ventures! Each of these projects bring their own complexities and opportunities, and through collaboration with some incredible women across our BuildHer and DevelopHer communities, we’re able to take the outcome and the experience to the next level!

Learn more about Joint Ventures and the incredible opportunities that collaboration can bring – stay in the know about our upcoming Joint Venture events by registering your interest here.

Throughout each of our projects, we see that the architect plays a critical role, but there definitely isn’t a ‘one size fits all’ solution. The design team that you choose will define the look and feel of your result, and your ability to deliver it. We love the design teams that we work for many, many reasons, and find that working with different architects across different projects helps us to expand our views and skills (which we can pass on to our community!). Choosing the right architect is a big piece of the puzzle – when investing your cold, hard-earned cash, how do you know that you’re going to get an outcome that you love? Here, we offer some practical tips for choosing, and working with, the right architect for your property, your personality and parameters.

Sharing values and vision.

Are you talking the same language? Is there a vibe that makes them fun to work with? Whether you want a collaboration, a client-led or architect-led approach, your architect should gain a deep understanding of what you want to deliver and match you in the manner that you want to undertake the process.
For me, collaboration is key – I love collaboration. I want to hire the best architect I can hire for that project and I want to fully use all of their ideas and all of the things that they bring to the table.
Effective communication is critical. Take the time to articulate your ideas, preferences, and expectations. Look for an architect who actively listens and engages in discussions about your design aspirations.

The proof is in the pudding.

Do you have proof that your architect can deliver on your shared vision, and have they demonstrated that in the past? When evaluating architects, examine their portfolio and project history. Seek out those who have demonstrated success in projects similar to what you have in mind. A solid track record speaks volumes about their expertise and their ability to turn concepts into tangible, beautiful spaces.

Time is of the essence.

Are you in sync? Do you understand the timeframes and how you’re going to work together over that period? Does the architect have availability at the time that you need them?
Having a clear idea of each phase of the project and when it needs to happen is super important, and making sure that it works for your architect can prevent lengthy and expensive delays. Seek someone who can work within your schedule without compromising the quality of their work.

Stay flexible, feel empowered.

Are we both listening, taking new ideas on board and willing to embrace change? This works both ways!
As your project unfolds, you may encounter unexpected challenges or opportunities for innovation. Being open can help to build trust and a stronger relationship with your architect, making the whole process more enjoyable and effective. As a result of this open, adaptable approach, empowerment of both parties can often result in better results:
We recently briefed an architect with all of the details for a new building project, including rooms, layout, number of floors (two) etc. – the architect felt empowered by our flexible, open approach, interrogated our plans and came back with a three-storey design! Although unexpected, this was a much better plan considering the height of the surroundings properties – our two-storey home would have been dwarfed by those around it!
A receptive architect who can adapt to changes while maintaining the project’s integrity is a great asset.

Innovate, innovate, innovate.

Is the design team looking to best practice? Are they willing to learn, to do things they have never done before?  
Leaders in their field are often life-long learners, and the building industry is constantly evolving – it’s important to have experts on your side who can embrace out-of-the-box ideas, introduce fresh perspectives and bring creative solutions to your project. Their dedication to staying current in the field ensures that your project benefits from the latest advancements and innovations.

Show them you care.

Are the design team accountable to the outcome? Do they care? Are you accountable to the process? Sticking to what you say you’ll do – operating with integrity – is essential to building trust and delivering the agreed goals of the project.
Choose an architect who takes ownership of their work and is committed to delivering on the promises made, who shows resilience when things go awry. This commitment ensures that your project stays on track and aligns with your expectations, and can make the whole process a little easier on your heart and mind.

Building a better tomorrow.

Are you aligned in your view of the world?
A home can have an impact that reaches further than its residents – it’s also part of the community and the environment. Architects who share your values in terms of sustainability, responsible design, and community impact can help you create a home that contributes positively to the world around you.
I am always looking to work with experts and teams who will invest their time and energy in making a positive impact, I want to learn from, and with, them. For me, this comes back to a shared vision and alignment of goals, and is a key factor in my choice of architect.

 

Choosing an architect is a pivotal decision that can shape the trajectory of your home-building journey. By considering these insights, you’ll be well-equipped to find an architect who not only understands your vision but also shares your values and commitment to excellence.

If you have any questions or need further guidance, don’t hesitate to reach out.
Whether you’re constructing, renovating, or developing, let’s continue our shared journey of crafting extraordinary spaces together. We’re here for you and we love to hear from you!

Rebeka x

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