WHAT TYPES OF PROJECTS DO WE TAKE ON?
The majority of our projects are single family residential, but we also undertake multi-family, and light commercial (office, retail, restaurant) projects.
Most of our projects are in San Francisco. We do projects in Marin, the Peninsula & East Bay as well.
Our focus is on new construction, and larger remodel/addition projects where a larger portion of the building is affected. Typical projects have greater than $200K construction budget, and will involve the alteration of floor plan/moving or adding of walls.
We have training and expertise in a large variety of styles, but our focus is on a warm, livable modern style. The term “modern” to us is more about the flow of space & light, than specific material palettes.
While your project should fall within the above parameters, ultimately, we believe that the most successful project arise from a good working relationships. Synergy, mutual respect and understanding are important as well. Both parties should be excited about the process and comfortable collaborating over the life of the project.
With over 20 years experience, and a diverse team in place, we are able to offer comprehensive architectural services intended to take your project successfully from conception to completion (please see process).
Some of our goals:
- Prior to doing any design work, thoroughly understand the project goals, requirements & limitations. This is accomplished trough research, imagery exploration, in-depth discussion and careful listening.
- Obtain more accurate pricing, smoother process & a final product in line with expectations through comprehensive drawings, specifications & project management. This will help avoid headaches, delays & surprises. And also result in more accurate (apples to apples) bids and control costs by minimizing change orders.
- Produce the most successful end result in conjunction with properly identifying dependancies, and verify we’re on track with budget & client objectives through frequent checks. In other words, we use the allotted contract time as effectively as possible.
SOME OF OUR AREAS OF EXPERTISE
We have put a lot of thought, research & experience into a lighting approach which is energy efficient, elegant, comfortable & cost effective. New lighting technology is used in uncommon ways to foster warm, functional illumination which is appropriate for each space.
We offer full finish/fixture selection as a component of our typical design process, and can provide furniture selection as well.
Heightened contractor/construction management services
With a licensed contractor, experienced in construction management at our disposal, we are able to provide very effective contractor acquisition and construction observation services. This allows us to most effectively enable and leverage the chosen type of construction delivery, and ensure a higher success rate.
FIRST STEPS – ARE WE A GOOD MATCH FOR YOUR PROJECT?
A typical project may span a year or more. It is very important to make sure that client and architect are compatible in terms of project size, scope and style. And that we are on the same page in terms of process, goals, working style and personality. In order to determine this, we typically have an initial phone conversation to discuss the basics. Then, if expectations are in line, have a meeting in person.
During the initial phone conversation we will discuss:
1. Project scope & size.
2. Budget. What is your approximate budget for construction?
3. Timing. When would you like to start the design and construction processes?
We will discuss whether your budget & timeframe seem realistic for the project size & scope, and whether it falls within our area of expertise. The next step would then be to schedule a meeting, typically at the project premises. If it seems we are not a good match, we are still happy to discuss, offer preliminary advice and make recommendations for someone who may be more appropriate.
During the initial meeting, we will:
1. Discuss your project. We will do a walk through, and discuss the your goals.
2. Describe our process. We will walk you through our typical project flow, highlighting key objectives and aspects which may set us apart from other architects.
3. Answer any additional questions or concerns that may not have been addressed yet.
After the meeting, we will generate a proposal, which includes hourly estimates based on the scope of work. Contract will be broken out by phase (see process)
HOW WE TYPICALLY WORK
Our process is intended to span form conception to completion, and provide as much information & detail as is needed to effectively communicate the project to the client, agency and builder. Cutting corners on the steps needed to do this may reduce design fees, but results in less control over construction cost, schedule & end result. We work closely with you over the course of the project, in an iterative process to define all the appropriate parameters of the project. This typically includes lighting design, data, home entertainment, cabinetry, finishes & fixtures and specification of specialized building components (windows, siding, railings, hardware etc.). In some cases, clients will select some of the finishes & fixtures, and we will document these choices to communicate them to the builder. We are happy to work this way, but we have found that it is usually most effective for us to select materials based on your preferences; it may take us a fraction of the time you would spend shopping, and the result is usually much more focused & successful.
In the case of kitchen & bathroom cabinetry, there are 2 possibilities:
1) we design and detail all the cabinetry, and it is built to our specification by a custom cabinet maker.
2) we source the cabinetry from a manufactured source or cabinet shop. In either case, we lay out the cabinet configuration, but in the first case, more specific detail is needed as they will build exactly what we spec. In the second case, an accurate cabinet layout is used for getting initial (multiple) pricing, and as a starting point for the cabinet companies internal designers, who will often specify from their own catalogs or systems.