All projects begin with a vision. It is the seed of success and user satisfaction. Yet it takes experience, deep knowledge and leadership to fertilize, germinate, manage and protect it through to fruition.
Experienced clients know this. They also know that especially for new construction–architectural projects in Crete, it is easy to lose sight of the vision because of the bureaucracy, unseen delays and the plethora of uncertainties.
Many clients are willing to invest significant trust in people who can nurture a vision from conception to completion and deliver the greatest value. They also need someone who can trust to manage the building project and make project specific decisions.
In their minds, the person most likely to have the competence, knowledge and experience to fulfill this role is the architect, on commercial or residential projects of all sizes.
The briefing process is the foundation of a meaningful dialogue between architect and client.
Our Plan of Work establishes three main stages:
• Strategic brief in Stage 0 (strategic definition)
• Initial project brief in Stage 1 (preparation and brief)
• Final project brief, which is to be signed o by the end of Stage 2 (concept design)
This could be rather mechanical, but conducted with consideration it should develop from initial conversations, following the client’s enquiry, to a brief that encompasses all the criteria for success and paves the way to achieving the desired outcomes.
The key is to actually listen, not just make assumptions or presumptions.
Obviously, an architect should challenge the brief, but to elicit angles that the client may not conceive without prompting. This is where value is first determined and a wrong direction inevitably leads to value lost.
The best architects raise expectations and help clients understand what can be achieved within the cost and program constraints. Ultimately, though, they deliver what the client wants, not what they think the client should want.
At ARENCOS we are using a ‘mission quote’ to capture in a small phrase what the client and architect jointly aim to achieve with the project.
For example, a commercial accommodation facility in Apokoronas with a two-year lifespan had: ‘Work quick and ethical to create one of the most sustainable facilities in the region.’
Once the architect has interpreted the client’s needs, it is essential to communicate that back to the client (so they know you know) and then communicate the design solution.
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