Remember Mr Spock from Star Trek? He was able to exchange minds with someone so that both he and they had a complete understanding of what is happening in each other’s mind: a mind meld. Having melded they join forces to defeat the common enemy.
Mr Spock would have made a good architect because what we have to do is get inside your head and find out what you are thinking. There is so much to understand and so many suppositions that the possibility for misunderstandings is rife.
As we are not Mr Spock we start by sending you a questionnaire. It has questions on it like: what is your vision for the house? who will live in it? how many people will live in it? how they will live in it?……….. and lots of questions about function. We ask about your budget, the time frame and who the decision makers are. So we take initial responsibility for the architects brief.
The truth is that neither you nor we are fully responsible for the final design and layout. It is a partnership between you and your architect. We will exchange lots of ideas with you in an iterative process that resolves all the issues.
We welcome photos of houses you like, houses you have visited, your current house and what works and what doesn’t and your drawings: anything really to help us understand your vision. You may find it surprising that I mention this and it is because I have met architects who dont like you telling them what you want. They believe that they are the masters of the design. Perhaps if someone is commissioning the Guggenheim museum then you write the architects brief and walk away leaving the architect to get on with it. However, if we are designing your house, where you are going to live, we need as much information as possible from you about what you want. In fact you are making all the decisions not us. We are there to inform you advise you and support you but it is your house not our house.
I also think you will be very pleasantly surprised when our architect takes your ideas and starts to draw your home and explain to you why he is designing the house as she or he is. Their training, experience, familiarity with local conditions and perhaps above all their ability to empathise will add enormous value to your project.
One of the thing our architects do, which may surprise you, is visit the site on their own at different times of the day, perhaps early in the morning before going to another appointment or late at night when it is dark, just to spend time quietly on the plot absorbing and understanding its qualities in order to come up with the best design.
Although your original brief is the answers to the questionnaire you send us those answers will very quickly become outdated as we understand the plot and your lifestyle and receive your feedback to our ideas. The resulting communications replace the architect’s brief and the final design is a collaboration between you and your architect.
Why not give me a call and ask about our signature features? 0034 606380244
Author: John Wolfendale
Bio: John is a founder of Eco Vida Homes and is passionate about bringing modern design and construction practices to Spain. He believes a home which is warm in winter and cool in summer is largely a matter of design and selective use of materials. He is British and a Chartered Surveyor with over 24 years experience living and working in Spain.