The process of architectural design is quite complex. Architects not only have to consider aspects of the building itself that they design, but also must work collaboratively with the client and their team in order to effectively bring the client’s vision to life. Here’s what you need to know, both about what architects must bear in mind when they craft their designs and about what the actual architectural design process involves.
What Architects Need To Keep In Mind With Their Designs
Architecture impacts human behavior. This means that when architects design, they must be conscious of how their design will affect people on an individual, building, and community scale.
The Individual Scale
Architects understand how human behavior is affected by building design and take that into account in order for their architectural design to have the desired impact on human behavior. They must consider the kind of environment their building creates, how it influences the health and safety, both physical and mental, of its inhabitants.
The Building Scale
On the building scale, architects must take into account the science of buildings, their efficiency, their resilience, and their environmental impact. They can decide how to incorporate technology into the design, as well as throughout the creation and operation process. The client will often tell the architect what materials are being used, but if not, they must also consider what materials to use in their design for optimal function and form, as well as the sustainability of said materials.
Here, they also must oversee construction methodologies, consider risk allocation, build relationships with the team, be aware of building codes, permits, and more.
The Community Scale
On the large scale, architectural design necessitates awareness of the influence of the environment on human potential in the context of accelerating urbanism. The architectural design must be resilient and adapted to be able to mitigate effects of disaster. Architectural design also needs to account for climate change, through efforts to reduce its impact via decarbonization, material innovation, and more.
In addition to this, the community scale means considering how the design affects the surrounding culture and community. It also involves working collaboratively with other disciplines to bring the architectural design to life, such as the engineers and the construction workers.
The Five Stages Of Architectural Design
Now that we’ve covered some of the things architectural design must be concerned with, let’s look at the actual process of bringing an architectural design to life. There are five stages to architectural design. They are as follows.
Programming is the pre-design phase. Architects consider the site where the building is going to be constructed, what the engineers may need, and what the client wants and the materials that are going to be used in the construction of the building. They discuss objectives, requirements, the time frame, budget, and more with the client.
This is the evaluation of goals, values, gathering of information, figuring out zoning requirements, and everything the architect needs to know in order to make a design that works for the client and the space.
This is when architects work to bring the client’s vision to life. The goal of this second stage is to develop the shape and size of the building with basic architectural design. The client relays what spaces are going in the building, their size and location, and the relationship between spaces. This stage involves lots of sketching and meetings in order to figure out how the project will both look and operate.
The third stage involves the translation of schematic design to physical mock-up utilizing 3D models and the like. This is when the architect and the team works with coordination issues, floor plans, building elevations for review, and generally work to avoid having to do major revision during the construction stage.
As it sounds, this is when the architectural design is made suitable for construction, with translating everything construction workers need to know into drawing. Construction drawings communicate the project to those building it.
In the final stage of architectural design, the architect visits the site and responds to requests for information about it until the project is complete.
As you see, architectural design is a team process. It can’t be done alone. The architect can design the building, but the team brings it to life. This is why communication is so very important throughout the design process.
Professional Architectural Design
Here at BGW Architects, we value communication. We work closely with our clients in order to make sure our designs suit their visions. If you have any questions or would like to schedule a consultation, please contact us at BGW Architects today.