If you are unhappy with your current house and considering changes – a bigger kitchen, another bedroom or even a brand new house in your dream location – but need help visualising the potential and exploring the possibilities, you may be wondering how can an architect help with your project?
As architects, we view ourselves as professional creatives spanning the divide between artistic design and construction. In essence, we design, plan and coordinate the construction of buildings; from modest extensions which can transform the way a family inhabits their space, through to larger-scale commercial developments or specialist work on historic and listed buildings.
Traditionally architects were deemed ‘master builders’, capable of overseeing a project from inception to completion. While this is still the case, with the advent of modern building materials and construction techniques, a specialist team of professionals such as planning consultants, structural engineers, and quantity surveyors are now often required. The architect however commonly assumes the role of lead-consultant and will coordinate the team on the client’s behalf.
We believe that the greatest value an architect can add to any project is in the initial concept and the execution of the technical detail.
Architects have a clear appreciation of 3-dimensional space and seek to optimise a building’s layout and function from the inception of any project. If you find it difficult to imagine a space, then the architect’s job is to help you visualise it.
Based on a client’s brief and peculiarities of the site context, we will hand sketch designs, make card maquettes, as well as model ideas using 3D computer software.
Through the design process, we will address your brief, the site orientation, wind direction, views, access and topographical levels.
Space and light go hand in hand. It is incredible how different the same size room can feel with north light vs south light. The configuration of habitable spaces, how they flow and respond to the site conditions, is key to optimising the best plan layout.
Fundamentally, we are very aware of the need to limit and mitigate the impact of our designs on the planet to help in the fight against climate change. We have a responsibility to ensure that our work improves the sustainability of the built environment.
At Tonic, we give careful consideration to the provenance of products and materials and seek to source those that create the minimum environmental impact in their manufacture, lifetime, and future re-use. We also encourage clients to consider re-using or repurposing existing materials, fixtures and fittings.
We also believe that we can learn from traditional building techniques and natural materials which are often adaptable, create long term value and resilience, and improve both the quality of life for their occupants and of their locations.
Ultimately it doesn’t make any sense to cut corners on design, and our skills can often save you money in the long-run.
If you’d like further information on how an architect can help with your project, we have some downloadable resources to help explain the processes involved on the services page of our website, and the Royal Institute of British Architects also has lots of useful information on their website.