- Blur/demolish the boundaries between design and construction
- Include builder as a significant member of design team
- Foster a creative job site where craftsmen contribute to the design
Even though design and construction have been disconnected by our industrial approach to building delivery, we have found a few ways to blur the artificial barriers between what architects do and the actual making of buildings. It starts with a question about what architects actually do: do architects make designs or do they make buildings? If we make designs then we are truly in a conceptual bubble of our own making. (a very interesting bubble but a bubble non the less) If, on the other hand, we make buildings, our relationships to materials, construction methods, site conditions and occupant interaction takes on an essential importance in our work.
We nearly always recommend to clients that a Construction Manager be hired at the same time an architect is selected. This insures that the C.M. is a full member of the design team from day one and avoids the kind of problems associated with design decisions made without consideration of build-ability.
We tend to hire architects who have had hands-on construction experience, who enjoy making things with their own hands.
As a studio, we have acted as the construction manager for a number of our clients’ projects. The experience has given us vital knowledge of and comfort with the rigors of actual building-making. It changes the way we see both design and construction documents, even when we are not the C.M.
We foster a deep respect for those involved in the trades. We listen to their advice and carefully consider their feedback during construction.