We spend a great deal of time getting to know our clients and their business plan. We like to drill down deep into that plan – get under the skin of our clients – to fully understand their modus operandi, what makes them tick, and how we can best work with them. Some clients have very simple plans which require little in the way of briefing but plenty of site analysis and design inspiration. Others require intensive stakeholder participation, from CEO to junior assistant, and where audit trails and project champions play a key role. We also make sure we understand the market our clients operate in – how value in their sector is measured.
Together we work on creating the big idea. Sometimes that emerges through studio dialogue and sometimes directly with our clients at the workface. It always occurs best through collaboration – testing and considering ideas; bouncing thoughts off one another – it almost never occurs from one architect working in a vacuum.
We lead the design process but it doesn’t always follow that the best architectural ideas are ours. We have strong opinions borne out of decades of experience in design and construction, and our advice will be underpinned in sound pragmatic terms, but a certain humility is a condition precedent to collaboration. We are design leaders but coordinators and inspirers too, and without a good team effort the best result is unlikely.