The process of design is one of informal discovery and storytelling…
1. Programming | What story are we going to tell?
Every great exercise in both storytelling and architecture begins by defining the context. First and foremost, who is the central character or characters the story will be built around? What is their background? What defines them? What is uniquely beautiful to who they are and how they live?
Second we must consider the setting for the story. What is it that draws you to this environment? What are the unique physical characteristics of the landscape and climate? What are its challenges and constraints? It’s laws and rules? How will a creative work in this place be different than another?
Finally we must consider the purpose of our story. What are we trying to accomplish? What feeling do we hope to evoke? What audience are we trying to speak to?
J Christopher Architecture believes in the value of fact building. We take deep dives into the character and history of the people who inspire our homes and the places where they reside. The fruit of these efforts is a thoroughly detailed programming document that describes and summarizes the specific objectives for the project, the known restrictions and challenges, and the intent, desires, and hopes of the people who will live there.
2. Team Building | What resources do we need?
Once the scope of work is defined it is important to assemble the right pieces to accomplish the task. In story telling this would mean selecting editors, publishers, co-writers, and references. In our case we seek out the key design and building professionals needed for our project.
J Christopher Architecture prefers and appreciates the early establishment and contribution of the many consultants involved in luxury home construction. Each engineering, design, and building entity brings expertise and unique insight into what can be accomplished. Early communication helps streamline the process and often spurs new and creative ways to solve difficult challenges. Explorations into infeasible or undesirable options are avoided and the entire build and design team becomes “invested” in the owner’s desires for their home.
3. Concept Design | Outlining the story
Before diving too deep into the details of our story it important to organize the key elements and look at the big picture. In storytelling this might mean defining the chapters, subheadings, and identifying the location of key plot twists or anecdotes. Similarly In architecture this phase looks at the relationship of each of the spaces to one another. How big do they need to be? How can the arrangement of these rooms evoke a certain emotion or accomplish a goal for better liveability?
J Christopher Architecture builds the foundation for the overall home design on this early exploration into floor plan layout, room relationships, and an exterior concept rendering.
4. Design Development | Writing the story
The purpose of this phase is to further refine the larger story by focusing on the intricacies of an individual area (chapter) or detail. Each space of the home is investigated as it’s own micro-climate with it’s own mission. The proportions and aesthetics of interior space are studied. The mechanical, electrical, and structural elements that support them are defined. Exterior aesthetics, design elements, transitions, and material selections are given new focus.. Lighting layouts are used to create a mood or meet a functional need.
J Christopher Architecture relies on various methods of written and drawn information to convey an increased definition and understanding of the design concept.
5. Contract Documents | Finalizing the story
As with all works of art, good stories are rarely conceived perfectly on the first attempt. They require editing, rearranging, and continuing improvement to turn them into the masterpieces we hold so dear. The construction set and specifications for a home are much the same. More time spent refining details yields a better end experience for both builder and homeowner..
J Christopher Architecture strives to produce a thoroughly detailed and thoughtful set of specifications and drawings that minimizes communication errors and avoids costly construction changes.
6. Construction Observation | Build Your Story
So we’ve finished our story but it’s value is not fully realized until it is published. In order to assure that our collective vision is carried out J Christopher Architecture is happy to assist with bidding and construction observation. We endeavor to be a second set of eyes for our contractors, helping to assure that the rigors and challenges of construction are not compromising the integrity of the design vision. No one sets out to make mistakes, but building luxury homes is an incredibly complex and lengthy journey that requires the continued support and communication of all parties involved.
J Christopher Architecture seeks to be a valued compliment to the build team. We aspire to build trusted relationships that result in a fun and rewarding for process for everyone.