a. Client’s objectives
Working as a sole practitioner, I am involved in each project from inception to completion. My personal and professional reputation is at stake on each commission and I take a great deal of satisfaction from seeing the project through to a successful conclusion, no matter the scale. The service I offer is therefore very personal and allows me to get to the heart of the individual client requirements and provide an appropriate design solution. Often this is a balance between time, cost and design quality constraints. Recent projects for Scottish Court Service (in construction or complete) are at Paisley Sheriff Court, Edinburgh High Court and Glasgow Sheriff Court. The brief at feasibility stage is developed rather than prescribed because each building has individual constraints which are so significant that they have a major impact on what is achievable in design terms. These projects have been delivered on time, to the required budget and quality.
b. Conflicting demands.
There are ever increasing regulatory demands within the Planning System, Building Regulations, Health and Safety environment and also changing procurement routes. There are also significant constraints with the Scottish Court Service, such as changing court policy, (for example incorporation of JP function), the historic nature of the estate, the increasing functional demands, the limited space, etc, etc. It is very important that designers have appropriate experience and are adaptable, flexible and capable of appropriately influencing the design process. In both my private work and consultancy work (for SCS) I believe I have the used my experience and offered good judgment. I hope I have been able to demonstrate an ability to pull together the sometimes opposing requirements to a successful result. This can involve compromises by all parties and is often a circular process in order to ensure that not only are communications passed, but they are fully understood and this is reflected in the resultant design drawings.
When I set up my practice in 2006 I sought advice from a number of individuals and organizations. I recall reading some information provided by the Royal Incorporation of Architects regarding the largest client criticisms and subsequent legal claims levelled at the architectural profession. Number one on the list was that architects have regularly failed to design buildings (extensions or internal alterations) which met the client’s budget. In the same report Architects are widely applauded for innovation and creation of good design however when this exceeds a clients budget it can result in significant distress. This is fundamental to the success of all building projects. I place a significant emphasis during the early stage of what is achievable given the client’s requirements and the project budget. An ability to complete a project on time and within budget is also fundamental to the success of the small scale domestic projects I undertake. There have been approx. 50 in the last 6 years, almost of which are complete with 6-9 months from appointment. When the works are taking place within clients own dwelling there is added importance placed on the minimum of disruption within the shortest period and the design should reflect this requirement.