We embrace architecture as a celebration of identity and purpose that moves beyond function to uplift the human spirit. Each design we create is shaped by how people will live, work and play in the space, and is also a creatively crafted response to the surrounding land, culture, climate and natural light. When these elements find harmony in a single structure, a sense of wonder and life as an artful experience emerges.
We engage and participate in the creation of dynamic communities. We master plan and design each structure to create an atmosphere that is conducive to exchange – taking into account the built, social, economic, and ecological context. Purposefully designed community areas, in balance with private areas, encourage interactions and strengthen communities. To better identify objectives and uphold the identity and values of the people we work with, we strongly value collaboration and community involvement throughout the design and building process.
Through purposeful design, architecture can inspire a life that is clear, calm, and fluid. Whether for work, play, interaction, or reflection, well-tailored spaces that are thoughtfully linked to one another balance a sense of spaciousness with intimacy appropriate for each situation. With simplicity at the core to our approach to sustainable, functional, and artful design, our structures reflect those who use them and provide a framework to grow from. Making careful choices each step of the way, we can reduce our impact on the environment, simplify our lives, and live comfortably with what is at hand.
Through architecture, we strive to connect people with their environment to create a sense of belonging. Simultaneously, we use sustainable and green design techniques to minimize the impact of our projects on the planet. As part of our commitment to sustainability, we integrate new structures within the existing landscape by embracing natural site features. We also carefully consider the siting and orientation of each building, which is key to regulating natural heating and cooling, along with other green building approaches.
Architecture is a process of discovery. Applying our experience, values, and high standards of design, quality and sustainability, our team of architects and extended network of consultants approach each project with flexibility and enthusiasm for the unique progression of each one-of-a-kind project.
Phase I begins our co-creation of a vision, and story, for the project. Through the steps, this vision is elaborated in graphic and physical form.
During the Resource Inventory and Feasibility Study steps, we identify the Client’s desires as well as the regulations, budget, and geographical and cultural context that will inform the design. Based on the information we gather, we create a set of guidelines and considerations to address during the design process.
An in-depth Site Analysis reveals site features, topography, wildlife, and vegetation, as well as a breakdown of soil, wind, and climate data. Existing structures and utilities on site are investigated. As part of our approach, we integrate new structures within the existing landscape by embracing natural site features.
For group or community projects, our workshops are particularly helpful for generating a focused and inspiring vision of the project for all those involved. Our participatory process enables all stakeholders – from owners and primary members to the larger community of participants – to have a voice. For international projects in particular, this step helps bring people from various backgrounds together to create a shared vision.
Using the information gathered in earlier steps, as well as a client questionnaire and diagramming tools, the Programming step establishes the priorities and criteria for success for the project. The multiple functions of the space, and the relationship between those functions, are defined. A base square footage is determined, and a scale. The Programming step results in a written summary.
Based on our shared vision between Client and Architectural Team, we propose a Conceptual Design in the form of graphics, illustrations, and conceptual 3D models that expresses the story of the structure as well as its relationship to the surrounding environment.
The vision is elaborated through Schematic Design. Real sizes and scale are assigned, and orientation and access to the site are defined. The scope of our Schematic Design services extends from large-scale master planning to detailed design work, such as furniture and finishes.
After determining a shortlist of Builders appropriate for the project, interviews take place. The chosen Builder prepares a Preliminary Construction Cost Estimate for the project. Together, we analyze each component of the cost estimate, conferring with the Builder, Subcontractors, and Suppliers, to evaluate all options and arrive at a pointed cost estimate.
Phase II “zooms in” to the design, elaborating the project into hardline CAD drawings. Precise materials are determined in collaboration with the client and with specialty consultants.
In the Design Development stage, we continue to work closely with the Client, while beginning the process of syncing the design with documents from the various Consultants involved. The design is further elaborated and defined, in order to assemble all details needed for the Construction Documents stage.
Our team directly coordinates with Consultants across a variety of specialties, while keeping the overall vision and "coherent whole" of the project in focus. Depending on each project's specifics, Consultants may include: Structural Engineers, Mechanical Engineers, Landscape Architects, Interior Designers, Lighting Designers, Greenhouse Specialists, and others.
During the Interior Design stage, our team coordinates with the Client and Consultants to create interior elevations and 3D models, and to determine a palette of a materials and selection of suppliers for cabinets, flooring, countertops, appliances, etc.
A complete set of Construction Documents will reflect the exact design in sync with documents from the various Consultants. Depending on the specificities of each project, those documents may include: Site Plans, Floor Plans, Elevations, Sections, Structural Plans, Mechanical Plans, Lighting/Electric Schematics, Interior Elevations, Wall/Floor/Roof/Detail Sections, Architectural Details, Stairs Details, Window and Floor Schedules, Plumbing Fixture Schedules, and Interior Finish Schedules.
The Builder will receive bids and proposals from Subcontractors. During the Bidding & Negotiation process, we confer and collaborate with the Builder to review the bids coming in; analyzing options, and considering how the approach to the project might be modified or adjusted as-needed.
Phase III is defined by our Contract Administration service. During this stage our team serves as a liaison between client and consultants, oversees construction progress, and remains available to respond, with additional clarification and documents, to issues and questions that may arise.
With regular site visits, our team serves as a representative of the Client/Owner on site. We are familiarized with the project’s construction pace and progress, available for consultation to the Builder and their Subcontractors, and able to coordinate Consultants as-needed for site intervention.
During Construction Accounting, our team overviews monthly draws from the Builder and their Subcontractors. We confirm that billing is performed in relation to the progress of work, and compare costs to estimates. We review the Builder's accounting for unplanned or unexpected costs, as well as the project's progress and schedule.
ASI/ Architectural Supplemental Information documents provide additional information requested by the Builder and Subcontractors. Our team is available to respond to RFI/ Requests for Information, and to coordinate documents with shop drawings, specifications, and cut sheets, from Suppliers and Subcontractors.
A Change Order alters a previously determined aspect of the design. To accommodate Change Orders during construction, we view the C.O. as a “mini project” inside the larger one, and start from step one with a Cost Estimate, to Design Development, through to Construction Documents. The illustration above shows the addition of an elevator inside a walk-in kitchen pantry, where previously stairs had been planned.
We collaborate with Contractors and Consultants throughout the construction process and during physical assembly to fully develop and optimize the design through to the final realization of the project. Our goal for every design to "tell a story through architecture” is realized when the Client moves in. Our structures both reflect those who use them and provide a framework for continued evolution, for a positive unfolding of life.
Our multicultural team of Boulder, Colorado-based and international architects is committed to contributing to the world through green architectural design, and is motivated by the desire to inspire and uplift the people we work with through fluid and kinesthetic experiences of space. We know how essential great relationships are to successful design, and intentionally nurture upbeat, collaborative partnerships with our clients, consultants, contractors, and each other.