As a Singaporean architect, one of the biggest hurdles you'll face is coming up with the idea that will meet the client’s needs and ultimately makes the client happy. Your creative side must be bursting out of your ears with ideas, but you'll have to contain it until you can meet with your client. Your client is the single most important person in the entire design process, responsible for all the decisions for project.
Of course, the Client has to be guided by you as the architect. Nonetheless, their input can dramatically affect the final outcome of the project. The following below enlisted are some critical contributions from the client that will have a big impact on the process and the result. By taking a closer look at the role that clients play in the design process, you'll be able to better understand the journey of creating an architectural project that responds to the Client’s requirement.
1. Initial Project Ideation- Formulation of Design Brief
Your client is like your audience- who provides you with the context, requirements and guidelines for the project. It helps you to better understand what you need to bring to the table for the architectural project. Your client may have a fairly extensive brief that helps you to create a sound design. On the other hand, your client may not know exactly what they want, providing you with the freedom to come up with a unique design.
In either case, the project brief, once formulated, will guide you on how to design the project, including the strategies, technologies, and design solutions that can be used. This may be the rooms, areas and materials required for the various areas of the building. During this process, it is important to involve the client as much as possible. This will make them more invested in the project and help them better understand what is happening at every stage of the design process.
2. Appoint Architect and Other Consultants
Your client is the one who owns the project, and has the power to appoint the architect and other consultants (such as structural engineers, lighting designers, etc.) for the project. They may not have a specific individual in mind and would like to have an open competition or tender.
This is a good opportunity for you to try and convince them that you are the right person for the job. During this process, your client will have a lot of questions for you about your credentials, as well as your experience. You may be provided with opportunities to show your experience and portfolio, as well as to meet with the client in person. The meeting will be an opportunity for you to present yourself and your work in a convincing way to the Client – an opportunity to convince and impress. How would you convince the Client that you are the Singapore architect best suited for the job? Be aware that after these meetings, the client may still decide to appoint another architect based on a variety of reasons.
3. Work Closely with Architect on Architectural Design
The next stage is where you and your client can get to work on the project. Meetings with your client will be frequent and may occur very often. This is where your creative ideas have to be presented in a clear and understandable way. You have to demonstrate how your design will be able to address the client’s issues and solve the problems. Your client will make decisions that you may not agree with but must respect, as they have the final say. The main point to understand is that you and your client have a common goal, which is to create the best possible design. The more involved you are with the client and their ideas, the better the end result will be.
4. Award Main Contractor
Based on the brief and your design proposal, your client will have to decide on a contractor to award for the project. During the entire tender process, you as the architect will have a key role to play. Working closely with the client will mean the process of award will be smooth. At the end of the day, the client does rely on the architect’s recommendation on the builder to award for the entire project.
5. Make Decisions and Selections That Affect Cost and Time
As the project progresses, your client will start to make decisions that affect the cost and time. The simplest of decisions - such as what materials to use to for the floor or wall of a space can have an impact on the overall budget. During this stage, you will need to discuss and propose to your client on all these things so as to enable the client to make these decisions. These decisions will have to be made with consideration of overall costs, material durability and aesthetic considerations. Furthermore, the decisions have to be made in a timely fashion so as to allow the project to proceed smoothly and on schedule for completion.
6. Client Plays Many Crucial Roles from Conception to Implementation
In conclusion, it is important to remember that your client plays many crucial roles from conception to implementation. The best way to ensure that your client is happy with the end result is to create a strong relationship with them from the very beginning. The success of the project rests on you as the architect and your client. The more involved you are with the client throughout the process, the better the end result will be. You can either win over the client's heart by listening to their problems and working closely with them or lose them by not being able to keep up with their demands and losing control of the project. When both of you are happy with the end result, that's when it's a job well done.