Every design problem has an infinite number of possible solutions. At Blue Brook Architecture, unlike most architects, we don’t just present you with a single solution and say "Here it is!" For us, the initial phase of design is a process of exploration. We typically do a minimum of three initial design approaches (called “schemes”) and a maximum of five. We have found clients become overwhelmed by any more than five different schemes to consider. Most clients start out with a significant disconnect between what they want, and what they want to spend. We provide a scheme which meets their budget, and a scheme which has everything they want but exceeds their budget, and then focus our effort on the zone in between.
Every scheme involves compromises. Our architectural design process allows our client to consider these compromises and decide their priorities. When we work with couples, they often find this a time of intense discussion, because they individually have slightly different priorities and need to arrive at a consensus on priorities for the project. Once our client has provided clear direction on their priorities and the elements they like and dislike on the various initial schemes, we develop a final scheme synthesizing all of their favorite elements from the initial schemes, to the greatest degree possible
For a project which is apparently straight forward, like a new residence, why not just get a set of stock plans?
Any set of stock plans is going to be deficient in some areas. A set of plans which meets California earthquake requirements, Florida hurricane requirements, New Hampshire snow requirements, and has a wall assembly appropriate for Minnesota, would not be cost effective to build. Ignoring cost considerations, a wall assembly appropriate for Minnesota would turn into a fungus farm in Louisiana. Even before considering the Washington State Energy Code, there are differences in appropriate approaches between eastern and western Washington structures. Flashing details appropriate to provide a durable structure in western Washington would be an excessive expense in a desert climate. Any set of stock plans is going to need some customization to get a building permit, provide good performance over the years, and reasonable control over costs. Technical issues aside, most people want to make some changes to their selected set of stock plans, to better reflect what they really want. Our approach is to begin each project with the question "What do you really want?", and then design from there.
The 3-D images you see here are all images we developed as we explored design options and presented them to our clients, so they could really understand our architectural design proposals, allowing them to make informed decisions about how they wanted to proceed. These are typical of the very high level of architectural design service Blue Brook Architecture provides on every project, including those as small as a home addition or remodel.