Happy Clients :)
If I’m being totally honest, the main reason I do what I do is quite selfish. Architecture is my creative outlet and gives me much opportunity to exercise my ideas in the real world. However, what also drives us is ensuring that whilst we are enjoying this process, that those we are working with are well looked after, made comfortable about working with us, and hopefully in doing so reducing the stress of the process.
Thank you Paul for the kind feedback, it is fantastic to hear:
“Given the cost and complexity of building, there is a certain leap of faith involved in selecting an architect. You have to trust this person on so many levels. Aside from any professional capabilities it is also important to choose someone you get on with personally because building a new house involves two years of constant interaction.
After doing due diligence on several local architects, we chose Adam because of his reputation for getting projects done on time and most importantly within budget.
Right from the early stages we were happy with our decision. The further we got into our project the more comfortable I became in trusting Adam’s advice on just about everything. Adam is an intelligent, organised person with strong attention to detail. I found him completely professional in all dealings. His project management skills kept the project moving forward at all times.
One particular thing I liked about Adam was he was always contactable. I don’t think he ever missed a call or failed to return an email in our two years of working together.
The end result is our beautiful, spacious new home delivered on time and very close to the original contract price. I have no hesitation in working with Adam on future projects”
Paul Houston – Queenscliff
Photographed at Queenscliff
Thank you again to Luc Remond for capturing some great shots of Queenscliff. Project page to follow shortly on our website. Check out our facebook and Houzz pages if you can’t wait until then.
Plenty of exciting projects ahead for 2017. We look forward to sharing more.
More Love for Davidson
Thank you Megan Andrew for the Design Snippet feature on the Scyon Walls Website. Friendly write up indeed!
Practical Completion at Queenscliff
We have reached practical completion on our latest project offering, a multi level large single dwelling in Queenscliff. After 11 months of building on what proved to be a challenging multi faceted project the owners moved into their new home last week.
We would like to thank our very good clients for trusting us with their home and the head contractor who continues to deliver well finished projects with us. In this case the project was completed for an end cost within 2-3% of the original contract figure signed. This continues to reinforce for us the value of well resolved, detailed documentation before you start, and close management of the works during construction.
Now we wait for the landscape to take hold and the owners to settle before the exciting process of professional photography commences in the next few months. Watch this space!
More love for Queenscliff
Thank you Megan Andrew for the piece on James Hardie’s website for our recently completed Queenscliff renovation. Visit their website if you are interested in more:
All finished at Balgowlah Heights
Our largest renovation project to date is also now complete. Again, great clients and a pleasant experience working with a new builder.
Full suite of images to follow in our select projects section soon.
All finished at Queenscliff
Thank you Luc Remond for another fantastic set of photos of another completed project. Really captured the colours and textures well.
Thank you also to our clients for their enthusiasm, feedback and trust in us along the way. Full description and set of photos to follow in our select projects section soon.
Queenscliff - Week 24
Framing now completed, cladding phase underway. Barge boards and fascias the first to go up with external cladding and roofing to follow in the coming weeks. The form is quite apparent now :)
Plenty of activity at this time of the project with services ‘rough in’ underway. For this to occur all points for power, data, gas and lighting need to be resolved and finalised.
We have found that power and lighting layouts especially are one of those things that clients don’t fully grasp on a floor plan, and although best intentions are made by the architect to get things exactly right at time of contract signing this is not always possible.
Acknowledging this, we write into all our documentation that all power/ data and lighting layouts are to be approved by the architect prior to rough in commencing. This gives us the opportunity to physically walk through the home with the client and plan exact final locations of points, lights etc before the contractor commences. We find this is really when clients begin to think in great detail about how they use the home and to establish whether they have everything they need (audio is one of those things that tends to sneak in).
This process removes the need to visualise an outcome on a drawing by walking through room by room and even sometimes actually playing out how the room will be used so practical locations can be resolved for services with the client.
Image above of now completely framed home with main roof opening up to the street.
Thank you to Home liftout magazine for another friendly feature on one of our recently completed smaller projects. Feel free to contact us if you are interested in finding out more. Saturday May 7th, Daily Telegraph.
Queenscliff - Week 23
Base framing now almost complete with cladding to begin later this month. The dry weather continues allowing things to progress at a good rate.
We started the process today of looking at the integration of an automated audio system for the home. For this project these works are separate to the contract, although on completion a very important part of the build from an integration perspective.
It is not unusual for certain aspects of a build to be outside of a main contract with the builder, but this does not remove the necessity for these works to be properly understood from a scope and value perspective (notwithstanding the design impact of course), but also from an integration perspective.
Based on this it is ideal for any works outside of the contract to be thought through early. It is also ideal that the client allow the architect to interface with consultants external to the contract.
This will ensure relationships are properly managed, an understanding of who is doing what can be confirmed, and the design impacts can also be understood. In short, communication and expectation are well managed and the design benefits.
Image above of main living area with the volume now becoming clear.
Queenscliff - Week 20
Always an exciting time when you begin to see roof framing elements finding their place. It its the first time you gain a proper sense of the volume of the building. In this case a proper sense of the articulation can now start to be seen, internal volumes understood etc.
We have a large open living area on the top floor that will take much of its ‘architecture’ from a series of cranked rafters forming the space. On completion these rafters will be visible with a textured ceiling board between. For the first time on site today a sense of the scale of the space was apparent.
A cross beam that intersects these rafters where they crank, and its scale was a’point of discussion’ between myself and the builder who proposed an alternate system to what the engineer had originally specified. Upon reflection and early concern that the slightly wider beam would not be as ‘refined’ as the original selection, I was happily surprised, given its height that all has worked out well.
All a normal part of the design process, involving the inputs of all members of a team working towards a mutually rewarding outcome. Image of the home taking shape from the street above.
Balgowlah Heights - Complete
All complete at Balgowlah Heights. I do love photographing that stair. Watch this space for professional photos to follow. A complex build, but an enjoyable process again.
Queenscliff - Practical Completion
All finished up at Queenscliff. Another successful project with a construction company we have done several projects with. On time with happy clients and a quality result. Watch this space for professional photos to follow
Queenscliff - Week 19
A busy 3 months is now behind us with two projects completing recently. More to follow on these soon. With our site work back to normal levels we have a bit more time to share the building process again.
We are 3-4 months into an 11 month build of a large new three storey home in Queenscliff. Demolition, excavation, lower level masonry and the majority of timber framing is now complete. Steelwork has arrived on site and install has begun.
We are now starting to obtain a real sense of the ‘scale’ of the project, which is what I would like to touch on today. We have had our first taste of ‘neighbour feedback’ over the past few weeks with some a little concerned about the ‘scale’ of the home compared to what was originally on the site.
Although consistent with the scale of buildings in the immediate context, this home is significantly larger than the one that used to sit on the site. This however does not make it ‘too big’. It does make it different to what was in place.
Hopefully what the neighbours will find as the construction develops is that the project although bigger than its predecessor, is well articulated, varied in its presentation and heights across the lot, and above all, within the envelope and height controls that effect the site.
Watch this space, when the scaffold comes down and the true scale and articulation is absorbed, the buildings positive contribution to the streetscape will be easily read.
Early image above of structural steel framed feature window box to street along with image of the old home pre demolition.
We are now all complete on a small internal refit project to a single storey heritage listed cottage in Kensington. Project involved a new kitchen fitout, laundry, bathroom and minor internal reconfiguration. Nice little project with a muted classic palette.
Almost Complete X3
Apologies for the radio silence since our last blog. We have been extremely busy getting through projects work with 3 projects on site all a matter of weeks from completion. A large new home in Curl Curl, and two substantial renovation projects in Balgowlah Heights and Queenscliff all due to complete before months end.
Professional photos to follow for all three. Watch this space.
We will also be re igniting the weekly blog on a new project under construction in Queenscliff due to complete in late August 2016. A few select images of details from the three projects about to complete below.
For those who missed it, we had a feature story written on our Davidson project in the weekends Telegraph ‘Home’ lift out magazine.You can find the full story in the media section of our website.
Big thank you to the clients for opening up their home and Robyn Willis for the article! Good finish to a great project to work on.
Balgowlah Heights - Week 10
If its not obvious from the street, or difficult to see….does that mean its contribution to a design is not as important as that which is prominent…and based on that its ‘ok’ if its not quite resolved or finished off?
I remember a heated discussion with another student during my university degree when he said (about a component of his museum building) ‘thats alright if its not resolved, you don’t see that elevation from the street anyway’.
For some reason this really annoyed me! Perhaps its because I thought he was unable to resolve it, or perhaps I just thought that just isn’t good enough. My belief is that part of your role as an architect is to think about all of those little details that the client is unlikely to think about, or devote energy to, predominantly because they aren’t things that are front of their mind….in other words, they aren’t designers. They are charging you with the responsibility to address these items on their behalf, putting a great deal of trust in you in doing so to fully resolve their building.
Buildings are experienced from all different angles, by many different observers and users. You may not care what the cleaners cupboard looks like or how it functions as a student of a high school, but I would be almost certain the cleaner would be very interested. My point here is that details are important for different reasons depending on their function, you may not realise why at the time but they all serve contributing factors to the completeness of a design. Whether it be handles on a piece of joinery, insulation in a wall, or even the rib profile of a metal deck roof. They all play their part in telling the story of a complete, resolved and finished product at the end.
You never know who may be walking by, peering from your neighbours yard…. all wishing they lived in your house because it all just seems to work and look great! This is no accident.
Doesn’t that brick corbel look great on all four corners of that building! :)
Image of extension from the rear above, taking shape!
Balgowlah Heights - Week 9
Well underway now on site with all lower ground concreting and the majority of lower level enclosing walls in place. As the rear of the home begins to take shape you really do appreciate the fantastic views back to Manly.
One of the things that becomes more obvious to me each time we start on site with a new project, especially renovations, is the concept that you can most definitely over document. Building is not a laser accurate process, walls are not necessarily always square and structure that looks perfectly sound and stable is quite often hiding something sinister beyond!
This project is no different. To manage this as best we can our approach to documentation is to attempt to describe an intent and/or a design outcome when we compile drawings and prepare a scope of work. We have had several items already on this project where documenting the detail of exact connections, final ceiling heights, final levels would have all been time wasted on the drawing board.
Much of our documentation will state things like ‘ensure minimum clearance of’ or ‘design levels to ensure seamless connection with existing’ rather than confirming exact numerical dimensions. This especially rings true for things like staircase levels and connections at ground level.
To date here at Balgowlah Heights we have liaised with the builder to review and finalise stair riser dimensions, floor depths, structural connections, ceiling heights, door threshold details….all as part of the contract administration phase. Why now and not earlier….because it is simply impossible to get these items and other laser accurate and consistent with the site condition on the drawings board.
In short, design doesn’t stop once the drawings are finished, and the stage and which something is documented in the timeline of the project can have a large impact on the relevance or not of what was once drawn with the best of intentions ‘on the drawing board’.
Happy to take topic suggestions from here forward for the weekly blog!
Image above demonstrating the scale at the rear (stair void to lower level)