office interior design best
all architecture begins with a concept. if youâ€™re struggling to find one, curiousas to what one is, or simply wondering how architects begin their projects, this shortcourse will walk you through the process i use and some of the techniques i rely on todevelop architectural concepts, all illustrated with one of my residential projects. very simply stated, a concept is an idea thatunderpins your project. to an architect, the concept is what distinguishesa work of architecture from a mere building. at its core, architecture seeks to solve problems. itâ€™s the questions we ask that will determinewhich problems our architecture will solve.
developing a concept allows us to frame thequestions weâ€™re asking and it guides the design process. choosing a starting point for your designcan be intimidating and an early stumbling block for designers of any skill level. but it doesnâ€™t have to be. your concept shouldnâ€™t be rigorous; themore malleable it is, the better. in fact, most architecture canâ€™t be reducedto one singular concept diagram; rather itâ€™s informed by many concepts working in concert. there may be organizational concepts, materialconcepts, functional, or structural or formal
concepts. so, donâ€™t fret if your design idea isnâ€™treducible to a single elegant black stroke on a page. itâ€™s best to illustrate concept developmentwith a real project so as i said, weâ€™ll use our squid cove residence as an example. before we can develop the concept, we haveto first understand the practical constraints. now, my design process begins only after gatheringand assessing all the given parameters for a project. now, this primarily consists of three typesof information.
thereâ€™s information derived from the sitethings like: local climate, the prevailing winds, the solar aspect, vegetation, neighboringstructures, the siteâ€™s history, and any unique liabilities or opportunities. the site of course also comes along with legalframeworks for development, which describe where and what we can and canâ€™t build. the second type of information weâ€™ll gatheris from the client. now, every client has a set of cultural beliefsand preconceptions, preferences and agendas. of course, weâ€™ll want to determine theirbudget and understand the personality traits and organizational politics which might alsoshape the design.
the client and the building type togetherdetermine what architects call - the program - which is essentially a detailed accountingof all the spaces the building will contain. and the third type of information i gatheris related to the building typology. is it a museum, a home or a school? to learn about a building typology we oftenconduct an analysis of notable or relevant historical precedents. we want to know the essential problems thesetype of structures grapple with. understanding the history of the archetypeallows us to approach a problem from a fresh perspective.
now, all of this necessary information itâ€™ssomething that we collect for every single project. this inventory can also serve as the progenitorfor the design concept â€“ our seed idea. and, rather than shunting creativity, theseconstraints often incite the creative process. as with a good film, the setting, the characters,the cinematography, and the plot all conspire to make it what it is. itâ€™s the experience youâ€™ll recall ratherthan the concept per se. sure, the concept sets the film in motionand itâ€™s the starting point for all that follows.
but this concept â€“ the one or two-line descriptionâ€“ canâ€™t possible capture the richness and depth of the finished film or in our casethe architecture. yet without it, the work is unfulfilling andso it should be clear that the concept is necessary for all of our work as architects. once weâ€™ve gathered this information, itâ€™snow time to begin processing it into a useable form. of the three, the site inventory is the mostreadily translated to a physical diagram. for our squid cove project you can see iâ€™vetranscribed the zoning, the deed, and setback information onto the site plan.
this diagram sets the real boundaries of ourproject. we have property line setbacks, a setbackfrom the ocean, and an unstable bluff we need to avoid and this is shown on the topographicalplan. there are a number of trees on the site andone significant ash that weâ€™re trying to avoid, but for the most part the trees andvegetation here were just unremarkable. next i add to this the solar path, the prevailingwind direction, and this amazing view. there are site utilities and an existing loggingroad and because thereâ€™s no public sewer here, i worked with a soils scientist to definethe best spot for the septic field and consequently the well which needs to be a certain distanceaway from the field.
now, this can often be a stringent limitationto the buildable area because thereâ€™s so much granite locally, so itâ€™s importantfor me to define it early. and, the one last piece of information, isthat thereâ€™s a neighboring house here that we want to avoid looking at. now, i like to diagram these constraints onthe site plan before i visit the site so the information becomes a part of how i see thingswhen iâ€™m there. visiting the site of course will leave a differentimpression and i find mapping things out first allows me to overlay the two in a way thatselects for opportunity. now that we have this diagram we can startto see the buildable site.
still quite a bit of territory. this video wonâ€™t cover the programming phase,weâ€™ll save that for another one, but prior to this iâ€™ve worked with the client to definethe size of the home and budget which are â€“ as youâ€™d imagine â€“ strongly interrelated. thereâ€™s no sense in beginning any designwork until the client is aware of the rough cost of the work which at this stage is directlytied to their wish list of spaces and the sizes of those spaces. so, having completed the programming exercisei can now diagram the relative size of the home and overlay that on the site when thetime is right.
because i work solely on residential projectsiâ€™m quite familiar with the building type so iâ€™m not doing an exhaustive precedentstudy for each project. but knowing the typology allows me to reinventand rethink things when i see an opportunity. if i were working on a building typology iwas unfamiliar with, iâ€™d research building precedents and use that information as anunderlying framework for developing the program and possibly as a launching point for my concept. now you should look at the work of bjarkeingells as a contemporary example of someone who uses typological reinvention to inspirehis building concepts. so, weâ€™ve visited the site and we know whatand where we can and canâ€™t build.
we know something about the building typeand we know our client has budgeted for the design weâ€™re about to undertake. whatâ€™s next? well, this is where the building conceptsor parti comes in. parti is sort of architect lingo for, â€œconceptâ€â€“ and it actually comes from the french prendre parti which means, â€œto make a decisionâ€itâ€™s the organizing principle we use as a starting point for the design. now, iâ€™ve come up with a few of the mostcommon ones i rely on to spark ideas, but there are an infinite number available toyou.
weâ€™ll start with the simplest, and itâ€™sone weâ€™ve already touched on in our initial information gathering phase. buildings interpret their surroundings andreformulate them in a way that can be experienced. the site demands specificity from our architecture. it must react to it. so, using the site to inspire the buildingconcept is as genuine a place to start as any. we can react to: views, light, topography,historical features, vegetation, and other structures.
when a building concept references the sitein a rural setting, it establishes a dialogue between natural and man-made; in urban andsuburban contexts, a boundary between what you can design and control and what you canâ€™t. your design inspiration can editorialize thisrelationship: will it oppose nature or the local surroundings or complement it? will it disregard it, or adapt to it? will it impose order on it or will it assumea different order? for our project, the site was an importantprogenitor of the design concept. it was important for me to work with the landformand exploit the natural slope.
of equal importance were the view to the waterand the solar aspect each of which became strong organizing forces that shaped our earlybuilding massings. i imagined one arriving to the site and beingpresented with the view beyond, rather than the building. so, i knew i wanted to site the home to thesouth splayed out along the hillside rather than on the crest of the hill. the sloping landform presented an opportunityto mimic that with the form of the house and i began thinking of ways to zone the organizationof the building to complement the site features too.
i used the view to the cove as well as thesolar aspect to select the most desirable site for the home. now, often competing site factors will forceyou choose one site force as more dominant. for example, the prevailing wind directionis in direct competition with the idea i had about arrival to the site. if we were to position a taller mass to thenorthwest to act as a natural wind screen it would impact our afternoon sun and preventan arrival sequence which presented the view rather than the building. not all problems will be solved by assuminga singular attitude toward the site.
what was most important was the idea thatthe building conform to the topography. unfolding along the hillside allowed the buildingto create a series of terraced planes and transition spaces mediating inside and out. we could then use these to establish intermediatezones between architecture and nature. using the hard-edged site retaining wallsand decks would give us the chance to highlight and contrast the soft edges of the site. equally, i could have positioned the homeat the top of the site and used it as a light monitor or viewing tower or i couldâ€™ve completelyexcavated the terraces, placed a green roof on top and concealed the home.
and, although these were ideas i exploredalong the way, they were abandoned as my client helped shape the decision making. the site helps to shape other dimensions ofour concept too, things like the material and structural concept and weâ€™ll get intothose in future videos. but, youâ€™ll begin to see and itâ€™s worthnoting how the concept reverberates throughout the design. youâ€™ll always be referring back to it asyou iterate and look to it when youâ€™re stuck on a design problem. the site will obviously inform the organizationof public and private spaces too.
how one arrives and moves from the publicgathering spaces to the more private sleeping spaces. it shapes where we locate windows which wouldbe toward the views and to capture the sun. and, the site informs the formal conceptstoo. this site concept is like a marriage. the architecture shapes the site and the siteshapes our architecture. so, this is not enough you say? well, i agree, thereâ€™s more meaning to extractand more layers to the concept we should explore. so, inspiration number two: the client concept.
every work of architecture requires a client. for residential architecture, the client isa major force driving the design concept. not only from an aesthetic point of view,but also programmatically. the client determines the program and whichspaces are most important in that program. and, they obviously provide the financialframework for realizing the architecture. successful architecture artfully addressesa clientâ€™s needs. now, client-driven concepts can take the formof narratives, or lifestyle peculiarities or they can be purely functional. for example, a request for all living to beon one level, or an open plan.
for this project, our client expressed a desirefor the house to act as a gathering place for friends and family but also that it accommodateseclusion and the need for retreat from others. because we live in a seasonal community, thesummer here often sees a massive influx of guests and visitors. so, those who live here year-round are accustomedto welcoming house guests in the summer months. this inspired the division of spaces intoseparate living and sleeping pods, each afforded a unique aspect or view to the site. now, as we begin to organize the spaces ofthe client-driven program a simple way to develop a concept is to divide public andprivate spaces and then take a position on
their relationship. now, perhaps you overlap them. perhaps theyâ€™re in separate pods or nested. perhaps their relationship is inverted. from here begin to diagram your concept anditerate. for our project, we continued on by layeringour clientâ€™s interest in the outdoors and a near constant schedule of expeditions tofaraway places. this lifestyle helped fuel a story about whatthe house could be, how it might function and, when they were home and traveling andwhere we might position the spaces in relation
to each other. and this, brings us to inspiration numberthree. the narrative concept. inspired by an attitude about how our clientmight live in the home and welcome guests, and how they plan to move in and out of thespaces, and mobilize gear â€“ this all suggested to me the imagery of an encampment by thesea. i envisaged the home as a place for familyand friends to gather and sort of â€˜camp togetherâ€™. uniting in the evenings around the campfireto share a meal, but retreating to private
quarters for sleeping. the village concept provided for both socialgathering and private reflection as needed. expedition travel allowed the house to expandand contract with the seasons and with ebbs and flows of visitors. and, this story, as weâ€™ll see begins toinform layers of meaning as we develop the floor plans and exterior elevations later. nested pods provided for escape within thelarger space of the home and a variety of scales mimicked the site beyond and my clientâ€™sneed for respite and seclusion even when surrounded by friends.
each one of these ideas exists in variousforms in the earliest, early design concepts presented. now i created this cover sheet to describethe thinking behind the plans, but it may not be important for you to convey this toyour client. itâ€™s sort of up to you. i think it adds a level of interest and adiscussion point, but not every client will see the value. itâ€™s most important that it exists for youas you develop the design. they will of course care most about what thedesign looks and feels like and so at this
stage i present very loose sketched plansto give an idea of how each concept deploys the program on the site and within the home. this process usually incites reactions bothpositive and negative and youâ€™ll use it to pivot moving forward. so, as you can see, itâ€™s not a singularconcept. thereâ€™s a narrative that ties it togetherand suggests a means for organizing the spaces on the site. thereâ€™s the site topography and naturalfeatures that suggest where we want to locate the home and thereâ€™s our clientâ€™s lifethat tells us how the elements of their story
can inform the architecture. so, iâ€™d struggle to produce the diagramof this concept as gracefully as maya lin, but itâ€™s still a concept. and, itâ€™s informed every move iâ€™ve madesince. sure, i revisited it and refined it. iâ€™ve tweaked things based on client feedbackand tastes. but itâ€™s still there and i continue to layeron meaning as i develop the design. when thereâ€™s a question i know how to answerit because the conceptual framework is there to help.
now, there are as i said, infinite other waysto develop concepts, hereâ€™s a few more if youâ€™re still stuck. materials. architects like peter zumthor, herzog anddemeuron, and peter bohlin often use the raw materials of building as the starting pointfor their work. every line we trace on the page representsreal physical materials coming together to make our architecture. instead of rendering our work in pure whiteas we so often do, why not seek meaning from the materials weâ€™ll use to construct it.
local stone, or wood, aggregates, tradespeople,or special techniques; these can all be called into service of the architecture and the spacescan be enriched with meaning. materials have very specific properties bywhich theyâ€™re bound. steel conducts, itâ€™s strong in bending,it can be welded. stone is heavy and thick and imposing. glass is light and ethereal. bricks are the size of the human hand andlend texture, and scale and warmth to a space. ask yourself how these materials or combinationsof them tell a more interesting story. for my work, iâ€™ll always use the underlyingnarrative concept to reinforce the material
concept. here weâ€™re using dark stained local cedarshingles as the siding for our project. the spruce, pine and fir forest here is avariegated dark green. the shingles and the wood grain replicatethis subtle tonal difference and the green helps the building to recede into the site. board-formed concrete references the woodgraining and the process of making. its patterns will host mosses and lichensas the building weathers. is this a separate concept? no, it all feeds into an attitude about aplace.
next, a structural concept. the expedition and the camping narrative thatweâ€™ve been talking about helped us develop the structural strategy too. the gable form is a tent, glazed walls letample light in and weâ€™re employing lightweight cabling elements reminiscent of tent polesor cordage to tie the walls together. and of course, thereâ€™s nautical referenceshere that are pretty strong as well. now you could also, write a manifesto. what do you believe this architectureâ€™srole is in society? what are the larger questions itâ€™s proposing?
check out dieter rams for a famous manifesto. having researched your building typology,how can you disrupt long-held beliefs or organizational layouts? see bigâ€™s power plant for example. perhaps you could explore a formal concept. the idea of architecture parlance. the birdâ€™s nest. the chicken that sells chicken. and of course, thereâ€™s always the processof making.
charles and ray eames used their journey fromignorance to knowledge as the motivation for many of their designs. how can you bring a fresh perspective to theproblem youâ€™re facing? is there something inherent in the processof building that reveals something novel? the design process isnâ€™t singular, or linear. we donâ€™t create a concept and stick to itin the face of changing information. use what youâ€™re learning to pivot, thatâ€™sperfectly acceptable, sensible even. youâ€™ll present ideas to your client â€“ orprofessor - and theyâ€™ll react. design is a dialogue and the concept ensuresyou have something to talk about.
return to your design and tweak it using thenew information youâ€™ve gathered. each time we learn a little more about ourclient, about the design and new opportunities arise. now, in the next part of this short course,weâ€™ll look at how we begin turning the concept into architecture. if youâ€™ve found this video helpful in anyway, you can help me by giving me a thumbs up below and sharing it. this is how i know what iâ€™m doing is helpingyou and it will allow me to continue to grow the channel.
thanks for watching. cheers!