"The stillness in stillness is not the real stillness; only when there is stillness in movement does the universal rhythm manifest."
Our process is at its core about the body, mind and spirit. The focus is an investigation into the relationship between the body and space - from an understanding of ergonomics through to the relationship between space and wellbeing. An overarching theme in our work relates to the concept of refuge and how we create such spaces for our clients in a public and private domain, as well as nurture the relationship between nature and our manmade environments.
We aim to assist our clients in making sound, informed decisions on their investment. Architecture truly should be seen as an investment as it makes a significant, long-lasting contribution to our environments.
We believe that good design has the potential to improve society and wellbeing. That being said, we also believe that good design takes time. This means that we take the time to understand a project in-depth, interrogate the brief and intentions and investigate many iterations to ensure the most well-considered concept is brought to fruition. The intention is to have a creative and meaningful response to a brief so that the architecture is a meaningful contribution too. We believe in collaboration and will often call on other creatives and professionals to be part of the design process. The process involves not only an investigation into the micro-impact (specific to the user) but also how the project contributes to the built environment and society on a macro-level. It is important that each project is sustainable ecologically, economically and socially.
Our process compliments the workstages as per the South African Council for Architectural Professionals. It is helpful to be familiar with this process to understand the stages required for the completion of a project. The full SACAP workstages can be found here. For an overview of the stages of our process with respect to the work stages, see below:
The first stage is to receive, appraise and report on the client’s brief. This ensures that the details of the project are fully understood so that the response is well informed. This includes the client's needs and the constraints related to the site.
2. Concept and Viability
Stage two is the beginning of the design process. This is where we start to interrogate the brief and develop an informed response. The conceptual phase of the project undergoes many iterations pulling in resources from a philosophical and theoretical perspective, material considerations, and an understanding of the particular site to ensure the concept is site-specific and a meaningful response to the client’s needs. The site rights are considered and anticipated costs are reviewed.
3. Design Development
Stage three involves the iteration of the chosen design option. The concept undergoes a thorough exploration, ensuring not only that it meets the client's needs but also abides by regulations. The design is developed further at a more detail level with a clearer understanding of the construction methodology, services, and consultants.
4. Documentation and Procurement
Stage 4.1 includes the final documentation to be submitted to the council. Technical documentation is co-ordinated with consultants. Costing and programme are reviewed with the consultants and a specification for the works is prepared. The drawings are submitted for approval.
Stage 4.2 includes the completion of construction documentation and a call for tenders, the evaluation thereof and preparing final contract documentation. Contract documentation is prepared and signed.
Stage 5 includes the handover of the site to the contractor, monitoring progress and inspecting the works for conformity and once complete, assisting the client to obtain the occupation certificate.
Stage 6 is the final, close-out phase. This includes the preparation of necessary documents for completion, handover and operation, and the issuing of the necessary certificates. The client is provided with as-built drawings.