The most obvious considerations are the program, the goals of the client, building codes, ordinances, siting, etc. However, there are also the agenda/goals of the designer or builder on a project to consider. I wanted to express what some of our goals are as we take on and move through a project and how the mesh with the goals and aspirations of the client for which we are working.
Aesthetic & Functional Improvement. Anyone can build a house but very few really have the education and experience to make the remodeled or newly built structure both aesthetically and functionally improved upon. When seeing neighborhoods filled with the McMansions and bland cookie-cutter spec houses that are so prevalent in Dallas, even in neighborhoods such as Preston Hollow and Highland park, I stop to wonder why they didn’t take the time to hire a builder or interior designer to truly express the best of that the site had to offer, elevate the aesthetic concept as well as increase the functionality for the inhabitants. These builder-grade homes may meet the basic needs of the homeowners, but design-wise they will not endure nor will they be anything special.
Flexibility. Structures should not be build simply to meet the immediate needs of the clients but should function well beyond the mere immediate future. As people age homes should not be a prison or make life more difficult, as families grow and change, as people’s needs change, good building design will accommodate those needs with forethought and practicality.
Designing for Reality. Many clients come to us thinking they want a certain kind of space or house to live in but ultimately realize, through our process, that they really need something else. It’s about finding out how they actually live versus how they think they live. Designing for the reality of their lifestyles means producing a strong visual relationship between the exterior and internal structure as well.
Endurance of Style. Trends are just that, trends. Housing designed by a building designer should not be trendy but should rise to the challenge of timelessness and creating a true sense of style that isn’t subject to trends but only to the real sense of design that will endure for generations.
Financial Prudence. It’s highly important to understand the budget and to create a space that meets the needs of the client without going over the budget. If the budget allots $300/square foot and we design something that costs $1000/square foot, then we have failed our job.
Innovation. Designing something that has been done before and without any innovation or pushing of the proverbial envelope does not interest us. We want to design something that meets or exceeds the needs of the client while still gently pushing the client a bit outside of their vision.
by Donovan Lord