Profile of Gerard Lee Architects in the SF Bay Area.

1| Pre Design:

Design Process

Pre-design is a phase that is much mis-understood by many clients. Usually there are no drawings generated within this phase. (ergo pre -design). However it is probably one of the more important phases. This is where the intentions or goals are outlined, a process by which both client and architect start to define what these project parameters are. It identifies potential problems/ pitfalls, dreams/ goals, user needs or wants, code and planning requirements, community concerns, functions/ usage, lifestyle trends and image building. As such it is a discovery phase. It does not seek to solve everything but is used as a preliminary guide to inform the design process.

It is during this phase that the program for the building is defined. Space planning and functionality requirements that will define how we actually design and locate these spaces.
Not all projects will require a pre-design phase. Clients that have the resources on larger projects will sometimes use the services of project programmers to help develop the building program and provide it to the architectural design team. Having a program enables the design team to formulate ideas, evaluate design theories and concepts. It helps us develop a process that defines how the project/ building will be designed. In some ways it's way finding effort, a path that leads us to the right answers.
A key part of pre-design is being able to listen to our clients.
Other elements of Pre-Design are:

  • Establishing the client's goals or dreams
  • Building Program
  • Understanding space adjacencies
  • Analysing the project budget
  • Setting a preliminary project schedule
  • Preliminary site/ climate analysis
  • Preliminary code research
  • Client & End user needs
  • Environmental & community concerns

Other factors to consider are the architectural style, accesibility, views and if a residence, the needs and wants of the family (lifestyle issues & trends)
All these are researched, documented and incorporated within the project documents.

Copyright © 2006 Gerard Lee Architects. All rights reserved.

-last updated November 17,2006