A client’s building or space must ‘speak’ to them

As architects go through the design process, we need to work with an essential checklist a checklist which will ultimately improve the qualities of our designs:

  • Sustainability – it might interest the public that car manufacturers actually have have less impact than architects and our clients. Since HVAC creates up to 40% of carbon emissions, we know where to start by calculating the most energy efficient products into our design.
  • Accessibility – We don’t need ‘rules’ to tell us that we need to take disabilities into account, especially those of aged persons. Or even letting our clients know that someday they are going to age and what are they going to do with their investment. Even if they sell their property, it must still offer easier access to disabled persons, wherever possible. Public buildings, we don;t have a choice. They must be accessible to persons with disabilities.
  • Functionality – Creating a functional building or space is sometimes hard to achieve. We put in our most hours in getting functionality right.
  • Design Quality – It’s important that architects make their drawings clear and well labelled so that those building our designs have the least doubt in their minds what they’re looking at. In this case, sometimes more information is really better than having too little information.
  • Emotional Resonance – Clients expend so much money and effort on an architect’s services as well as the building and spaces themselves, what we give to our clients better make them feel very good in the resulting spaces. A client’s building or space must ‘speak’ to them.

Every design must awaken a sense of belonging in our clients. Whatever the purpose of the building or space, they must fulfill their purpose first and foremost and they must awaken good emotions that foster healthy production attitudes and a zest for life.

  • Endurance – Building designs and spatial planning need to be structurally sound. Aesthetically, they must prove their longevity. Fads (which is different to ‘styles’) are not to be considered seriously. It’s important not to be so excited by great looking architecture, be inspired by it and not consider how it works in the local environment. Especially in context to maintenance.

Endurance might mean a totally different time frame based on context, cost and materials than some buildings that have lasted for many centuries. Back then, the erection of buildings by slave labor was truly common. At the very least, by societies that worked well oiled and each builder was part of homogeneous system, unlike our societies today.

  • Socially Beneficial – Architects have a responsibility to work to achieve results that benefit society.
  • Ergonomics and Scaling – Through the centuries, great buildings related to the scale of the people who inhabited them. They also related most often related in scale to their immediate environment. While we love 3D imaging and computer modeling technologies, they are not only expensive for most clients’ pockets, they do not always give a sense of scale in a landscape or on a piece of land like a hand-made model would.
  • Affordability – The vast majority of architects’ clients have the finances (or have secured it), a piece of land and an idea of what they would like to achieve. This client type represents a small portion of society, yet makes up almost all of an architect’s clientele.

Depending on how much financing a client has at their disposal, an architect’s job in achieving something that satisfies both parties can be considered fairly easy. Not so with affordable architecture. The more affordable a project has to be, the more challenging it becomes for an architect. A good imagination and sense of creativity is needed to come up with great solutions. In such a situation, an architect can become almost an entrepreneur. Inventing an affordable solution that the masses can afford can truly become a very satisfying achievement for an  architect.

A client’s building or space must ‘speak’ to them. …. and they must awaken good emotions that foster healthy production attitudes and a zest for life.


Linda Louison
Principal | Chief Architect & Designer