Architectural Design Stages

There are a number of stages which are undertaken applying in all architectural disciplines from land planning to architecture, to structural, mechanical and electrical design, through to interior design and furnishing.

Stage 1: Architectural Brief

Creating a brief is the first stage of the architectural process. This is where you define what should be the architectural style (modern, classic, gothic, sculptural etc.) and what sort of mix (types of units and facilities) would be beneficial. It’s best if this is defined by research into the intended target market and what would appeal to them.

Stage 2: Architectural Concept

The creation of an architectural concept is to determine the direction of the architectural process. During this stage site layout options and building envelopes are formed in addition to sample unit types often for more than one vision in order that the client can select from among them. Some firms offer a site workshop or charette, where their team investigate the site over a period of a couple of days in order to come up with the output. The customer remains on site during the process to feedback at pre-defined intervals.

Stage 3: Schematic Design

During the schematic design phase the specific site plan, building envelopes, unit types is established for the approval of the customer. Here there is validation of the units types, the architectural building facades, common area locations. At the end of this stage, the customer and the architect have a clear impression of the project design with the detail to be enhanced during the next stage based on the approved schematic.

Stage 4: Design Development

During this stage of the architectural process, the details are defined resulting in final unit layouts and sizes, the rough specification of cladding materials and work to secure indicative costs of construction and development can begin. At the end of this stage there are scale drawings provided including floor plates and elevations to a level from which market testing can start and work can commence on indicative product pricing and even CGI development for marketing purposes.

Stage 5: Construction Drawings

Construction drawings are the stage at which the final detail is set out and detailed specifications are made to match building materials, equipment and methods of construction. During this stage drawings are checked against code requirements for the relevant country. The mechanical, electrical and structural drawings are validated. This is the stage at which bids can be sought from contractors and planning and building permissions can be sought.

Stage 6: Site Review & Mock-Ups

During the construction process there are periodic reviews of the design and construction to tweak and adjust based on site works. At each stage of construction a mock-up is done to validate the design and function of the spaces. This also gives the opportunity, to a degree, to implement any new technologies as they are introduced to the market. This is the final opportunity to make adjustments to materials and other spaces.

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