design + energy + excellence

Author: Brian Kehoe

Your First Meeting With an Architect

You’ve decided to build. Congratulations!

Starting this process can be daunting and stressful, the most important thing is to not get overwhelmed and take this process step by step. To help we have put together a few tips to prepare you for your first meeting with an Architect.

Property Information

Make sure you provide the location of your property to the Architect. A site in a Special Area of Conservation will have different demands than a site in the middle of Wexford town, for example.

It is also important that the Architect knows about the topography of your site, is it sloped?, is it flat? In reality, we have to design around what is existing on the site or around any existing properties. If you have photos of the site please bring them to the first meeting.

Provide as much site information as you can at the beginning, this will assist the Architect in having a good first impression of the challenges involved. If you have survey drawings, ordnance survey maps, or existing plans, please bring them to the first meeting.

Brief

One of the best things you can do to ensure a successful first meeting is to spend time thinking about what do you want. This would be your wish list and Architects call it the ‘Brief’.

The brief describes the requirements you have – the Architect will endeavor to fulfill the brief during the design process. The brief does not need to be fully developed for the first meeting but it is helpful that you can give the Architect an overall indication of what you are trying to achieve.

Don’t be afraid to bring example pictures of designs you like – explaining and showing what you like will give your Architect direction and inspiration. What you don’t like is also important, make sure you share this with your Architect.

Pre-Planning Consultation

The planning stage can be confusing if you are not familiar with the process.

The Planning and Development Act 2000 introduced the convenience of Pre-Planning consultations between potential applicants who have an interest in the land and the planning authority. This is a service free of charge.

Having a Pre-Planning consultation with a planner will give clarity on what can be achieved for your proposed development. This is not an absolute requirement for your first meeting with an Architect but it could be helpful to have it done as it may speed up the process.

You can follow this link to the Wexford planning department explaining everything you need to know about Pre-Planning Consultations:

https://www.wexfordcoco.ie/planning/planning-applications/preplanning

Budget

Before starting anything it is important to look at your finances and have a clear set budget. Your Architect will need to know this as early as possible to design within your financial limits. Having a budget in place early in the process will set you and your architect in the right direction from the word go. When dealing with a tight budget be clear in explaining what is most important to you. The architect can take this information and priorities into your design.

If setting a budget is too difficult just let the Architect know this. Architects can work without a budget, and as soon as the Concept Design is developed they can estimate what budget you will need.

Be Prepared With Questions

Ask as many questions as you can to make sure you leave the meeting satisfied, leave no stone unturned as they say. As Architects, we listen and answer a lot of questions, no question is too silly when it comes to this industry.


Hopefully, this information will put you on the right path when beginning your new project.

Get in touch with us by email at office@isabelbarrosarchitects.ie or phone 053 916 8942 to schedule your first meeting with an Architect.

The Pritzker Award Winners 2021

The Pritzker award, established in 1979 by the Pritzker family is awarded to a living architect/s for producing consistent and significant contributions to humanity. The award is granted annually and considered to be one of the highest achievements in the world of architectural design.

Anne Lacaton and Jean-Philippe Vassal, the 2021 Pritzker Architecture Prize Laureates

This year’s 2021 Pritzker Award was awarded to Anne Lacaton, Saint-Pardoux, France & Jean-Philippe Vassal, Casablanca Morocco.

Lacation & Vassal met in the late 1970s during formal architecture training at École Nationale Supérieure d’Architecture et de Paysage de Bordeaux. Lacaton went on to complete her Masters in Urban Design, while Vassal took another path deciding to relocate to Niger to practice Urban design. It was during a visit to Niger when Lacaton and Vassal started working together.

With their extensive experience in Urban Design, the two decided to explore the aspect of reusing and refurbishing existing structures rather than demolition. Some of their works to date include the following.

100 Units, Tour Bois Le Pretre, Social Housing, 2011 Paris, France

Working with Frederic Druot, the two took this tower originally built in the 1960s which was in serious need of upgrading, in all areas, went against the proposed demolition plans, turning the tower structure into a 100 unit apartment block.

Multipurpose Theater, 2013, Lille, France

Working as a multipurpose municipal hall that can host several different events. Due to its flexible floor plan, sliding doors, and windows, modular and reconfigurable seating to expand the space, the facade can retract fully and open any event onto the gardens.

Frac Nord-Pas de Calais, 2013, Dunkerque, France

This postwar Shipbuilding was due to be demolished, however, Lacaton and Vassal decided to construct a 2nd building in identical shape and size. The original shipbuilding is now used for changing public programming. The new includes galleries, offices, and storage for contemporary art.

House in Bordeaux, 1999, Bourdeaux, France

Once a cold industrial factory, now a warm inviting residential home. Replacing parts of the existing roof with transparent polycarbonate sheets, retractable walls, and oversized windows allows light to travel through the open-plan layout.

129 Units, Ourcq-Juarès Student and Social Housing, 2013, Paris, France

Located in the 19th district, Paris France. The 129 Units consist of 98 student apartments, 30 social dwelling, a specialist care home, and 3 commercial shops turning this disused structure into a busy community.

Lacaton & Vassal was established in1987 in Paris. Since 2017, Lacaton has been a professor of Architecture and Design at the Swiss Federal Institute of technology. Zurich Switzerland. Vassal is an associated professor at the Uniersitat der Kunste. Berlin, Germany, since 2012.

On behalf of the staff at Isabel Barros Architects, Wexford, we congratulate Anne Lacaton and Jean-Philippe Vassal on winning this prestigious award and look forward to seeing what they do next.