Dialogue forms the foundation of studioWTA’s architectural process. Our ongoing discussions with clients allow us to understand their vision and respond to it. We uncover expectations in order to build upon them and to develop concepts that heighten them, often exploring possibilities that hadn’t yet been considered.
The architectural process for studioWTA’s projects entails three phases:
Our team develops concepts based on a project’s intended functionality, but also considers the emotional experience the client is searching for in experiencing the end product. Our research process looks into building techniques, legal requirements, relationships with nearby properties, historical contexts, environmental impact, and the existing spirit and aesthetics of the neighborhood or landscape. Limitations become opportunities.
Design usually begins with old-school paper sketches. We find that physical drawings best communicate intentions that elicit instantaneous feedback from clients. Once a conceptual design has reached a certain point, we move on to digital 3-D modeling. Interactive design sessions show the client how subtle manipulations can impact the entire project, from sunlight through windows, to spatial issues, to the overall aesthetic. During integrated design meetings, we bring in engineers and other necessary consultants to establish or expand expectations, determine costs, and discuss structural details.
Craft is the ultimate expression of an architectural idea. Finessing a design that has been resolved to a large degree, we look for ways to encourage the art of the structure’s details to come through. This stage involves everything from selecting materials and finishes based on how they interact aesthetically to choosing casework, trim, fixtures, and even furnishings. Craft is about piecing together construction techniques with physical expression in order to create function, durability, and beauty.
Photo by Zack Smith Photography