The importance of the client-architect relationship
At Reid Brewin Architects the relationship between the client and our team of architects is paramount for a successful architectural project. Throughout the project many questions arise that require effective and regular interaction between the architect and the client. A good working relationship based on clear communication is the key to a project’s success.
Communication based on mutual trust and respect
No matter the size, complexity, cost and length of the programme involved, we believe it is essential to communicate clearly with mutual respect for each other’s viewpoint and to be attentive to each other’s needs and requests. This is especially important when it comes to projects initiated across different cultural backgrounds, different languages and possibly even different time zones. The very nature of an architectural project raises many challenges for all those concerned. How everyone reacts to these challenges and how sometimes difficult conditions are addressed and resolved, will have a significant impact on the conduct and completion of the project. This is why we put such emphasis on the importance of clear communication in the best conditions possible.
Project management and architectural knowledge
In general when a client requires advice and guidance on any part of the construction process, he will call upon the services of an architect. Working with a fully qualified professional in the construction industry means this person is able to address most of the questions that arise, which may often require further research and knowledge of where to find the answers. The key advantage of working with an architect is that he usually will know the most effective response to a particular issue and will continue to question further in order to ensure the correct solutions are found. In many cases the client will not regularly have had to deal with architectural projects and the complexities of the construction industry. They may have no experience of managing a building project or the procedures and issues involved. In this instance we would either recommend they seek the advice and assistance of a project manager, or if the client prefers, as experienced architects we are also able to accompany them in this area of expertise, with a supplementary budget required to cover the management of the project.
Collaborative discussions in search of the best solutions:
It is important to seek the architect’s advice but even more beneficial to ask questions. A questioning nature shows that the client wishes to actively participate and understand all aspects of the project. By questioning and discussing the issues, often other important points emerge raising further questions which allow the architect to be clear of the client’s requirements for the project and therefore provide a suitable response. Open and constructive collaboration is fundamentally important for a successful project and for the satisfaction of the client. The key to success is in questioning, listening, not ignoring each other’s opinions or recommendations and in asking for clarification of any issues of concern.
Avoiding pitfalls in the operational process
Sometimes some adverse circumstances arise in the operational process of a construction project that can be unfavourable to its smooth running. For example, change of key personnel within the client’s operation during the project, absence of project meetings, lack of time and resources to work effectively, etc. can all have a detrimental effect on the final outcome. Our experience is such that we recommend and fully welcome clients to ask questions, to express their concerns and decide as early as possible in the design process the quality level of materials and details they are looking for, as well as to pay close attention to the budget and planning schedule throughout the project.