Entrance hall for Global Switch Datacentre

Defining the architect’s role and scope of intervention from the outset

For every new project we undertake, we strive from the outset to clearly define the client’s requirements. While the overall purpose of the project may be perfectly clear, it is essential to address the fundamental issues of planning, budget and expected quality standards in order for the project to proceed satisfactorily. Indeed, without answers to these points, the project cannot move forward. Often the clientjust wants the project to be completed in the shortest time delay with the least amount of disruption for the lowest budget possible. However, the client must intervene throughout the whole project and make decisions at key moments. The architect is there to accompany the client in this process, informing and advising on decisions to be made and to monitor the approved programme, ensuring the schedule is adhered to.

Client intervention is essential

Completed shop fit out for Nike in Paris
It is the client’s responsibility to be well informed about the project, to know its different characteristics, to be interested in its development and be aware of the approved documentation that is submitted. At each step decisions can be made promptly and it is essential that the client be present at key stages in the process. This hand’s on intervention from the client gives a stronger sense to the architectural project and reassures any external consultants and contributors of the seriousness of the scheme.

The scope of intervention by the architect and its impact on the budget

As part of any potential construction project, often some initial administrative forms have to be submitted before further studies and research can proceed. Normally this stage is not the architect’s responsibility. However, it is often the case that the client is unfamiliar with these procedures. If the client is not a professional in the construction industry and does not know the required process, we are available to advise and inform at these early stages of the project. At the client’s request, we can undertake the tasks that would normally be under his area of responsibility and integrate this part of the mission into our scope, to be included in the overall budget. As part of tender package negotiations, the client specifies what is included in the overall budget and what is included as optional missions to be dealt with separately.