Have It Your Way — What Makes Architecture Successful
The architect’s job isn’t to use the client as a way to accomplish their very own creations, but to design a party of their client’s life by meeting all the essential program requirements with creativity and imagination. A sheet of architecture may look great in a magazine, but if it does not satisfy the client’s requirements in a beautiful and practical way, it’s failed.
How does one create architecture that is successful? The answer lies in its very purpose.
First, by means of background, I participated in a ideabook discussion centered around some odd elements of a project I had recently completed. The layout was provocative and elicited many comments, some sort and some not.
As far as I love a compliment, I was most absorbed by the remarks that began, “If this were my house, I’d have … ” Or, “If it had been me, I would have done … ” This discovered a common stereotype of an architect’s work: that we are arrogant egomaniacs who bully customers into building our very own visions. I will agree that those architects do indeed exist (that sentence might have just cost me some future American Institute of Architects membership), and I often have to fight this back stereotype early in my client relationships.
But rather than talking stereotypes, let us talk about what structure should be. My answer to these remarks? Obviously. Obviously it could be different. Obviously it might reflect you.
When I had been a musician, and individual A from a small town in Michigan hired me to write a piece of music which has been a party of her life, that piece of music could be significantly different than a piece of music composed to celebrate the life of individual B, who lives in Los Angeles. That is the way it should be, and structure is only frozen music ( or so said Johann Wolfgang von Goethe).
Too frequently a work of design is judged unfairly since it is supposed to be the product of a ego-driven architect bullying a client into building the architect’s vision. But the very best design is in reality a product of a client eager to talk about her or his eccentricities and an architect who’s willing to integrate those eccentricities into a unique and imaginative structure.
As I said in my remarks, if this were your house, possibly the fireplace shown here could be wrapped in steel. If the house belonged to Colonel Sanders, the fireplace could be wrapped in chicken feathers.
That’s the best thing about design: individualization. A detail which arouses a personal thought or feeling for the homeowner.
This floor plan is for a client who dislikes right angles. In her words: “If my house has one right angle, I will be very unhappy.”
What a professional architect misses by not picking up on a client’s small eccentricities is an opportunity for individualization that is likely to produce the structure special and bring it to life.
SeARCH Architecture and Urban Planning
Architecture isn’t about perfect universal solutions. Those do not exist. It is about solutions appropriate to the context of the project. The context is the client’s requirements, site conditions, climate, budget and so on.
Kuhl Design Build LLC
I really like this example of individualization, since it resembles a kid in a giant washing machine. Architecture is always best viewed through the eyes of a youngster’s imagination.
I really like the giraffe head in this house since it provides a whimsy to the space that reflects the client’s comedy. It is amusing, and modern structure frequently takes itself too seriously.
And I really like the stone fireplace in the third picture from the top since the stone is personal to the homeowner, a piece of the past. The stone makes that house her house.
That is architecture.