This year marks Architecttura’s 25th anniversary. To commemorate this milestone, we will publish a series of articles to highlight some of the lessons we’ve learned along the way and to share some of the stories and developments that helped shape our unique approach to the practice of architecture.
So much has changed since we first opened our doors in 1993. The technology by which we develop and express our designs is arguably the most dramatic difference since our pen-and-paper days. Digital technology has touched everything we do – even to the point where artificial intelligence manages some forms of “thinking” for us, pushing the boundaries of design into breathtaking new dimensions. We’ll have more to say on this subject, particularly the “parametric design” area and its revolutionary impact, in a future article.
Technology has also allowed us to analyse building designs in previously unthinkable ways. We can now model virtually every aspect of a building’s performance, both as a static installation and as a projection an evolving entity over time. Put another way, we can now accurately predict the long-term cost implications of virtually any design option, from a window placement to a shift in site alignment. This 4-D planning capacity and the picture it produces of performance over time gives us and our clients an unprecedented, objective basis for evaluating design alternatives. We’ll offer more on that in a future installment.
Access to sophisticated 4-D planning has opened another “new” door for us and our clients: the concept of The Master Builder. We say “new” in quotes because, ironically, the revolutionary capability we are referring to is actually quite ancient, dating back to the very earliest practitioners of architecture. Those Master Builders of old did not merely design buildings; they also managed the construction of each project on what we would today call a turn-key basis.
Moreover, 4-D planning allows us to project long-term upkeep requirements and life-cycle building costs. That’s significant, given that initial construction represents only 30% of a typical building’s lifetime costs. Our Master Builder approach allows us to accurately forecast and budget for those lifetime costs, and establish pre-emptive maintenance plans, long before the first shovel hits the ground. More to follow on that story, too.
As architectural practitioners, we’ve grown and expanded through all of these and other changes, methodically broadening the scope of our capabilities in order to offer our clients ever more innovative, efficient, functional and inspiring spaces. By building intelligence into everything we do – applying technology and the insights of our experience – we’ve positioned ourselves and our firm for another 25 years of dynamic growth and development.
Stay tuned for more and please join us in celebrating this milestone year.