architecture blog

Smaller Architecture Projects are Not Just a Sign of the Times

Posted by Christian Navar on Thu, Apr 21, 2011 @ 06:04 AM

When Modative started in the Spring of 2006, we formulated a firm philosophy that included making modern affordable (and not just because the economy was about to tank). Our intention was to create a business operating structure that didn’t have to rely on generating income solely off of huge, elaborate commissions. Early on, we strived to create a firm that embraced projects of varying type and size, in order to satisfy our mission to make good design accessible to as many people as possible. So, if you call and say that you love good, modern design, but have a very limited budget, we will still consider the job. 

A Small(er) Job

Recently, we received a call that aligned perfectly with our firm philosophy. Not only did our clients have a very limited budget, but they also had a tight and strictly defined schedule. “We have a baby on the way... in 7 months to be exact. We need bedrooms now!”

Project Schedule

Project Schedule

 

The project site consisted of an existing 1300-square-foot open loft space within a large multi-unit property. Our task was to take the hip, open loft space, and make it a bit more practical. 

Floor Plan Diagrams
Floor Plan Diagrams

 

The Challenge: Split the open loft space, adding two bedroom areas, but maintain the “lofty” quality of the space. 

The Result: A Volume, A Wall, & The Doors

 

A Volume

Volume Rendering

Rendering of new volume (nursery)

 

A volume was designed to shelter the new baby. Within the volume is the nursery. Aside from the bathrooms, the volume is the only fully enclosed, fully sound isolated, traditional bedroom space in the unit. It is the perfect space for a sleeping baby (not to mention a good room to contain the terrible 2’s!)

Photograph of VolumeAt the clients' request, an interior window was provided, allowing them to peek into the volume without disturbing their sleeping baby. Photo by Krystal Návar

 

Photograph of Volume from EntryPhotograph of new volume (nursery) from the entry. Photo by Krystal Návar

 

A Wall

Rendering of Wall

Rendering of the new wall from the living room

 

A wall was created to define the space between the living room and the bedroom/office area. Within the wall is much needed storage. A new closet is accessed from the bedroom side of the wall, while a new pantry is accessed from the kitchen side. 

Photograph of ClosetView of the new closet from the bedroom side of the wall. Photo by Krystal Návar

 

The Doors

Photograph of WallView of the new wall with the doors open. Photo by Krystal Návar

 

Within the new wall are a series of sliding, bypassing, pocketing barn doors. When closed, the 10’-0” tall doors provide privacy for the bedroom/office area. When opened, the large openings create definition, yet openness, within the lofty space. 

Photograph of Wall, Doors ClosedView of the new wall with the doors closed. Photo by Krystal Návar

 

Post by Christian Návar. Contributors to this post include Krystal Návar, Derek Leavitt and Michael Scott .

Tags: Residential, Los Angeles, Modern Design, Architecture portfolio, small homes, modern remodel, remodel, los angeles architects, affordable modern architecture

10 Questions for Architects to Ask Potential Residential Clients

Posted by Derek Leavitt on Wed, Dec 8, 2010 @ 07:12 AM

One of the most difficult client types to gauge when they first contact our architecture firm is single family residential clients. We often find ourselves asking them the same questions from memory in order to determine our architecture fee and if their project is a good fit for our office.

After repeating this exercise all too often, we decided that there was an easier way. So we wrote up a list of 10 questions for potential residential clients to answer. This was not an attempt to remove the personal touch of discussing a clients potential project over the phone or in a face-to-face meeting, but a way to be thorough in collecting all the basic information that helps us write better proposals that cater to the client's needs.

 

pool house architect los angeles

Would you like a pool house with that?

The idea was to email the questions over as a follow up to that first phone call. We decided to keep it simple. Make it multiple choice when we could and encourage short answers. Our previous attempts to create questionnaires like this were often bloated, causing our clients to feel overwhelmed and hesitant to complete them.

We created the document in Pages (Apple's version of Word), but then converted it to the more universal Microsoft Word format. As it says at the top of the document, the client can choose how they want to fill it out and return it to us.

Here's our 10 question Residential Project Checklist in its full format. A link to download this as a Word file is provided at the end of the post.

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Residential Project Checklist


10 quick questions to help us better understand your needs


1. Your Name:  Jane Doe


2. Phone Number(s): XXX.XXX.XXX


3. Email Address: janedoe@gmail.com


4. Spouse/Partner’s Name (if applicable):  John Doe


5. Project Address:
101 Terrace Ave
Los Angeles, CA 90000


6. My project falls under which categories (place an X in front of all that apply and briefly
describe):


__ Ground-up Residential
 Size: XXXX square feet
 Quick Description: Add quantity and type of rooms


__ Residential Remodel
 Size: XXXX square feet
 Quick Description: Add quantity and type of rooms


__ Residential Addition
 Size: XXXX square feet
 Quick Description: Add quantity and type of rooms


__ Pool/Pool House
 Size: XXXX square feet
 Quick Description: Add quantity and type of rooms


7. What is your estimated budget for the construction project?
 __ less than $25,000
  __$25,000 - $75,000
 __ $75,000 - $150,000
 __$150,000 - $250,000
  __ $250,000 - $500,000
 __ $500,000 - $1,000,000
  __ over $2,000,000

 


8. If you have a schedule in mind, please explain below:
 I’d like to start construction on this project in blank months.


9. If you are doing a remodel or addition, do you have any existing plans of the house? (please
mark all that apply):
 __ I don’t have any plans.
 __ I have physical copies of the plans (like old blueprints).
 __ I have digital copies of the plans (like .dwg or .pdf files).
 __ I drew up the plans myself

 

10. Anything else you care to share about your project?
    Things you must have? Ideas on green design?

 

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Here's a link to download the Residential Client Checklist

If you have any suggestions or key questions you think the list is missing, please feel free to add them in the comments.

Contributors to this post include Christian Návar, Michael Scott and Krystal Návar.

Tags: Residential, Architectual Practice, architecture resorces, remodel, los angeles architects