Architecture / June 23, 2018 / .
The choice of the architect as lead designer is a key decision on any project and will reflect the clients priorities, particularly those related to cost and quality. Clients who plan to develop high quality or landmark developments often employ high profile design practices. Indeed internationally acclaimed architects including Daniel Liebskind, Santiago Calatrava and Dublin-born Pritzker prize-winning Kevin Roche have completed projects in Dublin in the recent past. The leading Irish architectural practices are likewise normally in high demand and clients are keen to buy into their signature. High expectations are usually linked to high prices and such clients will expect to pay a premium on prestigious projects. Nevertheless, they may not be prepared to provide total carte blanche to the architect. Architects, quite naturally, may be reluctant to drop quality standards and compromise their brand to reduce costs and it may difficult for the quantity surveyor to control costs in these circumstances. In this regard Ashworth refers to a cynic who described architecture as the design of beautiful buildings that satisfy only the architect and not the client. At the other end of the cost spectrum a client may require a practical, nononsense design to accommodate a production process. Such designs are often developed by architects operating within a design and build arrangement where providing an economic design is essential to winning the contract.
Buildings affect everyone and can intrude on the freedom, privacy or rights of individuals. Statutory legislation regulates many activities of those who wish to build. Planning legislation controls the appearance and intensity of planning of buildings and may limit the extent of development on particular sites. Building control legislation establishes minimum standards and requires that buildings are safe and efficient to use. Safety legislation sets out to eliminate accidents to persons in the course of constructing the building. Environmental legislation protects society and wider environment from potential negative effects of the development process.
The worst part about lowering the quality as you increase the size is that it eventually lowers the re-sale price. Take a look online in the neighborhood or area of town you are interested in and look for only homes that all cost the same amount of money, say a million dollars. When I do this exercise, I almost always find some larger homes that are not all that attractive and some smaller homes that are well-designed and beautiful. Bigger does not translate into better resale value. The price per square foot of a home with a focus on quality is higher than a larger home that sacrificed quality for size. And this only becomes more evident as the home ages.
It is clear that the purpose of a building will have a major bearing on its cost. Housing has a very different cost range to apartments and commercial development. Likewish the cost of providing public amenities such as conference centres, theatres and sports stadia cannot be directly related to the provision of public infrastructure such as hospitals or schools. The cost of each building must be related to its individual design, which may be benchmarked against similar national and international projects.