Architecture is a service profession. It’s much more than making drawings that get built by a contractor. At Michael Dant Architect LLC, each aspect of a project is treated in relation to the project’s whole.
What are the functional, financial, legal and aesthetic requirements? What is the required time frame? Does the project have a site, or is finding the site part of the project?
Before architecture can begin, there has to be a thorough understanding of the project’s context. What are the client’s motivations for doing a project? What is the character of the organization? Who are the key players? A thorough understanding of the client is essential in team forming, communication and obtaining reviews and approvals.
In any project, there are multiple forces that must be resolved for a project to move forward. From initial planning, schematic design, and detail development; to material selection, contract documents, permitting and construction; the project as a whole must inform all decisions made. I believe one of the most important jobs an architect must do is to synthesize the work of the project team (client, engineers, consultants, contractors and officials) with the schedule, budget, site and project design. More than pretty images, the project design encompasses shelter, utility, structure, comfort, accommodation and longevity. They all have to work together, in three dimensions, and in the real world.
Closely allied with Synthesis, Creativity is a vital part of architectural services. It’s what elevates a project from “good enough” to “I can’t believe it’s ours”. This happens when all the project’s elements provide the basis for aesthetic engagement. When light, space, structure and materials come together to make an inspirational environment. My architecture is grounded in human activity and perception; character; and a willingness to keep myself open to ideas from my client, site, community and history. My favorite projects have been valued by their clients for their timeless quality, simplicity, flexibility and accommodation of their individuality.
Michael Dant Architect LLC takes its role of client advocate very seriously. As the creator of the project’s Contract Documents (specifications, drawings and construction administration), I represent the interests and rights of my client to the community, regulatory agencies and contractors who build the work. As the project creator, I am in the best position to ensure that it is being built in accordance with the contract documents and the client’s contract with the builder. This advocacy ensures that the client receives full value for their money, and is treated fairly by regulatory and community groups. During construction, when discovered conditions or unexpected code interpretations require amendments to the original design, I ensure that these changes are done with fidelity to the whole project, including the budget and schedule.
Whatever the project site, from a historic factory to a downtown office tower, a project’s environment must be treated with care and respect. By making informed decisions about materials, technology and resource usage, Michael Dant Architect LLC can enhance a project’s relationship with its natural, historical and social context. A well-designed project improves connectivity between inside and outside; gives occupants pleasure by enabling their own control over comfort; and expands awareness by embracing human needs and perception.