The Importance of an Architectural Brief

— 16 Dec 2019, 13:00 by Magnus Strom

Strom Architects Resource Brief

For clients, all projects starts with an idea. For us this also comes with a question: what is it that our clients want?

When we start a project we are often given a brief, but in reality this is more a “list of wants”. Sometimes it is just a list of rooms, and sometimes it is a collection of images, but most often it is a combination of the two.

One of our first jobs on a project is to turn this “list of wants” into an “architectural brief”. The purpose of this exercise is to interrogate what our clients want, need and aspire to in the design of their home.

We make a difference between hard “needs” such as number of bedrooms, and “soft” needs which describes how you want things to look or function. “Wants” are often separated out as optional extras, but not necessary for the success of the project.

The amount of work required to put this brief together varies greatly from project to project depending on the requirements and budget. For very small projects, sometimes a discussion and an email will suffice, whereas for complex projects, the brief becomes a schedule of areas, as well as a written description of the clients, the site, relationships between rooms, what each room needs to contain, as well as what the look and feel of the spaces should be.

Our role is to understand the client and help them to develop the project brief. We ask questions to gain an understanding of how clients live, what their priorities are, and how they want to use the house.

By doing this at the outset of the project, we can help define the important parts, and what we are working towards. It is of great importance that our views and understanding are aligned view with that of our clients, to ensure we are all working towards the same goal.

A well thought through brief is the first step in the direction of trying to tell the clients’ stories. The better we understand and formulate the brief, the better we can design a house that is uniquely theirs.

Our houses are a bespoke piece of tailoring, not an off-the-peg ill-fitted suit.

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