getting several architects to design extension?

getting several architects to design extension?

Postby cobalt » Fri Jul 24, 2009 11:31 am

I have a house that I want to renovate completely – getting rid of old flat conversions and turning into a single dwelling, knocking down some crappy old extensions, replacing with one attractive extension, replumbing, rewiring etc. I see this as being my long-term home, so want the work to be as well-designed as possible. It's also a protected structure.

Would it be ok to get a number of different architects to view the site and give ideas (sketch and conversation – not full-blown plans) so I could then pick the one I like most, and maybe incorporate ideas from several in the final plans, drawn up by whoever seems the best person to take the project to completion?

There wouldn’t be any pretence involved – each architect would know they ultimately mightn’t be the one to get the job, so it would be a stand-alone piece of work

Or is this simply not the done thing?

If it is possible, roughly how much do you think it might cost per consultation? I know that’s probably like asking ‘How long is a piece of string?’ but any guidance would be helpful. Thanks.
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Re: getting several architects to design extension?

Postby missarchi » Fri Jul 24, 2009 1:11 pm

don't you think 7 is pushing it for an extension?

Have you written your own version of what you think your brief is yet?
That would be a start...
Open house event might have also been helpful...

good luck with it and post some of the sketches!
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Re: getting several architects to design extension?

Postby 2cuobserving » Mon Jul 27, 2009 11:17 am

no i think its probably fine. just let them know that you want a few architects to look at it. it basically is a mini competition. i would like to look at it also
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Re: getting several architects to design extension?

Postby Bob Dole » Tue Jul 28, 2009 10:48 pm

RIAI really doesn't like that sort of thing - unless it's an actual competition.
There was definitely guidance against it - not too sure if it made it into the code of conduct. Basically they are worried that it would cause a race to the bottom regarding designs - which is where the really unique talent for architects is.

If you are fairly serious about it, contact the RIAI saying that you want an open/closed competition on the design, with appointment of the winner at standard fees - they'd probably help you set it up.
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Re: getting several architects to design extension?

Postby NK111 » Wed Jul 29, 2009 3:16 pm

“Would it be ok to get a number of different architects to view the site and give ideas (sketch and conversation – not full-blown plans) so I could then pick the one I like most, “


Yes.

“and maybe incorporate ideas from several in the final plans, drawn up by whoever seems the best person to take the project to completion?”


No, such designs constitute intellectual property. Otherwise one could get an award winning architect to create a sketch design and then fire him, to save on fees, getting Joey the technician to draw it up for next to nothing, passing it off as his own creation, maybe even winning an award for it himself???
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Re: getting several architects to design extension?

Postby cobalt » Wed Aug 05, 2009 11:39 am

Thanks for all the replies folks. Just catching up after holiday.

@ missarchi - I didn't have as many as 7 architects in mind - by 'several' I meant perhaps 3-4.

Don't know what to do now after NK111's post. There's not much benefit in getting ideas from multiple people if they can't be incorporated in the final design. I wouldn't be aiming for any deception, but even if I choose the 'best' design and have the architect that designed it to run the project, there's probably bound to be something that person didn't think of that could improve the build, and I'd obviously want to incorporate it if so. Nobody has a monopoly on wisdom - or creativity.
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Re: getting several architects to design extension?

Postby missarchi » Wed Aug 05, 2009 12:04 pm

so what's the story where are the plans for us?:p
I would wait until you get to that point in time where there are other ideas you want.
or pay them all a fee for the sketches with a condition you can use no more than 5% of the concept or something get them to describe the concept in 10 bullet points...

if I don't see some sketches I won't be a happy camper;)
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Re: getting several architects to design extension?

Postby cajual » Wed Aug 05, 2009 12:08 pm

cobalt wrote:Nobody has a monopoly on wisdom - or creativity.


It's called intellectual copyright. If the architects arent paid for it, yet their design in still used in some way or other, you are effectively stealing it.
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Re: getting several architects to design extension?

Postby cobalt » Wed Aug 05, 2009 12:21 pm

That came across wrong. By "nobody has a monopoly on wisdom or creativity" I meant that I believe nobody on their own is going to come up with the perfect design - there's always going to be somebody who'll have a better idea for some aspect of it. I didn't mean people haven't the right to protect their own ideas.

That's why I don't know what to do now!
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Re: getting several architects to design extension?

Postby wearnicehats » Wed Aug 05, 2009 12:29 pm

yep -intellectual copyright - very sticking wicket you're on.

it depends on the agreement you have as well. Sometimes architect's will waive the copyright issue for an additional fee or in lieu of a fee to cover the work they've done to that point - that's what I would do (if I had any interest in a dutch auction, which I don't). If it were me and I had not agreed this with you and had not been given the job I'd be looking very closely at any future planning application you put in with the solicitor's letter ready....

of course, any daycent archimetekt knows this and will advise you on what is naughty and will ensure that the ideas of others are either suitably camouflaged or left out altogether
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Re: getting several architects to design extension?

Postby henno » Wed Aug 05, 2009 12:29 pm

cobalt wrote:That came across wrong. By "nobody has a monopoly on wisdom or creativity" I meant that I believe nobody on their own is going to come up with the perfect design - there's always going to be somebody who'll have a better idea for some aspect of it. I didn't mean people haven't the right to protect their own ideas.

That's why I don't know what to do now!


cobalt wrote:There's not much benefit in getting ideas from multiple people if they can't be incorporated in the final design. I wouldn't be aiming for any deception, but even if I choose the 'best' design and have the architect that designed it to run the project, there's probably bound to be something that person didn't think of that could improve the build, and I'd obviously want to incorporate it if so. Nobody has a monopoly on wisdom - or creativity.



Do you remember that episode of the simpsons when Homer was allowed design a car for his long lost brother..... thats what you are in danger of doing here, if you attempt to pick and choose deign features from different designs.....
no one goes into a car show room saying i want the fender of a rolls royce, the chassis of a bmw, the engine of a zonda, the wheels of a maclaren F1, the exhaust of a starlet etc etc..... this leads to the bastardisation of a design solution....

you would much better off asking 3-4 architects to come up with a sketch design based on a common brief, and going with the solution that you like the best and fits your needs the best..... that is how you get the best results....

you are starting off from a point of not trusting any architect, which is a very bad point to start with....
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Re: getting several architects to design extension?

Postby what? » Wed Aug 05, 2009 12:45 pm

With no offence intended Cobalt, your view is very naieve in relation to how design works.

Assuming you get people who are decent architects, not as many as you'd imagine in dublin, then the designs they propose should be holistic designs, not a pick and mix of autonomous elements.

take away and substitute one or several parts from a design and the likelihood is that the whole will collapse (not litterally).

unless your focus is purely functional (assuming the function of beauty is excluded) this is a flawed approach.

much better to seek out an architect(s) who's work you appreciate and trust them to give you something coherent and beautiful.

Open House is a good suggestion or look at the AAI new irish architecture books to see if anything takes your interest
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Re: getting several architects to design extension?

Postby cobalt » Thu Aug 06, 2009 3:18 pm

Ok, thanks all. I need to rethink this. I guess it's just with any major expenditure I always like to research around it and make the best possible decision. You think it's still ok to ask a few different architects for a sketch/ideas as long as I only use one, holistically? Any idea how much I might expect to pay for that kind of thing? (Times are tough, but at the same time I see this as being my long-term home and don't want to mess up!!)

Also, because it's a complete renovation of a protected structure (the house is currently in flats) as well as knocking down an old extension and putting a new one in place instead, would it need someone with expertise in protected structures? I saw from the RIAI website that there are specialist conservation postgrad qualifications. Should I only ask people with this qualification for ideas, even though there's also the new extension part of the project too?
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Re: getting several architects to design extension?

Postby Paul Clerkin » Thu Aug 06, 2009 3:20 pm

the brief is everything - by all means ask multiple architects - but give them a good brief - show them work from magazines / books that you like, stuff you want incorporated etc - and the resulting designs hopefully will be exciting to you
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