The perfect 'brief'

Last week I met with some prospective clients who provided me with one of the best briefs I’ve ever seen (attached for you to read). As an architect, it had everything I wanted to see. It listed the functional requirements of the home, without being too prescriptive. It gave a clear idea of who the clients were, and what was important in their lives, without overwhelming me with detail. Plus, it provided a clear budget with an indication of its degree of flexibility.

When prospective clients contact us at Jigsaw Housing we provide them with some questions to help them put together their brief. The important thing to remember is why we are here. An architect’s job is primarily to translate your requirements and wishes into reality, based on your budget and site. When writing a brief it can be hard to find the balancing point where you have communicated everything you want, without limiting the architects ability to produce a great outcome. For example, saying “we need a separate study room next to the master bedroom” is far more limiting than saying “we want a quiet space for a desk, separate from the main living room”.

Good communication with your architect is the key to achieving the home you want. If you can help us to understand your priorities and how you wish to live, then we can consider the function, aesthetics, light, warmth, social spaces and connection to outdoors, and achieve a truly great outcome for you.

We feel clients are most rewarded when they collaborate rather than dictate. However, it is also our role as the architect to earn your trust and to remember whose house it is. If something is important to you then it is important to us (although we will often ask why and challenge you to consider alternatives… but that’s our job!)

great brief = great collaboration = great design = great home

by Sarah Herbert, Graduate Architect