A Leap of Faith

My firm recently completed a large scale estate project for a wonderful Canadian client.  This led me to think about the design process and the role that hand sketches and imagination play in the work.

When the firm was engaged, I made numerous rough sketches, floor plans, elevations and thumbnail perspectives to illustrate my thoughts.

A few of the earlier quick sketches flowed into the final design.

What began in my imagination was transferred directly onto paper in an unconscious way through sketches.  The hand-eye communication is direct and captures the fundamental features and character of the home. That is not to say, it is unstudied or that years of training and experience do not go into its making.

One of these sketches was referred to more than any other, and became the touchstone for the project.  As the team moved towards the final design, we all referred to this preliminary sketch in discussions over the selection of building materials, design features and architectural character.

As the design was nearing completion, the client told me that what they found most satisfying about working with us was our ability to capture in sketch form not only what their new home would look like but feel like.  I remember them saying: It looks and feels like the home we imagined.

In reality, there were many points of difference between the presentation sketches and the details which were refined for the final product.  I think the client believed the success of our working collaboratively was that the sketch was their fantasy home and that it embodied not just the look of the house but personality.

Imagine how difficult it would be to purchase a painting, clothing or food without being able to see, feel for touch the product.  This is the challenge for any creative work; to be able to visually explain the features and personality of a home while using pencil and paper.

A new home lies in the future based on the design sketches that convey the finished product.

We were very fortunate to have such a wonderful client and their gift to us was their imagination and trust in the process.

The architects sketches try to find solutions and natural resolutions to every uncertainty.  The client, puts trust in the architect with a leap of faith that the sketches will become their new home.

Residential Design. A boutique firm with 48 years of experience.
Designing houses is not only what I do for a living it is what I love to do.
Visit John @williamsresidentialdesign.ca

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