Good architecture is often easier to sense than to define. What exactly makes an architect’s work good? A long list of awards? A trend-setting or signature style? Or perhaps specializing in a certain building type, like sports arenas, with laser focus?
We think differently at Selser Schaefer Architects. In a word, good architecture comes down to engagement — on our part and that of our clients.
We’re passionate about architecture. To a person, we are enamored with what we do. But we can’t do it by ourselves. We can design a building, but we can’t give it a soul without knowing its true purpose. This is where complete engagement with the client comes in.
Engagement takes us beyond a building’s program — the necessary roadmap of client requirements — to the building’s parti. The parti is the building’s story, its reason to be, the armature to which the entire design is attached.
A strong parti gives us answers all along the design path, answers like architectural vocabulary, colors, proportions…virtually everything. And in the end, it gives the client something that’s all them.
A parti can’t happen without an engaged client, because it must come from their vision. We can’t make it up. And because we can’t make it up, we do not have a particular architectural style. We have architectural authenticity.
If you find yourself in the fortunate opportunity to select an architect for your vision, remember: don’t just select or hire an architect. Engage an architect — and then be willing to engage with them on a level you never thought possible.