Mimi Davey – Director, Davey Architecture Studio

Establishing a successful client and architect relationship

Building your dream home is a collaborative venture. Indeed, a successful collaboration is often defined by a proactive relationship with the builder, the suppliers and equally as important, the right architect and design team.

An ideal project team should encompass individuals with a passive desire to add value, inspiration, functionality and guidance to bring your dream home to fruition.

The first part of this blog series focuses on what can make for a successful client and architect relationship.

Our collaborative building projects with renowned Melbourne Architect Mimi Davey, Director of Davey Architecture Studio, have truly encompassed many great outcomes. And so, for those embarking on a new residential project, we bring you key insights from Mimi Davey on the foundations that have formed many successful client and architect relationships.

“Often, when embarking on their first home build, a client can quickly immerse their thoughts in the creative essence of aesthetics and lose sight of crucial project considerations. This may include aspects such as form and functionality, spatial relationships and most importantly, communication,” says Mimi Davey.

“It is vital that a client forms a clear brief of their functional requirements as their build is likely to be one of the most substantial investments during their lifetime and have an ongoing lifestyle impact. Hence, we advise the importance of considering their functional needs now and into the future. Click here for more information on how to create a great deisgn brief for an architect.

For a client deciding to build or renovate their own home, it is critical for the relationship between client and architect to click from the beginning.  In our experience, thorough into finding an architect that is aligned with their project type and values, ensures the client is in the best position to achieve their goal and enjoy the journey,” adds Mimi.

It goes without saying, prior to the commencement of any project of substantial scale or investment, a client must be well prepared. Generally, with a set of questions regarding key products and materials, a project checklist, [for DDB Design’s free checklists, click here] references and so on. However, an important insight into the foundation of a strong relationship, is often derived from aligned values and philosophy between both parties.

Collaborative design and build with DDB and Davey Architecture Studio – Meek St, Brighton, VIC

“At Davey Architecture Studio We strive to determine our client’s exact needs, with the understanding that each project is unique and must respond to its individual site and context. Through open communication, we build close working relationships with our client and contractors to achieve projects that not only satisfy our client’s desires but do so efficiently and within budget.

Our design philosophy is one of function being paramount, where first and foremost the architecture must work. Critically, the importance of context and how the architecture will respond to its surroundings & fulfil the clients requirements is foremost. Through clean, efficient planning and a clear use of form and materials we then sculpt the aesthetic & composition of the architecture.” 

To us here at Davey Architecture Studio, it really is about the shared exchange of ideas, research and ways of collaborating to achieve the most successful design outcomes for all involved,” continues Mimi.

Identifying what truly defines your relationship with your chosen architect, will often encompass an array of fundamental aspects.  However, one key aspect that stems from almost every successful project or collaboration, is a derivative of clear communication. Click here for more information on how to choose the right architect.

Mimi Davey shares her passion with DDB Design on this topic. “It is important for the client and architect to be able to discuss important points openly and more so, transparently. Clear communication throughout the design, documentation and construction process plays an integral component of a trusting relationship and successful working foundation. In fact, this transcends all relationships and parties involved in the construction process.

To ensure clear and transparent communication, all parties involved must be on the same path. Our visual representations strive to encapsulate the client’s vision of their desired brief.

Visual representation of each phase of the project ensures the client connects with the build, assisting them in understanding the progression of their thoughts and formulating a resolved outcome.

Another popular piece of advice to consider when preparing for your build and piecing together your project team, is to approach with a simple and clear vision. Mimi Davey shares her thoughts on this topic, and adds, “This simple approach works best - Design from the inside-out. The function of the interior layout is intrinsically linked with the requirements of the client. This creates the building blocks that inform the exterior and its direction from not only an aesthetic point of view, yet also meets functional requirements.” Introducing the interior designer at this stage also comes into play quite well.

The interior designer will be able to work with both the client, the architect and the builder, to formulate a space that incorporates lifestyle and function. Click here to find out more information on whether you will need an interior designer. 

A residential build to the scale, quality and creativity of a modern-day luxury family dwelling, requires a vast team with extensive skills, knowledge and foresight. A project of such complexity involves many parties and suppliers. Whilst the importance of the relationship between the client and architect are important, a positive relationship between the client, architect and the builder define the backbone for any project success. To reiterate, as with any successful project, communication is key.

Mimi adds, “It is important the builder and architect work side by side with the client and each other, to ensure clear understanding on all accounts.” The interior designer is also integral as they can assist in capturing the true essence and purpose of the environment. This insight assists the architect in formulating the design and space and how best to work with the builder on bringing together the ideal approach, complimentary materials and integrated ideas. It truly is a team effort across the board.”

“Davey Architecture Studio prides itself on delivering unique designs that encapsulates the lifestyle of the client in a timeless manner. So, when we look to select a builder for any project, we seek a professional and dedicated builder with enthusiasm and end-to-end expertise. This ensures the project is completed on time, to the highest quality and within budget constraints. For our team, it’s important the builder we choose to work with is highly experienced and shows great interest in every stage of the project and the client, coupled with high attention to detail - this is principal for us here at Davey Architecture Studio. An experienced builder brings more than just quality into the build; they will deliver aspects you can not only see, but also tangibly feel and engage with for a truly immersible experience.” Says Mimi.

Mimi continues, “Our experience with DDB Design has proven such. Involving a builder of this calibre early in the process, has created successful and positive outcomes for many years. Working together from the outset of the build process has ensured realistic and tangible outcomes that have met schedule and budget constraints. The journey throughout every stage of the design, documentation and construction phases have proven positive and successful. And together, have achieve spectacular architectural homes that are a pleasure for our clients to live and grow within, as their lifestyle needs dictate.”

Discover further insights into what you should look for when selecting the right team to build your next luxury abode. Download our complimentary eBook now and set yourself on a path to a more enjoyable building or renovation experience.


You can also view our latest blog: What to look for when hiring a builder for your next residential project

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