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Building design

How Do You Create a Concept in Architectural Design?

One of the most important stages in building and construction is the concept design. If your project is going to stand out, the concept design must be exceptional.

Camiel Weijenberg
July 13, 2021
Building design

How Do You Create a Concept in Architectural Design?

One of the most important stages in building and construction is the concept design. If your project is going to stand out, the concept design must be exceptional. This is why you need to use the best building design software to create the right concept. As a new architect or beginner, how do you develop the architectural design concept? Here is all that you need to know:

What is the Design Concept?

As the name "design concept" suggests, this is the big idea for your project. It highlights the ultimate objective and gives all the team members the direction to follow with the project from start to end. This is why you might get some people referring to it as the “DNA” of a building project. 

The concept may start as an idea, a philosophy, or rules and then transform into a conceptual design that defines the path for creating the project. By creating a common target, making the future decision becomes a lot easier. All that the team members need to do is following the plan. 

A concept plan is like a solution to a major problem, a crossword. It pools together all the parts that have to come together for the project’s success to be realized. This is why architects have to be extra careful and ensure that the concept factors all the crucial components needed to guide their projects. 

How to Create a Concept Design 

Now that you know what a concept design is, the next thing in the process is developing one. So, how do you create a great “concept design?”

At the start of a project, the bulk of an architect’s time goes into gathering important information. This is where you start meeting different stakeholders and visit the site for analysis to understand more. For example, you are able to gather details such as the slope, the city planning codes, the client’s budget, and every pragmatic detail that the project requires to become a success. 

Other important details that you need for the project include the main opportunities and constraints. Then, you have to craft a way of taking advantage of the opportunities. If the project site is located on a slightly sloping area, the design will combine the incline with other attributes to deliver the targeted objectives. Strategies for addressing the constraints are also outlined. 

At this point of designing the main concept, you should start figuring out the main architectural ideas, and probably sketch them down. Commence the conceptual design with a rough outline by overlaying circulation paths and using shapes to highlight space and spaces. From there, you can consider improving the idea. Because this is still an early stage of the project, you need to be as flexible as possible. For example, you can blend several concepts together, enrich them with new ideas, or simply rely on creativity. 

Consider working as a team so that you can discuss and brainstorm key ideas and settle on a few for concept designing. Remember that all of these have to refer to the information that you gathered in the preliminary stage. 

Take Your Time to Get Excellent Concept Design Architecture 

The building design that you are working on will become a landmark, a client’s home, and an icon to associate with. Therefore, although you might be working on the concept design alone or with a few architects back in the studio, it will not be a good idea to rush it. 

You should also be ready for major adjustments and further analysis. If you present part of the project to the city planning development and changes are recommended, you will have to relook at them. Indeed, even the client might need some changes, such as getting additional funds and asking for the extension of the balcony, patio, or a library that was not part of the target in the beginning. 

For every design you create, review it severally to ensure it is looked at from every angle. This will help you to avoid possible challenges that can emerged during the construction phase. For example, if the client wants to put a lot of emphasis on sustainability, what components do you add? Are they solar panels, water heating system or lighting? 

Special Tips for Creating High-Quality Concept Designs

The most important thing in concept design architecture is being able to generate unique ideas. If a client wants a bungalow, what ideas do you have for it? You need to be as creative as possible. Here are other tips to help you create a great concept design: 

  • Read different publications on building design to get new ideas.
  • Be creative and develop own sketches to make the buildings as unique as possible. 
  • Look for new themes and think of how they can work with your concept design.  Your aim should be to create a building design that delivers more than the client wants. 
  • Make sure to factor in the input of relevant stakeholders, including professionals on sustainability. 
  • Ensure that every step is informed by the local laws and regulations. For example, what is the building code for the area? What does the urban planning department has to say about the new structures in the area? 
  • Leave room for possible adjustments. Before the final building design is sent to the urban planning department for approval, some changes might be required. You need to cater to these changes, whether for interior or exterior parts.
  • Look at other case studies to understand how other professionals did it. Particularly, you need to check how they overcame different challenges that faced their project. 
  • Make sure to have the right software for building designs. This will be your most important tool because it can help you create different visualizations for the client to imagine the space more effectively. How does the interior look like? What about the façade?
  • Make the concept design easy for all team members to understand and execute different ideas. You can achieve this by working with building design software with collaboration features, such as CoreICAD and SketchUp

As a building design professional, a lot of effort should be directed at the development of top-quality concepts. Notably, this is a lengthy process and you should not rush it. Remember that because it will ultimately require the approval of the authorities, involving all stakeholders will be very important.

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