Let’s face it: chances are you wouldn’t go on a road trip across the country without a map and hope to magically arrive at your destination. So, why would you invest in a space before having a master plan of how your building will seamlessly integrate into every facet of your business?
Sure, you may eventually transform your building into the bike rental shop or new sustainable boutique of your dreams—but you risk the chance of losing time and money you could have saved had you planned better along the way.
Fortunately, just like having a map helps you stay the course, working with an architect in the ideation (pre-design) phase of your project ensures the design, feasibility, and return on investment (ROI) of your idea meets your expectations, before it’s too late.
So, before you decide which space to lease or purchase for your storefront, spare yourself the extra time, money, and stress headaches by investing in Predesign Exploration with a commercial architect you trust. To learn more about how each service can benefit your business in the long run, check out more about our process below.
Predesign Exploration | ideal to begin before you have a space in mind
Establish clear project goals & objectives – understanding your vision and unique goals is the first step of the predesign phase. We start by listening to your ideas, needs, key priorities, preferences, and desired outcomes. This is also a great time to share your Pinterest or mood board, business plan, and branding so we can better understand your mission, vision, unique selling proposition, and the overall experience you want to create for your customers and staff.
Understand how much space you truly need – we’ll translate all the information we’ve gathered about your project priorities and customer and staff experiences thus far into a space program for your business, outlining your building functions and amenities according to the size, quantity, adjacency + barrier needs, and customer journey, just to name a few. Then, we’ll transform your space program into a visual diagram so you know how to best arrange your brick and mortar to meet your needs, goals, code requirements, and the kind of memorable experience you want your customers and staff to have at every touch point.
Enhance your customer experience – from storefront design best practices to expert recommendations tailored to your business needs; you’ll walk away with the tools you need to ensure your business gets the attention it deserves—not to mention more engaged and loyal customers that keep coming back!
Building Analysis | the next step once you have a space in mind
Facilitate a building walkthrough – once you’ve got your eyes set on a space, we can coordinate a walkthrough with contractors or engineers to assess the strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and constraints of the building you have in mind based on codes, existing conditions, access, and environmental factors.
Dig into the code requirements – after we’ve gathered all the information on the existing building and site, we synthesize the known and proposed changes with the myriad of applicable codes to define the required building and site updates to achieve your goals. By identifying and proactively addressing code-related issues upfront, you can prevent expensive changes down the road and keep your project on track and on budget from the start.
Schematic Design | stepping into the design process, beyond feasibility
Define the design concept – building upon the knowledge gained in the Predesign Exploration and Building Analysis phases, we’ll refine your conceptual program diagram into conceptual drawings based on the existing building conditions. This may involve on-site documentation if existing drawings are not available. We can combine drawings with detailed written descriptions and photos and even facilitate on-site walkthroughs to procure preliminary assessments from our trusted network of contractors. These drawings can also be used to satisfy the requirements of the financial institutions funding your project. Furthermore, we’ll facilitate a pre-application meeting to share your project intent with the local jurisdiction to address early concerns. This comprehensive approach ensures the project scope aligns with your budget and timeline.
Lease or purchase your space with confidence – after we’ve developed conceptual drawings and facilitated preliminary estimates, you can assess your business proforma to determine your business venture's viability and future success. Doing so gives you the insight to make an informed and confident decision before committing substantial resources, time, or capital.
So, whether you’re looking for the perfect space to open your new cat cafe in town or already have a space in mind for your upscale bookworm brewery, laying down a solid foundation and having a master plan is vital to ensuring you get the ROI on your vision.
To learn more about how we can support your next brick and mortar venture, schedule a complimentary discovery session with us today!
Are you a visual learner? Check out our process as a visual roadmap here!