At the heart of Willemsen’s methodology is design-led functionality. We believe that design should not be an effort to cloak the natural characteristics of materials and structural engineering, instead there must be a fundamental honesty, where natural aesthetic, quality and structural efficacy become a focus and point of value.
“While its attainment is inherently complex, simplicity of form and function is the essence of good design.”
Foremost in design, we seek to understand the purpose of the project, with consideration for its objective functional use. We develop a clear understanding of who the end users will be and what they require from the built form and functional services – setting the project up for positive impact and enduring value.
With this clarity of purpose, we develop a preliminary project budget and written architectural project brief to clearly outline the functional, aesthetic, social and environmental objectives for the project — to inform the design process. The project design brief is a living document, continually refined throughout the design process.
Our core belief in design is that built form must follow function. Accordingly, we do not set pen to paper preparing sketch designs until we have clarity on both the design purpose and the attributes of the site.
At the end of this stage, our objective is to have a fluid sketch of the building that presents an unambiguous and cohesive design aesthetic. This will provide an envelope for a schematic functional built form that can be further developed during later stages.
This resolution stage allows us to functionally test the creative conceptualisation to ensure that the design purpose is being fulfilled and where appropriate redress either the building form and/or design aesthetic.
The output of this stage is a preliminary design with a considered buildable and functional form, which can accommodate an elegant and efficient engineering structure and services resolution.
Our project design team leads a diverse group of engineering professionals in the preparation of detailed engineering documentation to support the performance objectives set out in the project design brief. These drawings and specifications are assessed by the design team and integrated into the built form with a level of clarity and detail that they can be realised in construction.
The ultimate success of this stage is dependent on the depth and coordination of the collaborative process due to the myriad interface points between engineering and design disciplines. Our technical capacity to lead this process is a key strength and factor in our ability to deliver high performance buildings.
Functional performance is only fully realised during the test and commissioning process. This it is the last critical step in a 360 degree revolution from the initial architectural project brief.