Led by Architects Christopher Brooks and Ade Adewoye, Brooks Architectural, Inc. is made up of a six person staff. While staff is small, the breadth and depth of our work is vast and diverse. Our residential projects include a variety of homes, multi-family housing, assisted and independent living facilities; both for private clients and corporations. Our commercial portfolio includes hotels and condominiums, wineries and breweries, credit unions and banks, medical and dental facilities, libraries, churches, senior citizen facilities, production facilities and a variety of restaurants. We also provide architectural consulting and construction administration services.
While committed to design solutions at a very high standard, our work continues to reflect superior technical analysis and uncompromising sensitivity to the clients programs and desires with the goal of exceeding their expectation. Every project starts with extensive planning, consultations and precise scheduling. We take advantage of well tested technological tools that provides detailed information on each stage of construction.
We strive hard to produce construction documents that define the scope of work in a complete and clean manner. Hence, potential roadblocks and cost over-runs are minimized or eliminated.
Society of the American Institute of Architects
National Council of Architectural registration boards
HOW TO HIRE YOUR ARCHITECT
Finding a Qualified Architect
Selecting the best architect for your next project can be a confusing experience. Whether you are an individual building for the first time or part of a large organization that builds periodically you need reliable information.
To help ensure that the owners receive quality architectural services the Michigan Board of Architects examines, licenses, and regulates architects. All architects have a numbered seal that they must use to stamp drawings for issuance to local building authorities. The use of the title “architect” by an unlicensed person, or the use of an architect’s seal to stamp drawings not made under his or her direct supervision are both illegal practices. To find out whether an architect is licenses to practice in Michigan or to report an illegal use of the title or seal one may call the State of Michigan, Board of Architects at (517) 241-9288.
To get a license and the privilege to use the title “architect,” Michigan architects will have completed a five-year degree in architectural studies. Many will have a Master of Architecture Degree. A three-year internship of diversified practical training then follows a candidate’s education under the direct supervisory control of a practicing licensed architect. It is only then that they are eligible to take the Architectural Registration Exam. The letters “AIA” after the name means that this architect subscribes to a Code of Ethics. It is an architect that works to earn Continuing Education Credits to be up-to-date on the latest building technology.
AIA Michigan offers a guide to licensed architects who publicize their experience in specific building types. PLACEMAKERS can be helpful in establishing a list of architects to consider when sending out a request for information (RFI).
AIA Michigan also has a publication on Quality-based Selection (QBS) to guide owners through the selection process. A facilitator is available through QBS to work with you or your selection committee directly. Whether you plan to use the QBS procedure or your own selection process, the key is to develop definitive selection criteria.
Selecting Your Architect
Before selecting your architect you need to develop basic criteria specific to your project that are available for prospective architects. Basic requirements may include the following:
1. List of functions
2. Approximate size
3. Projected starting dates and occupancy dates
4. Anticipated project budget and financing
5. Required services from your architect
Next you should request information and qualifications from several architects. Successful projects result when clients and architects form cooperative professional business and often personal relationships. These relationships are formed early in the design process and clear communications, mutually understood expectations, and a willingness of both to understand and accept their individual responsibilities are necessary for realizing a successful project.
A theme to rally around is the five C’s: Chemistry, Capacity, Capability, Creativity, and Commitment. The five C’s focus on team resources, availability and relevant experience, design and technical skills and overall interest in your project.
Chemistry: Look at the architects specifically proposed for your project and see how well they have worked on similar projects. If you are dealing with just one architect for a smaller scale project, talk to other clients he or she has worked with to obtain information. If your project is larger and requires a team of architects, talk to the users of a previous project on which they have worked. You should also evaluate the data on the resume.
A second key aspect to consider is how well the architect or specific team will mesh with your culture and values. Are there techniques used by the architect that will simplify working relationship and decision making by you or within your organization?
Has the architect or team of architects worked with clients or organizations similar to yours? Whether you are the sole authority or your organization has a hierarchy of decision makers, the architects should be comfortable with your decision making structure.
Capacity: Once you are satisfied with the architect or team of architects are they available for your project? Every owner is concerned about the ability of the selected architect to deliver the project effectively within the desired schedule. The real test of this question is the depth of resources available to the architect or project team. Can they handle your project schedule and adjust to changes you may require without jeopardizing other project commitments? You need data on concurrent project schedules to make this evaluation.
Typically, architects are generalists and produce a great variety of projects. Has the architect delivered projects of similar size and complexity to your project?
Capability: Architectural firms come in many sizes and types. The average firm is made up of five to ten people. Many are smaller, with one or two people, and some are very large with many professionals on their staffs.
Evaluate the experience of the architect or team of architects on recently constructed similar projects. Were these projects delivered within the required time and cost restraints? Have they delivered these projects with the level of quality that meets your expectations?
Given the architects’ experience on recent projects, are they able to solve issues specific to your project? Can the architect guide you or your organization through the design process and build a consensus with you and your key people?
Creativity: Design and construction is not a simple process. No two projects are alike, and each new building brings with it a unique mixture of needs, people, location and financing. Image, function, the user, technology, environment, construction phasing, operations and cost all influence the complexity of the problem. The creative process is a very subjective response to a given set of requirements. Interviewing the specific architect designated for your project is wise. The architect will bring an independent and fresh look at your project and suggest creative ways of meeting those needs. Ingenuities in both design and technology are equally important. The architect’s design approach, including analysis of alternatives, may provide key insights that will result in creative solution to your problem.
Looking at the architect’s past work and calling client references can also be very valuable. Take the time to evaluate past performances. Ultimately your search may yield more than one very qualified architect that meets your criteria for selection. Final choice may hinge on how interested the architect is in your project. The most thoughtful architects are as careful in selecting their clients as clients should be in selecting their architects.
Commitment: Is this an architect that you can trust with your project? Has the firm committed a key principal to the project or are they just the interview team? Do they understand emerging trends that affect you or your business and can they incorporate key elements into your project? By the firm’s location or by their demonstrated portfolio are they part of the fabric of the local or regional area? Do they understand community influences and concerns?
Careful evaluation of each architect should lead to an effective choice and eventually to the successful completion of your project.
We create livable communities one building at a time. An informed client and an innovative architect do a lot to insure the quality of the built environment.
(Much of the above information was written by Karen Swanson, AIA and Andy Vassano, AIA. Additional copy is from Archipages, a publication of AIA Illinois)
When design matters…
So you’ve decided to build. That’s great. You’ve also decided that whoever designs your building must be committed to your needs. That’s wise. At Brooks Architectural, Inc. We’ve been creating innovative design solutions for more that a decade. Our passion for personal attention ensures that the buildings we design are as unique as their owners. Meeting your objectives in a creative yet efficient manner is our main goal. Our efforts have earned us a sterling reputation as well as something even more valuable; our clients trust.
While committed to design solutions at very high standard, our work continues to reflect superior technical analysis and uncompromising sensitivity to the clients programs and desires with the goal of exceeding their expectation.
If your building doesn’t fit your lifestyle or work style, it doesn’t feel like home. That’s why every project starts with a simple meeting. One in which you get to know us and we get to know you.
From there, our design philosophy is simple, make the interior space of the project work for you. To do that, we take the time to listen to your needs. But even more, we look beyond your words to interpret your vision, to understand how you live and work and how the spaces work to enhance your daily activities.
Through this process, we’ve discovered that simplifying functional usage and minimizing circulation leads to maximizing the usable space. The result - you get the most out of your space and its fits the way you live. This simple, straightforward approach to spatial arrangement cuts down on the project costs.
View our work
Every project we design starts with extensive planning and precise scheduling. We take advantage of a well-tested system that provides detailed information n each stage of construction. Potential roadblocks are identified, anticipated, and dealt with before they become an issue. Our construction documents define the scope of work in a manner appreciated by contractors and minimizing potential cost over runs. The result is a building that meets or exceeds your expectations.