Each project has a budget, some small, some large, some meet the client's wish list,  but often times the wish list exceeds the budget.  An architect's role is to mend the project's budget with the client's programming needs through the use of creative design.  

I have experienced numerous times throughout my career, the architect becomes attracted to a material such as Brazilian stone or a specific design regardless of cost, construction, or whether it meets the budget.  As a result, sacrifices are made on other parts of the project to meet the budget whether it is reducing the program, the reduction of quality materials, or exceeding the project budget.   Good design is not created by an architect's choice to use the material with flashing lights.  A successful project is a creative design that meets the client's programming needs and project budget.

Creativity is the difference!  I recently opened my office at 318 E. Third Street in Davenport.  As a start-up company, the dollar is tight.  Therefore, I used creativity to create a unique office space to meet my programming needs and budget.  The following is a list of design ideas I incorporated into my office.

  1. Hardwood floor, $2/sq. ft.  The floor's concept was to find something that was visually appealing to distract visitors from staring at the ugly 2x4 existing ceiling.
  2. Wall base, galvanized roof drip edge, $0.39/sq. ft.  
  3. Display wall, cold-formed metal shapes with foam core printed images, $400 total
  4. Desks, metal shelf with reused solid core doors from Habitat Restore, $70 each.
  5. Conference table, reused door from RI County Courthouse and reused legs, $140 total.
  6. Business Sign, Stainless steel cut-out $500, Steel frame $500, Wood frame and lighting $200, Labor $150 plus help from my electrician brother.

Good building design does not equal high project costs.  A project's success is dependent on the architect's ability to use creativity to define the client's programming needs to meet the project's budget.