Stewart Brecher Architects believes first and foremost that good architecture is a collaborative effort. This collaboration needs to be inclusive. In order to be truly effective the client, user/s, builder, consultants and community need to work cooperatively to put diverse ideas on the table and together agree the best solution. We are not relinquishing our responsibility as designers rather we are willing to be educated by those who may know more about the project specifics.
If one were honest it would be necessary to conclude that buildings, like people are mostly alike. The assembly of components may look a bit different but generally are based upon the same elements. If one is to focus upon differences then standards for environmental quality, safety, structure and the like would be impossible to determine. The notion that “expertise” in a particular building type, with few exceptions, is a guarantee of a good building is a false assumption. Most buildings have similar needs for weather protection, light, air, good circulation, interaction with the outdoors, enough space for the functions, sensible structural systems, efficient mechanical systems, etc. Repetitive/habitual design may turn out to be just that, limiting learning and creativity. At Stewart Brecher Architects we have undertaken the design of many building types, from child care to libraries, to university buildings to houses. We bring our knowledge and expertise to all projects and learn from most, as well.
At Stewart Brecher Architects we approach each design commission from the beginning. We identify the unique qualities of the project and modify the 90% of repetitive solutions to reveal and inform our designs. We utilize a number of methodologies in the creation of special places. These include the above-mentioned dialogue, exploring the possibilities of the site, reviewing relevant rules and regulations, and designing both on paper and with CAD.
We have been using a 3-D CAD program since the 1990’s and recently added building energy analysis to our system. This system allows us to explore the aspects of design and construction in all of its permutations and convey that exploration to our clients in a meaningful manner.
Stewart Brecher Architects has been committed to sustainable design since its inception. We are constantly seeking the most effective and appropriate solutions to energy use, material choice and environmental quality. We, possibly uniquely, balance environmental and energy needs with social and cultural imperatives. Saving energy as a strategic goal isn’t always the most significant determinant of a building design.