When architects specialize in one type of building, it creates a clear path for marketing the firm. For example, one design and engineering firm that we are familiar with specializes in parking structures. They are very good at what they do and they market themselves to cities, shopping centers, universities, and housing developers who will require a parking garage on their property. That’s easy for everyone to understand. But what if your specialty is a style of service, not a type of building?
At The Kastrop Group we have struggled with this question for quite awhile. When potential clients ask “What is your specialty?” there is no quick answer. We have successfully completed many commercial projects, and we could say that, but then a homeowner would not think of us for his or her next project. We have completed many excellent residential projects, but if we only advertise that then business owners would not think of us for a commercial or office project. We also love restoring and modernizing historical buildings and churches, and we don’t feel comfortable ignoring that segment of our portfolio either.
Instead we say that we specialize in getting projects done, and our slogan Designing for Your Reality is a reflection of that approach. Your reality includes your imagination, your style, and your goals. We are privileged to help you set a course towards your destination. Many potential projects are not built because they lack one or more of three key things—determination to see the project through, knowledge of legal requirements (building codes and ordinances), or funding that is adequate for the project—but that’s where we can help.
There is an old saying: “You can’t change the wind, but you can adjust your sails”. We make the adjustments to help the process flow more smoothly. Designing while keeping our eyes on your project objective is like trimming the sails with our eyes on the horizon.
As professionals in building design, we help you stay on course during your project’s journey from an idea to actual construction. We know how to guide you through the sometimes labyrinthine Planning and Building approval process and work out solutions to unforeseen obstacles. And, while we can’t get you the funding for your project, we can help to find ways to stay within your project budget by providing design alternatives.
We talk to our clients about possibilities by asking questions that will help us to understand your ideas and goals. We help you to imagine how you will be using the space that we are designing for you. We envision what your needs may be in five, ten or twenty years to create design solutions that will be productive for you in the long-run. We use our experience to integrate convenience and comfort features that will enhance your lifestyle or work habits. We consider what is necessary to maximize the building’s value and desirability.
Designing for Your Reality is not just about providing a knowledgeable basis for the project design. It is also about communicating realistically about the development process. In our sailing metaphor, there may be a slight course change to get you to your destination. If the project will be difficult to get permitted, you should know that up front, and know what steps will be required. If the initial project concept will be difficult to achieve on time and on budget, we will sit down with you to discuss alternatives and avoid surprises. We work hard to help you achieve your objectives and guide you past the obstacles that are inherently part of the process. It’s all part of the journey.
We take pride in our relationships with Planning and Building Departments. We familiarize ourselves with what is acceptable in each jurisdiction and we adapt our designs to meet those expectations. We also cultivate our relationships with General Contractors, utilizing their skills and experience to obtain fair and honest bids and quality construction. This is the expertise you should expect, just as the helmsman relies on the tactician for specialized information and advice.
In Designing for Your Reality we pledge to communicate regularly by phone, email and in person with our clients to keep you informed and excited about seeing the project through to a successful completion. That is smooth sailing. That is our specialty.