Finding Architect in Spain
Project Brief and Architectural Fees
You can start by visiting architects websites. You can listen to recommendations and contact previous clients to discover what they are like to work with. If possible, visit finished projects or ask to see a portfolio of work. All this information will help you write a shortlist of architects.
Call your shortlisted architects, outlining your project and the services you need, and find out if they are able to help. If they are, ask them for more information about their qualifications and experience.
You need to be sure of their creativity and ability to get things done. Good architecture needs collaboration and dialogue. You have to respect each other’s views.
Writing the Project Brief
The quality of your finished building will reflect the quality of your brief. This is the key document defining your vision of the finished building, and also of how the project will be managed. For your architect, the Project Brief is the central reference point that will guide the direction he takes and the services he provides.
Your brief should be clear and unambiguous and it should enshrine a common understanding between you and your architect. Seek his help in formulating the brief. The process may involve a number of discussions and help to establish the dialogue. Some architects may charge for the consultation but others will be happy to advise you without charge on the understanding that you are going to appoint them for the project. Above all, the project brief should describe:
- The functions of the finished project: who will use it, and for what? Have you visualised how these activities will be accommodated and provided for in the new space(s)?
- Your motivations and expectations: what do you hope to achieve by this project, in the short and long term, for yourself and others?
- A design direction: contrasting or in keeping with existing buildings? Contemporary or traditional? Are there certain materials, fixtures or finishes you favour? Is sustainability an issue for you?
- Authority for decision-making: who will sign off decisions about design, about costs and about day-to-day matters on-site?
- Timetables and budgets: when should key stages be completed, how much should they cost, and how will they be financed?
For clients, that may mean banishing the commonly-held but misplaced idea that architects will impose their own tastes and ideas on their clients –on the contrary – architects’ aim will be to follow your brief closely and reflect the aspirations it contains.
Architectural Fees in Spain
Spanish architects’ fees may be charged as a percentage of the total construction cost or, depending on the service supplied, at an hourly rate or as a lump sum.
In paying for architecture services, what may seem like an additional cost will normally turn out to be money well spent. As professional problem-solvers, the input of architects could be invaluable in developing design solutions that cut construction bills, reduce running costs and add long-term value to the property.