We believe we have developed the best Town Architect method ever used on all except projects with the highest-profile architects. On those projects, the conventional review by a resident Town Architect is still the best method because of the enormous pressure brought to bear by architects of great fame. But for most projects involving either local architects or draftsmen, this system is unparalleled. Other Town Architect systems produce compliance at best. Our system goes beyond mere compliance, and can become a major building block in the creation of a living tradition.
Most plan reviews for traditional neighborhoods are done remotely, but one of the benefits of our method is that it is done locally. We visit the site every month (or as otherwise arranged). Site meetings include the Developer, the contractor and the architect or designer of the plans being reviewed. We perform the actual review sitting at the table with them, explaining why we are marking particular items, transmitting principles, not just particular errors. If they have a serious problem with an item, we work out alternative details because there is almost always more than one right way of doing things. This results not only in a much smoother process, but also in one where the contractors and designers quickly become much better informed on how to design and build traditional architecture. Our system has a strong track record of transforming designers with little or no architectural education into competent designers of traditional architecture.
Our reviews address only the physical design issues that contribute to buildings acting as good neighbors in a community. Our reviews specifically do not address structural or other engineering issues, fire code, life safety code, or any other such issues that would typically be regulated by local building or fire officials. Your architects and engineers should address those issues. Town Architects who only address aesthetic issues rather than issues of engineering and code compliance might seem superfluous at first, but it is precisely the beauty and neighborliness of a place, and how it fits into a living tradition, that have the greatest effect on how your prospects value the buildings they are buying. This difference in valuation can total tens of millions of dollars over the life of the development of a single neighborhood, or hundreds of millions of dollars (or more) over the life of the development of a village or town.
We suggest 3 reviews per plan, at the schematic design, design development and construction document phases. Plans may have to be resubmitted for additional reviews in some instances where there are major issues. We will in rare instances of great urgency do reviews from our office, but the face-to-face method is so effective that we encourage its use whenever possible.
Please email us to discuss your Town Architect needs, or call us at 469-619-1217.