What types of projects do you take on?
As an architecture and Interior design office, with directors experienced in urban design, academia, furniture design, architecture and interiors, we have experience at all scales from smaller items to masterplanning for developments and tourism facilities. This, combined with the fact that we love working on a variety projects at any one time, means there is a good chance we can find a way to work together on your project, whether it be big or small, academic or built!
What is the first step in working with Splinter Society?
Please feel free to call or email Chris Stanley, Director of Splinter Society Architecture. Following an initial conversation, we usually like to set up a free of charge meeting at the location of the project. The purpose of this first meeting is to talk through your brief, undertake a basic site assessment, and review your budget against your aspirations. We are also firm believers in the importance of the relationship throughout the process and the first meeting is a good opportunity to get to know each other a bit.
Following the first meeting we will follow up with a fee proposal, a copy of our standard Australian Institute of Architects Client / Architect Agreement, and our capability statement.
What is your architectural process?
There are traditionally 4 main stages for Full Architectural Services:
- Sketch/Concept Design: Analysing the site, brief and budget and creating the concept design. For our office this is a very in depth process and incorporates many rounds of client feedback. We believe that getting a solid understanding of the brief and clients needs, sets the base for a highly successful process and project.
- Design Development and Planning Submission: Developing the design and producing more detailed drawings sufficient for application for council planning approvals
- Documentation and Building Permit Application and Tender: Coordinating with consultants, creating the drawings and specifications to run a tender process, obtain a building permit and put a contract in place between the builder and client.
- Contract Administration: Administering the chosen contract, between the builder and the client, during construction and beyond into the defects liability period. The role of the architect during this stage is to assess the build against time, quality and cost, and to act as an impartial party liaising between builder and client for a positive outcome.
There are numerous additional services we can provide based on any project/clients individual needs. Examples may include Project Management, Academic Research, Branding Concepts, 3D Visualisation, Master planning, Furniture Design.
What is your design philosophy?
Our studio thrives on diversity whereby every design solution is uniquely different and relevant to the client and or context for which it is created. There are three principles that underpin each of our projects:
- A design concept should be born from a thorough briefing and research process
- A design solution should respect but also inspire those who will inhabit or come into contact with it
- A design solution should be driven by an understanding and deliberate consideration of the triple bottom line: environmental, social, financial aspects.
What is your office structure?
Our office is led by Director’s Chris Stanley and Asha Nicholas. Each project is assigned to a director, who is the primary contact and responsible for delivering the project. Most projects are co-designed by the two directors.
A registered architect is also assigned to each project. Their role is to assist in the project delivery, and coordinate the other team members to produce the background work. Our team of registered architects is supported by Architectural Graduates, technicians and contractors as required to deliver any given project.
As an office we usually undertake all aspects of Architectural design and Interior design, which often includes Lighting, furniture, and hard landscaping . We also love to collaborate creatively and have worked with people all over the world on various aspects of our projects.
How do you control costs?
Cost control is a critical component of our process to ensure we are delivering feasible solutions. We approach cost control from multiple perspectives throughout the project.
Upon project commencement, we assist our clients to set up budgeting figures for the various components of the project, including consultants, landscape, graphic design, building works, furniture, artwork etc.
These budgeting figures are then broken down into smaller components that are tracked through the stages of the project and used as a baseline to make decisions against for both ourselves and our client.
With projects with a construction budget over $1M we typically recommend the engagement of a Quantity Surveyor, to provide 1 – 2 cost estimates as the project develops. In conjunction, and on smaller projects, we undertake several in-house cost estimates and cross check our costs with suppliers, trades and by utilising our pool of regular builders for advice.
What is your approach to sustainability?
Environmental and Social sustainability has been a fundamental consideration in all Splinter Society’s work since the office was founded. Director Chris Stanley undertook an elective post graduate masters at the University of Melbourne in sustainable energy systems in 2003 whilst working for a renowned award winning passive building architect in Melbourne.
Our work in underpinned by a solid understanding of passive building design. This is the starting point for all our projects as the basic principles of siting, orientation, ventilation, insulation and shading must be successful for a building to achieve a base level of environmentally sustainable success. Our design works take this starting point as a foundation for design, and then we build upon this based on the requirements of each individual brief and client aspiration.
Whilst the fundamental passive principles never change, our knowledge in materials, systems, and technologies gained through 20 years of research and practise is constantly being updated as we seek to discover emerging ideas and solutions.
Do you have regular builders you work with?
We have a large pool of residential and commercial builders whom we have worked with successfully over many years. We typically recommend a selection of builders and sometimes nominated subcontractors to tender on a project based on a best fit for the skill set, personality or budget for the project. We typically prefer to competitively tender to 3 – 4 contractors for a project. We are always happy to introduce new recommended contractors into our preferred group, following a process of due diligence to understand their competencies and fit for the specific project.