Is affordable architecture an oxymoron?


I don’t come across many clients (actually none), who have an unlimited budget. When to even build a stock standard house will extend the reach of many New Zealanders, it leads us to carefully consider where we are putting our money and question the default settings on architectural design.

 

Is affordable architecture an oxymoron?

Do you build three double bedrooms, a double garage, walk in robes, ensuites and sculleries to protect resale value when there is now just the two of you at home? Do the kids get a double room and bathroom each? If we follow the contemporary patterns, the house size is large and the goals start to become unattainable and can rob you of the opportunity for a bit of architectural excitement.

A good architectural designer will sensitively record and follow your brief. And that is just it; it is your brief. You have the most power at that early stage to influence the project and cost by what you ask for. With this in mind I challenge my clients to really prioritise their wish list. If it is a well written brief, it will beautifully reflect their desired day to day lifestyle rather than prescribe a number and size of rooms.

Describing a lifestyle leaves room for creativity. If you get it right, that covered outdoor living area where you actually want to spend most of your time living, won’t be cut in the cost savings because it has a higher value than a walk-in wardrobe.

 

Ben Brady
Linetype Architectural Director & Designer   Ben Brady