Paloma Leé focuses on residential architecture, accommodation and home businesses.
You can enquire about our different services below or just give us a call if you want a different project.
New buildings are the constructions that are designed from the ground up, our new built services include the complete design of the entire lot, landscape, architecture and interiors of your home or your business.
In the last few years, more and more people work from home, perhaps you manage your business from home and need a small office to meet with clients, or your street is becoming increasingly busy and you are thinking about opening a business, a restaurant, a coffee shop, a yoga studio, or you simply have enough space for a cottage, a little apartment or a nice relaxing room that you can eventually rent as a guest house or self-catering flat. In any of these cases or any other plans, I will work with you for the implementation of your idea.
If you want to change the look of your house, modernize it, renovate the interiors, add a new room, or a small gym, it is important to have an architect on board, not only because the design will add to your quality of life and needs but will add value to the house. If you want to add a bedroom to your house, you need it to be in the best position so it is properly ventilated, illuminated and insulated. As an architect, I will assist you to get the best design to improve your home. You may be thinking about how to get more clients to your business with a well-designed space, even a small change can improve the quantity and quality of your clientele.
The time frame for the completion of these projects vary according to the project, but the process will basically follow the same stages described below:
This phase is the beginning of the design process. In this first phase I meet with you to find out what type of project you want, what are your requirements and goals regarding the project (define the program), where do you want this project to happen, what is the scope of the project and the budget, and on the other hand to find out about you. If your project is a house, to find out how do you live, what are your interests and the things you like - basically about the space where you spend most of your time. In this part I want to know about you, in order to do this you can assist by collecting images of architecture, interiors and landscapes. Images that talk to you and about you, which I will use to create the best design for you. You can create an idea book with images from Houzz or pinterest, or collect pictures from magazines, that you will share with me in this first meeting. If it is not a house, but another type of project, I will find out about the type of business, what type of user will spend most of the time in the premises and what type of clientele do you expect to satisfy. I will do some investigation on my own after the first meeting regarding the type of business and the program so I can be fully involved with the needs of the project.
The existing conditions is the base to start the design process. I will find out the regulations regarding the site, the applicable codes and zoning requirements and depending on the topography is necessary a site survey produced by a site surveyor if there is no one available. The next step is exploring the surroundings, what type of neighbourhood it is, what is historically and culturally significant to the area, what makes the site special and how to use it efficiently so we can maximize its use, what is the orientation, what are the views, how we can use the topography in our favour, the existing vegetation, and all the different characteristic of the site.
In this phase, I will propose a layout which is a combination of what I have learned from you and the project requirements in conjunction with the information gathered in the existing conditions phase. I present then a potential floor plan design with the functional relations between the spaces and the exterior, in which we will apply passive sustainable design strategies, like the orientation of the house or the positioning of the windows. We will discuss the layout and refine this plan until the best floor plan solution is created. This is usually done in 2 or 3 meetings. In this phase, the client will be able to see a 3D of the project for a better understanding.
Once we had agreed on the design of the house, the design development involves two parts. The first one is the development of the plans to get them ready for council submission. This part may need the intervention of consultants, depending on the project, like a structural engineer, mechanical, electrical and plumbing. Energy calculations are done to comply with council regulations. The second part is to get the design into a more detailed level, where finishing details are discussed like the kitchen and bathroom finishes, the floors, the lighting, cabinetry and colour scheme. In this part too we will apply more sustainable design strategies, like the benefits of a Low E glass or double glazing for the windows.
A building permit is required for all new projects and renovation that includes the change in the structure (this is not necessary if you are going to retile the bathroom for example or change the cupboards, but yes, if you are going to demolish or build a new wall). To achieve this, council requires some documentation from the client which I will assist the owner to prepare. The time to secure the permit is typically 2 months, but this depends on your local jurisdiction and their current workload of reviewing projects.
Construction plans are the final stage delivered from me, in this part I would develop highly detailed plans for contractors to price and finally to build the house.
Once the project is under way I will take regular visits to the site to make sure the project is being accomplish as per the plans and will be available by phone or email to answer any questions that may arise during the construction process.