Chances are your architecture firm is managing multiple projects at any given time, most of which require the conceptualization and design of an outdoor living space - otherwise known as Landscape Architecture. There are many benefits in partnering up with a landscape architecture firm, and in this post, we want to highlight why a "Strategic Partnership" approach yields such powerful results both in quality design and return on investment.
The flaws of the project-based approach
Until now, most relationships between architects and landscape architects have been project based. A typical scope of work looks something like this: An architecture firm wins a project. and they work away on design for a couple of months. Near the end of the project. the firm brings in a landscape architect to design outdoor living spaces.
This is where the back-paddling usually begins. Because of the late entry of the landscape architect, his capacity for design is limited to the existing conditions of the building. Often, a firm will set expectations that - in order for them to be met - the original design of the building would have to suffer structural modifications. This can be a big budget setback and of course, a time waster for the firm.
Other setbacks to a distant project-based approach are design-quality related.
Chances are your firm's style and design personality have evolved over the years. When you bring in an external landscape architect you expect from them to not only respect your "firm style" and "design personality", but also to complement it.
So consider this, the more distant and infrequent a landscape architect works with your firm, the more inconsistent and distant their design will be in regards to your design.
A well-designed outdoor living space is of course one of the elements encompassed in the whole living experience, and therefore, an extension to the core foundation of a building: the architectural design.
The power of strategic partnership in landscape architecture
Your firm has invested in design quality, and most likely, your firm's reputation is well grounded on the unique personality and quality of its design. So allow me to ask you this: when your firm outperforms itself and is on the verge of delivering outstanding design, how great would it be for you to count on a landscape architect who you know is second to none in adding on value to your designs?
Yes. A good fit. A relationship that feeds on the inspiration of each other and grows tighter with each project.
The power of this type of relationship lies in consistency. Consistency in quality, in mitigating risk, in delivering the right work on time, in learning your process and adapting to your workflows. The power of a strategic partnership with a dedicated landscape architecture firm is about cultivating efficiency in heavy-lifting tasks and blossoming creativity where it matters -the design.
What we suggest for architects to do, is to find a landscape architect who specializes in working with architecture firms. It is rare for a landscape architect to have the determination to specialize in architecture firms, but the ones that do, dedicate themselves to learning the ins and outs of firms. This is of huge value to your firm. As opposed to starting a new relationship each time you embark on a project or retain a landscape architect who is not up to your standards but gets the job done, we advise a different approach. The partnership approach.
Measure your landscape service providers by asking yourself some hard questions. Could this firm represent us in every project that needs landscape? Will they find a way to represent my style, personality and quality? Do they understand the value of a strategic partnership?
Here at LoftSixFour we cultivate strategic partnerships with our architectural clients. Therefore, we have experienced first-hand the beneficial results of this methodology. Cultivating long term partnerships between architecture firms and landscape architects is a fruitful path that leads to better and more profitable projects for all.