How we work in California as a company split between Italy and California:
The most important thing we have to offer is an experienced team with many years of combined experience working as architects, contractors and developers on a wide variety of architecture and construction projects in the US and Italy. This experience allows us to be fully aware of all aspects of architecture and construction including budget considerations, building codes, project management, and most importantly the needs of our clients.
In particular our offices offer the following advantages:
Experience and knowledge of both design and construction and an acute awareness of both the functional needs of our clients and their budget.
We offer a savings of time in the development of our clients projects because we can offer a nearly 24 hour service, work may be started in California and continued in Italy while everyone in California is sleeping.
By utilizing our facilities and people in Italy we can generally do the same work at a lower cost.
Our multicultural training and experience means we also offer the best of American and Italian design.
We can give our clients access to the latest in Italian design and products shipped directly from Italy for cost savings and uniqueness.
Who do our clients work with and how is their project accomplished:
Our clients work directly with a licensed and highly experienced architect. He or she will be the project architect the client´s direct contact throughout the project. The project architect provides the personal client contact, design input, practical onsite work and coordination with planning and building departments and with the construction contractor.
We make full use of the latest electronic technologies to virtually eliminate the distance between our offices, and give the client the best possible service as well as make it easy to understand and visualize the project. Some of these technological advantages include:
High speed internet services on both ends.
Internet based telephone service allowing free calling between Italy and the US.
Cloud computing, that is making documents available offsite for access anywhere anytime.
Setting up project specific web sites.
Email, faxing, and scanning of documents and sketches.
3D models of most projects, including renderings and as needed video animations.
3d model placement in photos of the actual environment
We use the latest version of one of the most sophisticated CAD programs, giving us the ability to make BIM (building information models) and do various animations including solar modeling.
Digital photography of sites, existing buildings and use of such services as Google Earth for instant aerial surveys.
We have the latest and complete office software from Microsoft, including Microsoft Project which allows us to make a complete project schedule, including also when requested by the client a complete construction schedule from start up to move in.
We have accounts with local printing companies that allow us to transmit CAD drawings directly to their printers. They can then make prints and deliver them to the client within their normal delivery time schedules – in a rush this can be within a couple of hours or less.
We make pdf files of individual drawings, 3D renderings, documents, and complete project plans which can be visualized on any computer even carried on one’s tablet. 3D animations can also be viewed with common software programs.
What is the process of design and production drawing:
During the first design meeting with the client we begin to develop a written set of notes and a program outlining the client’s needs. In the case of home design we ask the clients questions about how they live, their family makeup, their likes and dislikes about design and also about the way they live, that is how they intend to use the spaces we design. We ask them to give us their ideas about design perhaps giving us pictures as examples of what they like. From this information we begin to piece together all the elements of the new project. And then we begin with just paper and pen or pencil to sketch out the general layout of the new project. Working back and forth between the two offices and the client a very rough design is developed.
This is followed with a client meeting to determine if we are going in the right direction. The work presented in this second meeting might be as loose as simple bubble diagrams, traffic flow sketches, and notes about the effect of the environment, sun wind etc. From this meeting we can then proceed to refine our ideas based upon input from the client. The project architect will then work with the other designers in the firm to refine and develop sketches. This process of meeting with the client and development of the design continues until the client is fully satisfied that the project meets his needs. During this initial process we will also transition from simple hand sketches, which are still the easiest way to begin a design, to more refined work with our CAD program. At the same time the design will be done in three dimensions and 3D models presented.
During this initial design process the client’s contractor or other consultants may also get involved so that their input can be considered at the earliest affective stage. Once the initial design is settled final design drawings are prepared in CAD. The final design is then presented to the client for approval. Any final changes are made and then the construction drawings are started. Most of production drawing work is done in Italy by the principal architects or under their direct supervision. Once the final construction drawings are complete they are transmitted to California electronically, printed and distributed as needed. The local project architect submits the plans to planning and building departments for approval. Building department corrections when available are sent by fax or email to Italy where corrections are made.
Also note that since all drawings are digital, that is they are CAD drawings, they are easily sent to the various consultants for their use during the entire construction document process.
Finally, consider that our experience, ability to understand our client´s needs and our ability to express those needs in a successful building project is our most important asset. We offer the combination of California and European design uniqueness, cost savings in lower fees and fast project turn-around time.