IT ALL BEGINS WITH THE “RIGHT “ARCHITECT
The Dunes: It all begins with the “Right “Architect
September 18th: We have been under formal construction for about two weeks now and it has been an exciting and energetic time. Of course, we have hit a couple of bumps along the way. The local planning team seemed to have issues finalizing the setback on the lot and we thought we might have real delays but having a solid team on the ground in both our builder (Kvanar Contracting) and our architects, Simon Hutchings and Simon Wood from SWA Architects (http://www.swa.tc), any planning concerns were quickly resolved and the build remains firmly on schedule. This leads me to believe that if a build is going to go well it will be in no small part due to choosing the right architect, and in choosing SWA architects we know we have chosen well. I have often been asked by colleagues (who think we are slightly mad to be building on a Caribbean island), “can you find good people there?”, “do they have good architects and contractors there?”, “what are the building standards like?”, “will they do a good job?”, and “can you trust the people?”…etc. The reality is none of the above was of any concern to us. Turks and Caicos is a sophisticated island where there are many excellent professionals, especially in the construction industry, who have chosen to settle and build their businesses in a little piece of heaven. When it came to finding an architect, we in fact had a number of very well qualified firms that we could choose from and for a time the decision was not an easy one. In the end, we decided to go with a firm who were very well established, and in particular with an architect, Simon Hutchings, who seemed to connect very rapidly with the vision we had for The Dunes. In fact, I would now argue that the “Dunes” is as much Simon’s project as it is ours. He is completely committed to the outcome and wants to ensure the end result is as amazing in reality as it looks on plans. A bit about SWA (you can find out more details on their website). Since they were formed in 1995, SWA has maintained their position as one of the leading design practices in the Turks and Caicos Islands. From our experience they appear to “live” the values they publish. We see integrity, imagination, appropriateness and attention to detail every time we deal with them. They have completed some of the most prominent and prestigious projects in Turks and Caicos. However, this does not mean they have no time for smaller clients or try to palm you off to junior staff once they have won your business. They care about you as a client, Big or Small…. Their talent is obvious and the advantage of a locally based reliable professional team to always secure our best interests is clear. Our architect’s offer a full range of professional services to monitor and inspect the work on site, manage the finances on the job and administer the construction contract between the owner and contractor. They are connected to the world and work closely with other architects and engineers from USA, Canada, UK and Europe over the Internet. If you can’t be on island you know they are taking care of things. To quote SWA, “High standards, a lively imagination, principal staff who each boast pedigree qualifications and who are recognised for their outstanding design ability, careful analysis of the clients needs and desires, balanced with dutiful consideration of budget and site constraints enable the delivery of designs that are always appropriate in form, function and cost. A keen respect for local heritage, culture and environment ensures appropriate structures that stand the test of time.” Quality is the end product achievable only with dedicated attention to detail.