At MHK ARCHITECTURE & PLANNING, we make the design process between owner, architect, and contractor simple and efficient.  When you sign a contract with MHK, you are never locked into a financial burden.  We carefully phase our work as to always obtain owner approvals and make sure our design aligns with the client’s vision.  These phases often include:


In Architect’s jargon, the word “Parti” means “Big Idea”.  The design Parti typically comes from the client in the form of a program or “list” of spaces and a summary of how the spaces are to be used.   During the discussion of the Parti typically MHK will visit the client’s site, evaluate unique topography conditions or also assist the client in a site selection based on the specific needs for their project.


After establishing the Parti for a project, the focus in the architectural design process shifts to studying the organization of how all of the program of spaces can be combined together to create a “scheme” or overall high-level of design organization.  At this phase, details are discussed and documented, but the focus is to to create a coherent solution that encompasses the project as a whole.  On a residential project, this phase will typically include a site plan outlining site conditions and zoning conditions, a floor plan to give the big picture, and a front elevation so the client can understands the overall direction of the project.


During the design development phase of the architectural design process, the scheme is now refined into the final design. While the previous phase focused  on the project as a whole, the Design Development Phase gives individual attention to each aspect, space, and details of the project.  On a residential project, this phase will typically include the development of the remaining building elevations, reflected ceiling plans, roof plans and building sections in order to get the project “engineering ready”.


At this stage of the architectural design process, the focus shifts from design to providing all the information necessary for construction.  Engineering is coordinated through this phase into the design of the project, and details are developed to give the contractor the insight and information to construct the project based on the original design vision.


The last phase in the architect’s model, the construction administration phase takes place during building construction.  In this phase, the architect will be responsible for shop drawing review, submittal review, and construction observation to make sure what is being built meets the design intent.  In this process, MHK acts as the owner’s representative.  This phase can range from one site visit every month to one site visit every day depending on the owner’s needs and complexity of the project.


Make sure your architect is well versed in the project type.  Appropriate experience can often save you valuable time and money.  Projects involved on a coastal setting site can carry complex  FEMA  or flood zoning issues effecting structural design and what can be built.  Equally for projects positioned in mountainous areas, architectural experience in working with sites with heavy topography can be invaluable in optimizing the views of your site while working to prevent unnecessary costs for foundations on these types of projects.

During the design process and through the construction process, the architect will be the owner’s representative looking out for your best interests. Being a compatible match with our clients is an important aspect to our practice. We like to build trusting and long lasting relationships with our clients.
MHK Architecture & Planning is able to produce a high quality product at lower than normal fees due to low overhead and efficiency in the design process.

It is important that your architect as well as the architect’s design consultants carry adequate professional liability insurance for their practice. We strive to make sure problems  don’t arise through the process or after the fact; however due to the nature of the complexity of our business, it is imperative that your design professional carries adequate insurance to protect you as the client.