The job of an Architect is a multi-faceted role.  The core of what we do is design work for our clients (you)!  Design is a fairly nebulous umbrella covering a range of phases that, when put together, add up to a complete architecture project.  We will lay out what each phase consists of through a series of posts, including the construction phase, so you may gain a greater understanding of what to expect when you renovate or build your new home.

Two | Deux | Dos

Schematic Design:  The design phase where, literally, the pencil meets the paper.

Taking the building program developed during the Architectural Programming phase, the architect will begin to draw shape and form for the program pieces, often producing a few different design ideas to review with you (the client).  Note that how many designs produced might be up to you and your architect and covered in your contract, or your architect may have a set amount of designs he/she typically presents during this stage.

As the designs begin to take shape, the architect will typically produce floor plan drawings which will show you how various pieces of the program sit next to one another.  You will begin to see how spaces flow from one to the next, and you should gain an understanding of the architect’s proposed approach, entry, and relative sizing of the spaces.

There is often a supplementary plan drawing for the site plan produced during the Schematic Design phase (SD).  The site plan might be sketched over your property survey and show planned site features such as walkways, driveways, and yard features in addition to existing trees and topography.


We also research applicable building codes and zoning ordinances during SD so we understand how they might impact the design’s shape, form, and function.  Building codes exist just about everywhere in the United States; even if you have a site outside of city limits and there are no building inspection officials per se, Eckxstudio will still adhere to nationally recognized standards and codes.  Zoning ordinances often have quirky implications to designs, such as restrictions on how tall parts of the design may be.  Additional neighborhood covenants or historic requirements may be present as well – share everything you know with your architect at the start of SD (or even better, during programming).

The architect will likely also sketch out preliminary elevations or 3D renderings of the outside of the house during SD.  These typically will be the first real glimpses of what your house may look like.  I say “may look like” because as the next design phase starts, opportunities are often discovered that lead to subtle (or sometimes big) changes to the design which more accurately align your vision and program and produce a better and exciting design.


Next phase: Design Development


This post was originally written before re-branding as Eckxstudio for Modern Architecture at the end of 2017.

At Eckxstudio for Modern Architecture, we design unique and stunning projects, individually crafted for our clients’ lives. We’re passionate about listening to your needs, wants and desires as inspiration to design the dream home you’ll never want to leave.