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Building Design

What we do

Building design is a practice fundamentally interested in how people inhabit space. We consider this as at the heart of the design process; first and foremost we consider our clients - their lives, their needs, and their intentions.

For us, building design is about creating spaces that work wonderfully for our clients, not because they follow trends but because they perfectly fit the needs of those who live and work within them.

We aim to create spaces that not only satisfy, but actually improve the day to day moments of life by paying particular and minute attention to the unique intricacies of human life.



The process begins with the identification of the design brief. Depending on your project, particular needs, or budget, this brief may range from relatviely simple to an extremely complex document.

Whether you plan to undertake a renovation, an entirely new build, or are developing a commercial space, the design process typically follows a structured and rigorous path that helps to ensure that every project results in the best possible outcome.

Of course, a simple project might mean a short and swift sweep through each of the design phases, whilst a project with increased complexity usually means longer time spent on each stage of the process in order to ensure a thorough and successful design outcome.

Concept Design

Concept Design entails all of the inital project requirements, including design brief development, site analysis, and the conception of overall project direction.

The Concept Design proposal outlines in broad strokes how the project will develop to inherently reflect the clients' needs, the constraints of the site, and budgetary limitations. Concept Design includes inital material considerations and poetic intentions.

This phase includes hand drawn plans and sketches, concept models, and layers and layers of drawn-on trace - used to quickly dissect and therefore begin to understand the design problem.

At the end of the concept phase, the client should have an overall understanding of how the alteration/addition/new build will look, be arranged on the site, and contend with the project's constraints.

Schematic Design

Schematic Design involves the development of the concept design into accurately scaled, computer drafted drawings with a greater level of detail than those developed during the concept phase. This increased accuracy allows for a level of design resolution that is usually not possible during the concept phase.

During Schematic Design the project is developed in such a way that each space is arranged in an absolutely workable manner. Importantly, Schematic Design constantly references Concept Design so to ensure a continued focus on the design brief and the identified aims regarding built form poetics. 

Schematic Design may include 3D Renderings, CAD (computer aided drafting) plans, elevations, and sections, models, and material specifications.

At the completion of Schematic Design the project should be well understood on its way to full Design Documentation.

Development Application Documentation (DA)

This phase entails the development of documentation required for Development Application (DA) submission. These documents later form the basis of Construction Documentation and Construction Certificate (CC) approval.

The phase includes the thorough research and understanding of all statutory authority requirements. It incorporates consultation with the relevant authorities prior to submission of the formal application.

DA Documentation involves the preparation of documentation required for planning submission and will include dimensioned 2D plans, sections, and elevations, and may also incorporate 3D renderings where deemed relevant and necessary.

The DA Documentation phase also includes the development of written and other council required documents including the Statement of Environmental Effects. 

Submission of the proposed design to the relevant statutory bodies is the final step in the Design Documentation phase.

Detail Design

Detail Design involves the fine tuning of the design by means of specifying construction materials, surface finishes, and selection of and doors and windows. Detail Design involves the design of specialised details particular to the project, especially where unique and/or uncommon design elements occur. 

Detail Design covers kitchen, bathroom, and laundry layout and the specification of joinery and bathroom materials, colours and finishes as well as specialised joinery detailing. In many ways, Detail Design entails the Interior Design aspects of permanent fixtures and fittings within the project.

At the completion of Detail Design the design will be at a level of resolution to carry out Construction Documentation.

Construction Documentation

Construction Documentation is carried out after Development approval has been consented and prior to commencement of building works. 

This pahse entails the development of a set of detailed drawings, schedules, specifications, and other documents used to both gain approval to begin construction on the project (Construction Certificate) as well as to inform the contractor of what needs to be constructed, and to ensure the works are carried out in a manner which will ensure approval to occupy the building (Occupation Certificate).

This phase includes co-ordination of specialist consultants where required and as relevant to the project including structural and civil engineering.

Tendering and Negotiation

Tendering & Negotiation is the final phase required prior to commencement of works. It involves the calling of tenders, advising on received tenders, and negotiations with the selected builder.



Contract Administration

Now for the fun part! Contract administration is where your project comes to life. Once you have chosen your contractors, we oversee the project, make regualr site visits, continually develop and refine the design on site, maintain constant contact with the contractors, carry out project inspections, and ensure that what began on paper ends up in the real world. 

Featured Design

In more detail...

Creating space is a complex and layered thing, the result of a huge array of carefully considered information, collated and constructed in a way which somehow provides not only functional success, but also engenders emotional response, and provides a balanced artistic composition.

The design process is made up of three primary influences, which inform this process from the very beginning stages right through to design completion. These influences are client, site, and context. 

Firstly, the focus is on thoroughly examining client needs, both forthright and subconscious, pragmatic and emotional, superficial and deep-seated. Client habits must be analysed, considered, and treated as essential in understanding the vast number of individual client requirements. Through this process a brief is developed, which ensures that the ultimate design solution is truly responsive, entirely unique and therefore utterly functional.

The site then becomes the domiannt influence on how the brief is approached and developed in a way that produces space which works not only in drawings, and according to client needs, but also in terms of its placement on the earth and its practical realities. In this way, every design responds heavily to the site's inherent nature, and takes cues from its contours, views, natural light, exsiting structures and/or landscape elements, and other constraints.

Finally the built and natural context provide a fundamental layer in the building scale and aesthetic. Whether amongst the sprawl of suburbia, within the dense realm of the city, or alone in the seclusion of a country site, all built works are informed by and react to their surrounds.

Whilst by no means the only influenes upon the design process, these three elements certainly carry the brunt on the journey to attaining functional resolution, as well as what is in many ways the intangible beauty of built space. 

  • Travis Hall

    I have recently renovated my house in Balcatta WA and without Poppy's help in the renovation it would have taken a lot longer to complete.
    What I found fantastic was that she shops around and picks everything you need, and makes sure that it suits the style you are looking for... I don't really like thinking about colour schemes and current design styles - I'm just more hands on and get the job done, so Poppy takes care of that side of it.
    This was my second time dealing with Poppy on a project and I highly recommend anyone looking for a knowledgeable designer to contact Poppy for help if you are wanting a fantastic result.
    Without a doubt if I hadn't used Poppy I would not have the great result I have finished up with.