Design News Preliminary Work

A tag team for building and site design

Yesterday was a bit of a marathon meeting, as our architectural team called in their government permit expert and, in the end, it was decided that it’s best to re-design for two levels (instead of the current three levels) and try to somehow squeeze in the rooftop bar.

We threw some re-design ideas around for a bit and then it was decided that within a week the architectural team will create something that the government can gaze at and comment on.

It’s one thing to say a room is a library and then later, after the government inspector is gone, turn it into a bedroom — and quite another to say a roof that begins 2.5 meters above the top floor is that way in order to make the structure look cool — when in reality it’s that way to support people wandering around an open-air rooftop bar.

And so we have to make lemonade from lemons that the government deems worthy to squeeze.

While a small part of me temporarily wanted to throw in the towel, I’m eager to see what kind of rabbit Arkana Architects will pull out of it’s hat.

After the permit meeting we called in our road and wall building team to meet with Arkana.

Due to the sloping building site and the fact that part of the structure will have a parking space under it, we need to carefully determine the heights of each portion of the property for proper drainage.

It was decided to have a tiered setup: building structure, pool, and then a final tier for the cafe. The other option is a gradual slope, but by tiering the property we can do something creative with the pool placement. Essentially the downhill part of the pool wall will be more exposed in order to avoid bringing in more fill.

Calculations were made and then everyone was happy with the result.

It is remarkable that architects essentially problem-solve all day long. The beautiful touches that an architect adds to a building is probably 10% of their job. The bulk of their work consists of the nuts and bolts of, for example, making sure a water pipe doesn’t end up in the wrong place.

It’s always exciting to grind away at an idea until it comes to life. The bureaucratic hurdles can appear to be stifling, but you have to use the government’s constraints and still try your best to stay true to your vision.

None of it is easy.

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