Now that we have figured out what spaces we need, it’s time to start the design process. This is the perfect time for an internal design charrette. What is a design charrette? It’s an industry term we use to describe quick sketches, concepts, and collaborative designing. Design charrettes typically don’t involve our clients because the ideas are often raw, unrefined, and incomplete. The team at MSB Architects reviewed the requirements together and highlighted the more important features or adjacencies.  It is a great method for our design team to express ideas. And if one happens to feel right, we take that idea and start refining it.

For our charette, we had each designer take a crack at the design on their own, before coming together to share. First up to present ideas was Brianna. She provided two schemes for review in Revit. Her entrance was very open with a decorative stair to the second floor. Raquel was up next, with an open space defined by furniture and floor finishes. Andrew, like Brianna, designed in Revit, but took it a step further and included some 3D images. He had our conference room at the entrance and proposed adding a central door to the exterior (nothing is off limits here). Janelle presented four designs in various sketch formats. Her ideas included engaging the exterior of the building for outdoor space during good weather days, indoor plantings, and crazy shapes, which is always a personal favorite of mine. Was she pandering to the judge? Finally, I presented some really sketchy ideas.

We left the sketches on our conference room wall for a couple days to soak it all in. Kim and I spent some time reviewing the ideas, along with our original program requirements. Initially, we hoped to include some space we could lease since we don’t need the whole building right now. We ultimately decided to forego the leasable space because it required too many sacrifices. Now that we have completed our in-house design charrette, it’s time to start refining ideas into our new headquarters.