The strip mall development stage can be described as the progressive modification of a concept into an actual physical area where individuals can function as expected. In strip mall design, that area is most often the point where show and purchase of products, or the exchange of contracts or services will take place.
The most important participants on a strip mall construction project include the developer, the architect, and the property contractor. Government regulators, specialists, community groups, lawyers, as well as others could have further impact on the development, based on the nature or extent of the project. They all have their particular agenda, however these investors express a common purpose of seeing the build process to a satisfactory end.
The project’s architectural firm fine-tunes and develops the client’s concepts into a collection of operative blueprints a contractor puts out for bids and soon after makes use of to orchestrate the actual construction of the project. The architect’s primary objective is definitely the satisfaction of the various expectations and directives the client — in this case the developer — has, at least in the eyes of the client, articulated.
These could range from the look and feel of the finished project, the structure and space sizes, accessibility to utilities, storage space, garbage enclosures, community facilities, materials utilized in development, and the overall construction and materials standard.
Along with client-driven objectives, the architect needs to integrate a variety of legal mandates, codes, and regulations throughout the project design. This is particularly appropriate in commercial projects, where community members are the primary customers. The architect, subordinate to examination by code authorities, is the accountable party for assuring that evolution of those factors is in accordance with localized codes, regulations, planning guidelines or any other constraints a regional jurisdiction could have put into law. If a clash is present between the customer request and a local code, the code specifications are predominate. Even though it is quite possible to dispute or appeal a code official’s judgment, appeals are costly and time-consuming and necessitate all parties to be competent in the facts of the arguments.
The architect’s knowledge of local, state, and federal codes, combined with a talent for mediation, can save the client weeks of time and thousands of needless expenditure dollars.
Other than the contractual duty as the client’s representative and agent in front of the governing authority, it is usually the tacit, but self-appointed function of the architect, as the maker of aesthetics and the developer of the structure, to ensure satisfaction throughout this process. While inside the architectural community this role can be regarded as the architect’s main objective in life, in actuality this aesthetic element fulfills possible gaps amongst the mandates of the client and government agendas. In a perfect world, there wouldn’t be any conflict. In reality, however, if a specific element of an area or structure is “economically defective” or does not meet code requirements, regardless of how beautiful it may be, it will not be built. In order to prevent these conflicts, what “succeeds” as a design is what has been done previously, and the architect’s role thus defaults to an earlier body of “successful” work — either his or others — upon which to base their current design.
The architect’s role also envelopes various conceptual goals the architect may like to see furthered in the project. These could be sustainability, new urbanism, mixed use, community enhancement, or a particular style or theme of which the architect is fond and is trying to promote. These schematics would be discussed and evaluated as to viability early in the design process. Especially when a local jurisdiction is attempting to mandate a particular design, these underlying designs could be the reason a particular architect was engaged.
The sum of the architect’s operations places their role as an essential enabler and resolver of the client’s desired goals, an interpreter and professional of government regulations, and an overseer of the development of initial concepts into a set of drawings by which the entire construction process will be driven.