We are a group of architects, urban planners, engineers, designers, economists and scientists – setting our minds out to make a difference. By origin we are an architectural design office, but we do much more than just designing buildings... Everything we do is always focused on improving the built environment and promoting a cohesive society.
We think holistically and are motivated to make new advances in sustainable design. To achieve our goals we use a wide range of tools and work in collaboration with an excellent network of experts.
Sustainability requires us to think holistically: the location and function of a building, its flexibility and life span, its orientation, form and structure, its heating and ventilation systems and the materials used, together impact upon the amount of energy required to build and maintain it, and travel to and from it. Only by finding new solutions to these problems can we create sustainable forms of building for the future. This is one of our greatest challenges going forward and is motivating us as designers. To help us make new advances in sustainable design we have our own Research and Development Group. In our projects we develop pioneer solutions using renewable energy sources, which offer dramatic reductions in pollution.
Our ambition today is to establish a sustainability profile for every project. This development tool allows each team to determine targets and methods at the beginning of each project. In doing so, our aim is to provide a system to monitor the sustainability agenda of individual projects and to promote a strong sustainable design ethic.
Our sustainability knowledge pool promotes the use of sustainable technologies and methods throughout the practice. The knowledge pool is part of the research and development group, whose role is to ensure that the network remains at the forefront of architectural innovation. Each design network member is encouraged to record its sustainable design methods, regardless of the project’s size, location or type. This information is collated in a database that can be accessed throughout the practice to inform subsequent projects.
While new technologies have transformed the way we work, traditional model making still plays a crucial role. We have an information centre with a comprehensive materials research that helps us to select products and initiates the use of new materials, ensuring that we have the knowledge base to create inspirational as well as sustainable buildings.
We deliver tailor-made solutions based on the understanding of the big picture of sustainable development. Our work is driven by meaning, honesty and high quality.
All definitions of sustainable development require that we see the world as a system—a system that connects space and time. If you think of the world as a system over time, you start to realize that the decisions our grandparents made about how to use the land continue to affect our lives today. The problems we face are complex and serious—and we can’t address them in the same way we created them. But we can address them.
We recognize that as architects we are only as powerful as our advocacy. While architects cannot solve all the world’s ecological problems, we can design energy efficient, socially responsible buildings and we can influence transport patterns through urban planning. Importantly, sustainability also implies a way of building that is sensitive to its location and the culture that has shaped it. We understand that not every project will be able to meet all the desired criteria. Equally, we believe that we have a responsibility to try to persuade clients to adopt sustainable strategies – even small steps in the right direction are better than none at all.
Sustainability is an issue that drives the work of our practice. It is a thread that runs through from the very beginning to the present and on into the future.
Sensitivity to the culture and climate of the place – Our work is driven by the pursuit of quality - a belief that our surroundings directly influence the quality of our lives, whether in the workplace, at home or the public spaces in between, as well as the urban design that affects our well-being. We are concerned with the physical context of a project, sensitive to the culture and climate of their place. The quest for quality means we pay attention to the physical performance of buildings and acknowledge that architecture is generated by the needs of people - both material and spiritual. Equally, excellence of design and its successful execution are central to our approach.Architecture - We believe the best architecture comes from a synthesis of all the elements that separately comprise and inform the character of a building: the structure that holds it up; the services that allow it to function; its ecology; the quality of natural light; the symbolism of the form; the relationship of the building to the skyline or the streetscape; the way you move through or around it; and last but not least its ability to lift the spirits. This holistic approach is augmented by a strong commitment to the clients we serve, and also to the public domain and the many users involved. A high degree of personal service, coupled with respect for the precious resources of cost and time, therefore characterizes our client relationships.Engineering – We engineer buildings and offer a great diversity of skills and services that address all aspects of form and function in the built environment. Our engineering approach is from perfecting the tiniest details of a building to managing complex multidisciplinary projects and developing living and working spaces for whole communities. Our expertise ranges from optimizing the passive performance of a building envelope and skeleton to designing the active systems that create an efficient, safe, comfortable environment for occupants. All our skills and services are focused on enabling clients to achieve sustainable outcomes for best value
We deliver new architectural solutions for urban developments that can lift the quality of our lives.
Our work takes place in the intersection of design, technological and socio economic developments. There are three areas we find ourselves solving our customers’ challenges most often:
1— Insight and foresight by design-research: The extensive experience, the integration of trans-disciplinary points of view, and the people-inspired design perspectives help us to understand what spaces are needed for now and beyond.
2— Space oriented development strategies: All of our work aims at concrete products and services. Our conceptual work includes product and service strategies and roadmaps.
3— Integrative architectural design and urban development: We have the experience and skills to take architectural design and urban planning effectively from insight to impact with our wide range of excellent partners.
Our design process ensures that the right things get done the right time by the right people in order to integrate the complex requirements to deliver advanced integrated building and urban planning solutions.
We validate the project brief and challenge it through research and observations of the existing context in order to:
1— Look inside the company to understand the business case, context and the processes where the new product or service will be deployed, and
2— Look outside to the ecosystem, market environment and culture.
We use architectural engineering approaches to find and invent new spatial patterns and frameworks for the future urban context or services. We communicate design directions and alternatives in a concise and visual manner.Results: working models, content frameworks, draft guidelines, mappings, design solution concepts, etc.
Based on the two previous phases, we design and deliver the final solutions. The output is depending on the specific project profile. It describes the guideline for the selected solution and provides the in depth information needed for implementation.Results: design guidelines, detail designs, product or service specifications, movies, presentations, plans, etc.
We participate in or overtake the lead in the construction phase of the project. We ensure that the architectural design and urban development is implemented as intended: functional, beautiful and economically successful.Results: implementation guideline and quality management support etc.
Our real power is the people we employ and the partners we collaborate with in our network: sharp, innovative, experienced, passionate professionals and thinkers. Most of us have years of experience and possess evidence in results to prove our skills.
BoötesDesign is the fifth chapter of a practice that started 1993 in Switzerland. Itsdevelopment is closely linked with the biography of Peter Bölsterli and a complexnetwork of partners and friends.
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