Look for an architect who not only understands your building, but also your vision.
We can help you write your brief and understand the tendering process.
Download the toolkit
- Chapter five: Developing your ideas (4.1 MB)
What should you look for?
You are looking for a person that you want to work with; someone who, not only understands your building, but also your vision.
You are looking for a person with the right technical skills; someone who respects old buildings and understands how to combine old and new.
You need an architect who has experience of the faculty process and has a feel for how churches work.
Obvious things to look for:
- Technical skills
- Ability to manage
- Relevant experience
- Conservation accreditation (historic churches)
- Practice of the right size
Not so obvious things to look for:
- Good working relationship
- Keeping to the brief
- Good overall value
- Dialogue on the design ideas
“A good architect will listen and want to understand you, your mission and your organisation.”Crossing the Threshold
Write your brief
A brief is a one page document that you use to tell your architect what you need your project to achieve. Your architect will then use the brief to design a solution to those needs.
Using bullet points, explain:
- What you need
- The activities you want to do
- The number of people you want to have room for
- The amount of space you need to reserve for specific activities
- What you do now versus what you want to do in the future
- And what the most important thing about the project is
Where to look for an architect
To find an architect:
- Ask your diocese for advice
- Ask your archdeacon
- Ask the parishes next door
- Ask your quinquennial architect if they want to tender
- Search the register of architects accredited in building conservation
- Search the Royal Institute of British Architects website
You can invite specific architects to tender for your project. Or you can advertise for one.
Architects who are interested in applying will need:
- Your project brief
- Your community’s profile
- The results from your community survey
- Your options’ appraisal
- Any important points raised by the DAC or statutory group in early discussions
- Your contact details
- An estimate of your budget
Choose your architect
Don’t just take the price into account. Quality and experience is also very important.
Shortlist three to five architects to interview. Try and have as many people from your group there.
- Examples of similar work
- References from other churches
- Similar projects you could go and visit
Make sure you follow up on this before you make your decision. And make sure you understand how the architect’s fees and costs work.
You need to be sure you have the right person for the job. You will be working with them for a while.