Design

For over sixty years, the team at Sedgwick + Ferweda have refined and honed our process. Because of our approach to our philosophy, we have successfully worked on projects that span a wide spectrum of usage, from commercial to residential, new construction to refurbishing. Our experience has created a team that is made up of experts and leaders in the Michigan architect community. There are few boutique architecture firms that can match our tradition of high quality architectural design while guaranteeing our level of concern and accessibility to your needs and questions. Throughout our history, our philosophy, that good design is the key to all successful architecture, has guided our approach. Our integrity has informed and refined our process, and has helped us to foster a reputation of respect throughout Michigan.

Design is all around us. Most of the time, we do not realize the impact that the placement of a doorway or a window has on how we feel in a space, but thought and knowledge is behind all of these decisions. Understanding a person’s subconscious reaction to a space and harnessing it is the basis of the principle of design excellence. Design excellence is what architects train for throughout their career to ensure. It is the guiding principle behind our philosophy, that good design is the key to all successful architecture. By working together with all the stakeholders who will be impacted by a project, our architects help to guide you in creating a space that matches the vision and goals of everyone who will use it. At Sedgewick + Ferweda, the principle of Design Excellence is always our starting point. As Architects in Michigan, it drives us to be constantly innovative while also focusing on functionality and sustainability. But design excellence is not the only element that carries us through our design process. We also focus on understanding all of our clients needs and then championing our designs while simultaneously understanding the aesthetic value of the site and the structure we will design for that site. Our process, honed since our founding in 1958, has produced designs that focus on usability, while inspiring emotion in everyone who uses the new spaces.

Our process begins, first and foremost with understanding your needs. We begin every project by discussing, face to face, your goals and vision. This can include many things, like how the space will be used, how much maintenance you would like to undertake once the structure is complete, and the budget of the project. Our experience has taught us that this first step is most important so that the project gets off to a good start. We feel that people influence the needs of the design, not the other way around. After we meet, the team at Sedgewick + Ferweda research the site for your project. Whether it is a completely new structure, or a redesign of an existing space, this step is key in understanding what can be done—we have to know what is there to understand the potential and limitations of the project. Once we understand what the current situation is, we begin to “champion the design.” This is our belief that we make every project better than the circumstances surrounding it. In every project, no matter how big or small, there are limitations. Our belief is that these limitations can always be overcome or leveraged to make a stronger final design that is executable and sustainable. During this phase in our process, we will begin the design, working collaboratively to make sure that all your needs are not only met, but exceeded. It is only once we, as a team, have examined and tweaked the design that we will sit down with you and present the designs for your project. At this time we listen to your feedback and concerns. Despite our research, it is impossible for us to anticipate all the nuanced needs that your project has, and we take the feedback gained in this presentation and implement changes to the design based on them. Once all of this is input is in place in the design, we again meet to review the final design.

The final design that we will provide you will meet all of your goals and offer you and your project an aesthetic value. As local, Architects in Michigan, we know architecture is a powerful aesthetic force experienced by everyone in our community. People are in constant contact with architecture, and the emotional response it derives makes an impact on them. Whether it is a commercial or residential project, it is important that anyone who interacts with your new space feel comfortable at the minimum, and enlightened to be in the space. It is also important that your new design is sustainable and achievable within your project’s constraints. These are large responsibilities—and it is never forgotten when the team at Sedgewick + Ferweda finalize a design. But a finished design is not the end product of the process. Once the designs is realized, a building permit needs to be obtained. We finalize all of the remaining construction details, and a complete set of quality controlled working drawings are finalized including: architectural, civil, structural, site, mechanical and electrical, specifications, governmental agency approvals, and statements of construction cost estimates. We can then facilitate the bid process for you. We have the experience to receive bids and maximize bidding competition if you request. Once construction commences we are proactive with on-site construction observation and quality control administration. We also engage, at this phase, with job cost accounting, change orders, review catalogues and shop drawings for conformance to drawings. We review maintenance and operational programs, develop as-built drawings, review warranties, and administer a post-construction review. And to ensure that the aesthetic value and usability of the space is maximized, we will assist you in developing the design of the interior of the building. We prepare drawings and material boards to assist you in making decisions on the finishes and fixtures for the interior of the building. We believe that this attention to detail and being a presence from beginning to end ensures great architecture.