Z+A is a Bay Area architectural studio led by a seasoned vet and fueled by great young talent. We specialize in housing - custom homes, senior and workforce housing, all with a modern bent.
We always begin by getting to know our clients so we can actively assist in defining their program and meeting and managing their expectations. Of course we like to make sure we are a good fit for each other because designing a home is a deep and long process, which means we'll be spending some time together. It's a team effort and a sense of humor goes a long way in this office.
Client needs and site parameters are actually what drive the design. We like to avoid bringing preconceptions to the table. The process is finding this marriage between client program and site attributes. The rest - massing, form, colors and styles - is subjective.
It's not a secret science, but sometimes the obvious is overlooked. We really delve into the site. We spend a lot of time there (we virtually camp there), getting to know all it has to offer, as well as any constraints. Design starts once all the givens, such as neighborhood culture, sun, winds, views, zoning, soils and history, are understood and mapped. Site parameters and surroundings are our main influences at the start of the design process.
In true design-build, it's a team effort. Communication is key. The challenges for the client can include defining what their expectations are and embracing and trusting that the designer and builder understand their vision. Budget restraints can help sharpen the creative process for us. There is always going to be give and take.
Reality can be tough. Start by developing a master plan. Do what you can today and lay the groundwork for future phases. Some of our current projects are designed with future development in mind.
The web, the phone, a meeting . . . We have a great space on the bay in Sausalito. The view is beautiful, come see us!