Great Oak Studio

Great Oak Studio:Architecture



site development plan
              Site Development Plan
Site Map


Architecture and architects can be highly self-serving and ego-driven. Which is too bad because in many ways the initial process of building design is more about psychology. You come to us with a need, a wish, a desire, or a problem that needs solving. We listen to your needs and concerns, and then attempt to translate your words into a design, from which a building will be created. You are the end user, the investor, the person or people that will live within the structure we create. Your needs come first, and we help you meet those needs through our expertise in design and construction. We strive to keep the egotism out of the design process.

Below is an outline showing how we do our work:

  • Phase One, Project Understanding: First, we listen. What do you need or want? Why did you decide you needed the help of an architect? How will doing a construction project make your life better, your business more profitable, or make you happier? Isn't that the final goal? We can assess what you have to work with, and figure out how to get you where you want to be. We can start with an existing structure, a tenant space, or an undeveloped parcel of land. If you don't have these yet, we can also assist you in assessing properties and their potential prior to purchase.
  • Phase Two, Schematic Design: We meet to discuss and establish your proposed scope of work, including size, room type, finishes, and desired budget. For additions and renovations, we assess your existing building or space. From this information we will create design options that attempt to fulfill the desired needs. At the end of the process you will select the design option that best fits your needs and visions.
  • Phase Three, Design Development: The selected schematic design option is refined to ensure that it meets applicable zoning and building codes, and can be built within the established project budget. This phase is necessary for commercial and institutional type projects - it is often merged into the Schematic Design phase for smaller residential projects.
  • Phase Four, Construction Documents: A set of technical construction plans and written specifications will be created in this phase. These documents will be submitted to the local municipality for approvals such as planning, zoning, and building permit. They will also be issued to a contractor for final bidding and/or pricing.
  • Phase Five, Construction Observation: This phase includes the bidding process, contractor selection, and observation of construction by the architect to ensure that the contractor is interpreting and following the plans correctly. The architect also assists in solving problems that inevitably arise during construction.

We fully understand that the undertaking of a construction project by an individual, a family, a business, a non-profit organization, or any other entity can be full of hope and promise, and even the fulfillment of a lifetime dream. It can also be a daunting, stress-inducing process. We work very hard to demystify the process, to keep the hope alive and surprises to a minimum, and to be sure you know what you are getting for your hard-earned money.

For a consultation, please call 914-234-4063, or email us at


© 2013 Great Oak Studio