Here, is where our residential architectural design profession began. Residential architectural design with a distinctive style, flair and creativity. An environment, where creative juices flow and original products are born.
Hence, our online presence, in the amazing world of residential architectural design. Now, it’s a key part of the URBREG website too.
Early Beginnings in Residential Architectural Design
Hi, I’m Jenny McNeil. After, several years of applying myself, toward a passion for designing things, I graduated with my degree in Architecture Design, in June of 1978. I was a small-town gal in the big city. Minimized, in a sea of concrete and steel buildings. And, during, the Pierre Elliotte Trudeau era. Awful times, for Alberta and western Canada. But, there I was. Out looking for a job in residential architectural design.
Continuing, with my story, jobs weren’t plentiful, during that time. Trudeau, and his administration, racked up the highest unemployment rates, national deficit and pretty much everything else awful, in the history of Canada. Some say, he pretty much ruined the country, aside maybe, from Quebec and Ontario. Yet, he got re-elected, for some unknown reason. Moreover, for several terms in government.
Architecture with Originality & Distinction
In any case, my skills in architecture and acute interest in entrepreneurship, coupled with a rare opportunity, gave birth to my long career in residential architectural design. I began, as a minority Associate Partner. Now, 40 years later, I am the Senior Managing Architectural Partner, at Universal Residential Builders & Real Estate Group International Inc. Often, more commonly referred to as, URBREG International Inc.
After graduation, and an extensive job search, I was hired by two of the best guys in the residential construction business. Founders, and owners of the firm, URBREG International Inc., Mr.’s Alan White and Joseph Vollman. Of course, that is my opinion, but some 6,600+ clients later, I believe my beliefs to be accurate. Under their mentor-ship and guiding hands, my love and passion for residential architectural design work, grew. And, I might add, I became very good at it.
However, in those days, I was the only member of the firm, in residential architecture. Thus, there was no competition. Furthermore, Mr. White and Mr. Vollman’s focus and attention, was solely directed on me. Today, as a senior partner, I now reciprocate the kindness and generosity extended me. To, juniors and interns, guiding them away from errors and potential pitfalls, utilizing my 40+ years of experience.
Hand Drawing and Sketching in Architectural Design
In the first year of architecture design school, we were required to produce every diagram, sketch, and drawing, by free-hand sketch. Although, extremely tedious at times, it taught the value of sketching. Not only, as a form of communication, but also, as a form of representation. Architects, dating back to the dawning of time, are taught that there isn’t a better way to explore, develop and advance an architectural design idea, than with paper, a pencil and color crayons.
Nevertheless, technology has advanced dramatically. However, the degree of computer interaction nowadays, can sometimes cause you to lose your train of thought. I say that, for a variety of reasons. For instance, because the time that expires, from turning on the computer, booting up CAD or Revit, (or even moving the mouse), can sometimes be enough, for an idea to deteriorate. Or, get convoluted. Even, lost altogether on occasion, with some individuals.
Put another way, there are so many distractions, in our digital-based world. With hand drawing and sketching, that cannot happen. You are focused on the business at hand. Not distracted, by social media, email, and a million other modern-day disruptions. But, there are tremendous benefits to modern technologies, as well. Especially so, for architectural design.
Admittedly, in the beginning, sketching often felt very hard. I believe, it’s because, too much focus was placed on the symmetry of the lines. Lines, being drawn, and the proportionality of the objects being integrated. Nonetheless, I am so thankful that architectural design school, forced me to do it. Likewise, to practice it repeatedly. Not, give up in despair.
As with anything, the exercise of practicing, is not to become perfect. But rather, to become more comfortable and skilled. The more comfortable you can become with sketching, the easier it is to relay the idea. Similarly, through the act of drawing, the more skilled you become at architectural design.
Gridded Cutting Mat and Architectural Tracing Paper
What is it about residential architectural design, that draws and attracts such creative people? I think, the answer is simple. The clients.
I know, from my own career standpoint, taking someone’s rough dream and helping them shape and mold it into a reality, is what does it for me. Moreover, watching the frowns of uncertainty fade. Being replaced, with smiles and radiance. A feeling, only someone in residential architectural design, can experience. Hence, the clients begin to see their vision being developed.
Since my career began, I’ve noticed many interesting parallels between architecture, the built environment, and the real world. It is a way of life. Involving, every aspect of how we live, interact with each other and use our land. Likewise, it’s amazing to see how many of the design principles and processes are similar.
Therefore, coupled with today’s technology, the way we apply those principles through our design tools, is making the residential world better, than it has ever been. However, you learn to begin sketching with a gridded cutting mat and trace paper, first. There are some key reasons why.
Evolution of Residential Architectural Design
Now-a-days, with a few key clicks and moves of the mouse, we can make changes to the world we live in. Not only that, but correct potential errors, before they ever occur. Accuracy, throughout all we do in residential architectural design, is now a factor taken for granted. Without, the trial and error techniques of the ‘old days’. Today, we don’t use as many pencils, erasers, sketch pads and architectural design tracing paper, as we used to.
Rather, utilizing CAD (computer assisted drawing), from the first hand-sketch to the finished architectural design, we are able to apply architectural principles quickly and effectively. Furthermore, through the modern sophisticated tools of our trade, we produce amazing and flawless, scaled, architectural design. Architecture school still teaches you to use a varied set of tools for sketching and drafting. Utilized, for buildings of all shapes, sizes and styles. Including, residential architectural design.
Residential Architectural Design Scaling
Of particular importance, there’s no way to draw buildings or most other things at 1:1 scale. Meaning, that 1 increment of measure on paper, equals that same increment of measure on land. For instance, one inch on paper, equals one inch on the ground.
As a result, architects learn to draw on pro-rated scales. So, for example, 1/8th of an inch on paper, equals an actual predetermined distance of measure, on the ground. Therefore, 1/8th of an inch on paper, might equal 1 foot on the ground, for example. Whatever it is, it is predetermined by design scaling. Hence, you’ve probably heard the expression, “Can you read drawings?” Essentially, what that means is, does a viewer know how to interpret them into something that makes sense. To get started, drawing is done, with transparent tracing paper, laid over top of a one-inch gridded mat. Thus, making it much easier for architects, to draw their creations and innovations to scale.
Duplication and Iteration in Architectural Design
Within buildings, many design elements repeat. Such as, stairs. These may carry through, from floor-to-floor, in the architectural design for a new custom home, for example. When sketching, the transparency of trace paper makes it easier for architects, designers and draft-persons, to layer their drawings. And, to trace common elements.
However, with today’s modern technology in CAD for example, this task is even easier. By simply switching screens, layers can be done to drawings quickly and effectively. In addition, duplicating common elements also becomes easy to iterate. In days gone by, a residential design architect, would have to overlay trace paper, to change a single element. Thus, being able to show an alternate design idea. In hand-sketching, transparent trace paper was essential. Today, it’s no longer as necessary. Now, we simply click a few keys on a CAD program.
Preliminary design sketching of a project to quickly explore different concepts is now done with ease. And, without reams of tracing paper. With the sophisticated CAD technology that the URBREG Architectural Design Team utilizes, these tasks become not only easier, but much more efficient too.
Grid System Definitions in Architectural Design
Architectural design professionals, quickly learn that the underlying structure of most buildings, is a structural grid of strategically placed columns. This grid system allows for a more even distribution of weight. It is also an important part of what makes the building stand upright. Hence, not fall over. Similarly, in today’s monster homes. Especially so, in seismic-prone areas. Thus, serious consideration must be given to weight distribution. As well as, the force that weight exerts. Not only, upon the structure, but also, what is below the surface.
Therefore, placement of the structural grid layout is paramount. The underlying grid also helps architects create organized designs. As a result, architectural design personnel first learn, how to sketch on a gridded mat. That way, they can easily keep the column grid in mind, as they design.
Usage of Micron Pens and Prisma-Color Utensils in Design
When drawing with trace paper and cutting mats, we architectural design experts, have learned to sketch with Micron pens, and Prisma-color markers. There are several key reasons, why these specifically perfected brands work so well.
Firstly, Microns and Prisma’s dry fast. Secondly, they have very limited bleed-through on trace paper. Third, Microns are opaque, and Prisma-color markers are semi-transparent. Hence, allowing the architectural design professional to add color and shading, while still being able to see through it all, on the paper.
Microns are also particularly useful. First off, they come in a variety of line weights. Similarly, Prisma-color markers also come in two line weights. One end, of the marker being thin, the other end, very thick. In any architectural design, it is critical to use different line weights. These depict depth and breadth in objects. When drawing a new custom home for example, thicker lines can be used to depict a lot of depth, as is the case, on the outside of the building structure. Conversely, thin lines are used to denote less depth. Perhaps, for the outline of brick on a front façade, for example.
To the viewer, these varied line weights help depict the picture accurately and expressively. Microns and Prisma-colors are also good for design annotations in architectural design. Color is most valuable for renderings. Such as, building facades, or perspectives. Black and white, is generally very good for shading plans and sections on drawings, to depict the perspectives of the building.
Straight Lines in Residential Architectural Design
Equally important, Architects, Landscape Architects and Designers from every domain, learn at very early stages, that straight lines are necessary, for correctly relaying a design concept, drawing, or rendering. Thus, we as architectural design professionals, are taught and learn how, to draw horizontal straight lines, at varying widths. For example, 1 inch apart, ½ inch apart and so forth.
At first, it seemed like a senseless exercise when we were forced to do it in school. It was also painful to get any sort of precision. But, the goal was to become comfortable. And, more skilled at drawing straight lines. Subsequently, as we learned in architectural design school, and later experienced in real practice, the importance of a straight line, cannot be overstated.
However, with modern computer assisted drawing technology we use nowadays, some of this age-old practice is suppressed. Nevertheless, it will always be around. Since, we often meet with clients in remote development locations, we must still do a great deal of hand sketching, on site, on paper. A large part of which, is defined by straight lines.
Depiction of Work Using Painter’s Tape in Architectural Design
Certainly, worthy of mention, is painter’s tape. It is particularly useful when hand-sketching with trace paper. This tape, has enough stickiness to hold designs in place. Yet, it can be easily removed without ripping the trace paper. Unlike, scotch or masking-type tapes. Thus, Painter’s Tape is unique. We use it to hold trace paper in place on the gridded mat, while the drawing is going on.
Also used for hanging designs on the wall. Hence, facilitating the architectural design team members to review and critique, in-progress drawings. Therefore, the team can offer suggestions. Easily brain-storm, about the architectural design during the hand-sketch phase.
Furthermore, architectural design team members, can effectively tape a new piece of trace on top the existing. Without worry of ripping existing work, or stripping lines and color. Such a technique, allows a feel for what an advanced design might look like. And, how amendments will impact it. Or, how it can be improved upon. It’s also a handy and effective way to add comments, design notes, iterations and other brain-storming scribble.
Modern Architectural Design Tools and Techniques
Trace paper sketching of days gone by, resolved two challenges with the standard paper approach. One, having to redraw the same elements over and over. And the other, that we could insert design-scale cartridges etc., easily. The flexibility trace paper still offers however, brings about better visualization. Not only, of design ideas between the architectural design team members, but also, sometimes with the client. As a residential architectural design team, we’ve experienced several benefits. Plus, iterations are easier.
Moreover, it has quickened the sketching phases for projects. Straighter lines increase legibility and clarity. Hence, making it easier to read and review sketches. Results include, improved accuracy, consistency and style alignment. Also enhanced, is your familiarity of the pending architectural design. In addition, made it easier to share designs with the team.
Key Architectural Differences of Yesterday and Today
Now, with modern CAD technology all these tasks are simplified even further. Viewing, on screens instead of on walls. Clicking a mouse, instead of doing multiple trace paper overlays. Thus, making review, changes, discussions, client meetings and amendments, much quicker and easier. Also, improving cost-effectiveness and efficiency.
The URBREG Residential Architectural Design Team utilizes these state-of-the-art technologies. Our firm, utilizes both, CAD (Computer Assisted Drawing) and CADD (Computer-Aided Design and Drafting) design and rendering. Each, has a need, in both 2D and 3D. Consequently, you, the client, can see what the finished product will look like, before ground is ever broke.
Get in touch with us for more details about residential architectural design. URBREG International, would love to do the architectural design for your dream home. We’ll build it to exacting standards for you too. Hand-picked, experienced, veteran, experts do the work.
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Contact URBREG’s Architectural Design Team by Phone
You can call URBREG International 24/7/365. Phone toll-free, from anywhere within Canada or USA at:
1 877 9 URBREG (1 877 987 2734)
If calling from within Mexico, get in touch at: +52 1 322 146 8325
Internationally, reach us at: 011 52 1 322 146 8325
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Email us at: info . general @ urbreg . com
URBREG’s Team is here to Inform, Strengthen, Fortify, Assist and Constantly Create Confidence in Residential Architectural Design
Remember, URBREG International, together with all our associates is a one-stop-shop. For architectural design and everything residential. Perhaps, you’ll want to learn more about our Mexico products. Or maybe, our Puerto Vallarta real estate services.
Furthermore, get lots of helpful how-to’s, tips, and advice on our Blog. Do you own real estate in the metro Puerto Vallarta area, that you want to sell? If so, have a look at our real estate listings info page. It will explain our Puerto Vallarta real estate services and the way we work for you. Additionally, find out about our service terms of engagement, when you want to contract us for something.
URBREG Architectural Services Helpful Links | Main Social Media
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Additional URBREG Design Resources
Finally, stay current about all URBREG International Group’s interior design products and services through our helpful blog articles. Learn more about home renovation, or getting custom architectural design plans for your new dream home.
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Perhaps, you’ve got an interest in getting into business for yourself. If that’s the case, you’re also at the right place! Visit the franchise opportunities page, for the information. You too, can share in our successes. It’s easy to become a part in the long URBREG International Associates success story. We’d love to add you to the Universal Residential Builders & Real Estate Group Inc. And, the URBREG International family.
Other URBREG Architectural & Residential Things to Check Out
Equally exciting, come as our guests and stay in one of our vacation rental Puerto Vallarta homes. Whatever it is, that you like to do on vacation, the URBREG Puerto Vallarta Real Estate Group, likely has the perfect Puerto Vallarta vacation home or condo, just for you.
Relax on the beach. Soak up some rays. Have a cold, refreshing drink in the sunshine. Write your memoirs. Do yoga. Meditate. Recharge.
Otherwise, get tips on such things as buying your first home. Or, dealing with a mold problem in an existing one. Furthermore, on our auxiliary websites, you’ll find more about residential architecture, Mexico/Latino and Canada/USA custom home building, as well as, landscape/outdoor living.
More URBREG Residential Architectural Design Related Page Links
Of particular importance, Puerto Vallarta residential architectural design, is an integral part. Also, be sure to have a look at the home improvement section, and similarly with the landscape master plan article. There, you will learn the benefits, as well as, why, you need a landscape design plan for your outdoor living spaces.
URBREG Puerto Vallarta Architectural Design Conclusion
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