Regardless of whether the project is commercial or residential, the design process begins with a visit to the site called a 'scope of works' meeting. This is primarily for us to get a feel for the opportunities of the space, understand the site complexities and detail warranted as well as being an initial briefing meeting. This is a valuable exercise from the client's point of view also as they gain an insight into our approach and also a feel of how we'd work together. We are collaborative designers and see each project as, first and foremost, belonging the owner, the architecture and the greater landscape - not vivid design. As such, we don't have a 'look' or style that we apply or tailor to each project but come to each design commission with an open approach that affords complete freedom and creativity. There is a nominal fee involved with this initial stage to cover time spent on site (approx. 45mins -1hr), travelling to and from from the site and preparation of a detailed design fee structure for the clients consideration - on corporate work we may choose to waive this fee. One or both design principals attend and it is advisable to have all interested parties attend this meeting, as well as copies of any relevant documentation including architectural drawings, site plans and the like.
The client signs a document, provided by Vivid Design, that officially engages our services. A deposit is taken and design works begin.
stage 1 : concept design
The concept phase begins with a second site visit to take photos, document any existing plantings and provides another opportunity for clients to develop on their brief to us. Depending on the size of the project, it may be cost effective to have us measure up the site. Larger homes, rural blocks and commercial projects require an accurate survey to be carried out. We'll let you know which is the best course and refer you to a quality surveyor that we have experience with if required. We can also brief them as to the detail required for the project. This part of the design phase often involves consultation with project architects as well as clients and we welcome the opportunity to work collaboratively on projects.
The purpose of conceptual design is to explore the potential of the space, theming, vehicular and pedestrian movement through the space, placement of garden elements, garden layout, features and main plantings. This is the exploratory phase of the design where we look at what could be, at times we may provide an optional approach to an area if appropriate. A concept presentation meeting is held to 'walk' the client/s through the garden design that is proposed. This stage always includes at least one plan and some images but in many cases 3-d generations or sketch impressions are also used to convey the design intent. With commercial works, we would also expect to present the concept to a board or committee and prepare a plan for public comment/communication. Importantly, this conceptual design affords the client the opportunity to provide valuable feedback before continuing on to more detailed drawings.
stage 2 : development and documentation
Revision and refinement of the concept, if need be. From there the concept design is redrafted into a more detailed working drawing that allows the project to be accurately quoted and constructed. On commercial projects we work in with architects, engineers and project managers.
This phase includes:-
specifications for all materials
stage 3 : contract administration
A few of our residential clients elect to build the garden themselves and do not require any assistance beyond planning. Many of our clients elect to have the garden professionally constructed and then plant it themselves. Most of our clients however, have their garden completely built and planted by professional landscapers. Ongoing maintenance might be professional, done by the client or a mixture of both.
During construction, we can consult as much or as little as the client needs; recommending contractors that we have experience with, sourcing quotes, assessing quotes, answering questions/meeting contractors and being available to consult on an hourly rate, as required, throughout the build.
Some clients elect to have us completely oversee the build and have the contractors deal directly with us on their behalf. This is charged as a percentage of the total garden budget and is negotiated once we have a final design.
Over the years vivid design has developed strong working relationships with most of Melbourne's leading landscape contractors. Depending on the specific requirements of your project, vivid design can recommend to you the most suitable contractor/s for your project