RIBA Plan of work

The lecture today mentioned the RIBA outline plans of work 2007 and the stages of RIBA work. The speaker explained that our studio work stages is not much of a difference to the real architectural plan of work.

However, Gordon McLaren was more interested in the mass production in architecture rather than making the design unique. Then he elaborated more about the budget how as an architect you should use this budget carefully and thoughtfully. Depending on the budget that was given to you as an architect you have to make the best to get what the client wants using that budget and that the design can change completely if it can’t be built because the budget is too low. The speaker concentrated on the subject of what the customer wants and what the architect can provide to suit his/her needs. This lead to the subjects of economy and the price of the design and how cheap it can be, how efficient it can be. How much an architect can spend of the budget to create a beautiful design and efficient money manageable design. This reminded me of the project by Rem Koolhaas the ‘border house’ as the design  includes almost every single thing the occupier needs in the space. Yet Koolhaas did not consider the cost of cleaning this house and how much time it takes to clean it.


RIBA plan of work

In order to complete a project an architect/designer has to go through a series of stages.

Note:  in this project we are at the same time architect and client.


A.  Appraisal Find out the client’s needs and carry out feasability studies for his requirements

Our new project was to be set in Brick Lane, a bohemian part of London.  Before we knew exactly what sites we are going to have, we explored the area in search of some specific points of interest. The way we tried to do this was sketching at different scales (S,M,L,XL) to try and capture as more of Brick Lane as possible, in all its aspects.

B. Strategic Brief Receive strategic brief prepared by the client

The brief we were given stated „using the power of making to transform your site”. We were given specific sites in Brick Lane and started observing them closely. We surveyed the sites, drew site plans, sections and elevatios and made site models to be base for our future concepts. We talked to shop owners, homeless people living on sites, looked at the history and cultures of the area.

C Outline Proposals Commence development of and make Outline Proposals of Strategic Brief to Project Brief

Once we had initial ideas of the possible design, we started making concept models to explore these ideas. Sletches, research, more accurate drawings.  The brief was a building for 30 people, so this forced us to think at a rather small scale but in a huge amount of detail. Questions like „What’s being made in your building?”, „Who uses my building?”, „When is it open to the public?” or „What’s the character of each room” came about very much.

D Detailed Proposals  Complete developments of Project Brief. Develop the Detailed Proposal from approved Outline Proposals and submit application for full planning permission

By this point we had decided on the final design, we produced a more resolved set of drawings, plans, sections and elevations of the final proposal.  In a real life project this is a very important stage as the final set of drawings submitted as an application for the planning permision become the contract. So everything has to be perfectly well drawn and explained for the constructors to be able to build it accordingly.

E Final Proposals Design Final Proposals from approved Detailed Proposals

At this stage we started looking into more detail, how the lights comes in the building, the shadows it casts on different objects/sides of the room, views from different angles, materiality. Making movies at this stage is really helpful as well as rendering and photoshoping to get an image of what your building will look like and how will people see it.


This is probably as far as we can go at this stage.


F Production Information Prepare production information for tender purposes

G Tender documents Prepare and collate tender documents in sufficient detail to enable a tender or tenders to be obtained

H Tender Action Contribute to appraisal and report on tenders negotiations

J Mobilisation Provide production information as requested for the building contract and for construction

K Construction to Practical Completion Make visits to the works in connection with the Architect’s design

L After Practical Completion Identify defects and make final inspections.

As our ethos is based on complete projects, I feel like this final stage is also an important one because the project does not end with the construction. This is when it actually starts. When the buildings comes to life through its users. So we should monitor this and observe how well it functions and it complies with the client’s initial needs.

Review by Riam Ibrahem and Alexandra Arad


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