"There will never be great architects or great architecture without great patrons." Edwin Lutyen
I wish to thank all of my wonderful clients, because without them, I could not live my passion of architecture.
DMH Architecture A sole proprietorship located in Grand Rapids, Michigan, established in 2000, and is owned by Dawn M. Holtrop. Building types include single family and vacation homes, industrial, office, health care and retail commercial projects. I specialize in remodels and additions to existing cottages in the South Haven area of Michigan, many of which are in the High Risk Erosion and Critical Dune areas requiring DEQ approval.
Philosophy Some architects create in a specific recognizable style, for example Richard Meier (white, simple, airy) or Frank Gehry (curving steel panels), and they are hired by clients who desire the artistic qualities represented by the architect's past projects. I do not work within any one particular architectural style. My strengths are listening and understanding my clients needs and desires to create the architecture to suite their lifestyle, period in their lives, and budget. A successful project is gauged by whether the client's goals are met in a smooth process and within a reasonable budget.
Process The first meeting is to understand not only the scope of work and project, but also determine whether I am a good fit with the potential client. Architectural projects often become a relationship that last the length of the process, until construction is complete. Both parties must enjoy working together for a successful project.
The sometimes most difficult (and for me the most fun) part of the project is determining the design. I have found the best method is to create several designs that all fit the client's goals and criteria, then narrow down to one design. It is best to explore more than one idea because often the solution is a combination of several options and usually not the idea the client envisioned initially. By seeing several options, the client is more comfortable with the final design.
I encourage clients to spend as much time as possible in the schematic or concept phase, because this is where the most important decisions are made. They should live in the design in their mind for a period of time to be sure the design suites their lifestyle. It is quick and easy to make changes when the design is in this stage.
When the design is finalized, I create construction drawings to be used for bidding or pricing, permits and construction. See pricing for detail on the drawings typically included.
Background I have over 25 years experience in the architectural profession, both with my own firm and with several architectural firms where I designed and managed large commercial projects including hospital remodels and additions, Meijer stores, and office buildings. See credentials on the pricing page for more information.