Architect-designed houses:

Most houses are architect-designed; the house designs offered by the builder-developer firms who build the bulk of new houses are ultimately architect-designed – by in-house professionals, or consultants. And if your project is bespoke, your ideas on your site, engaging an architect is still the best way to go. Architects do it best. For your next Adelaide Hills project, whether it be a new house or alterations to your existing house, engaging an architect is the right choice. And engaging Michael Watson Architects – an architect with Adelaide Hills experience of local regulations, climate, topography, bushfires and sustainable design techniques is the right choice also.

No matter how much we differ in our opinions in respect of home design, the things which we all desire are similar: shelter, amenity and comfort. The demands of the Adelaide Hills environment differ markedly from those of Adelaide and other parts of Australia. The Hills are wetter and cooler in autumn, winter, and spring, and more bushfire-prone, and Hills councils have regulations which demand more robust construction and detailing. We’re all concerned to minimise our energy use, and the cold winters of the Hills demand that houses be warm and comfortable – but without excessive use of energy. We believe in full use of sunshine and light to augment your heaters when it’s cold, and the cool south-easterly breezes of summer when it’s warm. Your choice of Michael Watson Architects, experienced in Adelaide Hills domestic architecture for thirty years, would be a wise one.

Commercial, Community and Industrial Projects

The Adelaide Hills economy is undergoing expansion and change. The beauty and amenity of the Hills are attracting thousands of new residents, who need new shops and offices, cafes, schools, sports facilities and community buildings. Michael Watson Architects has been part of the Hills’ community for over thirty years, and our practice has great experience in the design and development of the commercial, industrial and community architecture of the Hills. We’re familiar with local land and infrastructure, land and construction prices, and local regulations and development plans. And how good does your project have to look? Check our portfolio for examples of many beautiful Hills buildings designed by us and supporting the enterprise and community of the Hills.

Your Architect

We can assist you early in your project, even before you’ve settled upon a site. An architect can advise you upon the choice of an allotment, and then, once you’ve acquired it, on its layout: access, driveways, and the siting of buildings, landscaping and services. We can assist you with the design of buildings: orientation, plan configurations, and their overall appearances.

If you have an existing building which you wish to alter or extend, then you can discuss the best way of going about it with us, and we can, if required, measure the existing building and produce a computer model to assist you with visualisation of your building and options for its alteration.

Once you have settled upon a design, we can forward it to the local planning authority, which can then assess it for compliance with local regulations. Once approved, your architect can take your design and develop it further, so that its structure is resolved, its interiors and fitout are specified and details are modelled so that everything looks good and works together. During this phase, you may need the assistance of an engineer too, to design footings and other structural elements.

And when you decide that all of that is what you want, you can instruct your architect to go on with working drawings and specifications. Working drawings and specifications are required by builders for pricing of the construction, and by local authorities (again) for building certification. (You can’t start work without building certification).

Finally, you may engage your architect to supervise the construction; this is especially useful for owners who do not wish to deal directly with builders in the day-to-day matters of quality control on site, site meetings and progress claims (for payment) at stages during the build. We have long experience in this type of supervision – we call it ‘contract administration’ – of construction in the Hills and other parts of S.A.