Why Work With Us?
Schwartz and Architecture (SaA) provides a full range of architecture, interior design, permitting, and project management services. We remain involved at every stage of design and construction, are adept at managing complex permitting and construction processes, and at working with fixed schedules and resources.
While each project and client is unique, a few qualities of working with us remain constant:
We ListenIt is our responsibility to guide you through a thoughtful, organized, and interactive design process, in which we jointly discover the best solutions to your needs. As we listen to you, we also pass our enthusiasm for the process, embracing every opportunity for thoughtful design regardless of budget or constraints. Each person in our office cares deeply about design and takes pride in each project we take on, but always in response to your goals, feedback, and needs.
We Are Engaged
The founding principal of Schwartz and Architecture, Neal J. Z. Schwartz, remains directly engaged with each project through all stages of our work with you, including construction. Neal is always available to you, and takes responsibility for every aspect of our team’s work. In addition, you will come to know well other members of our collaborative studio, which includes, at minimum, a project architect/designer responsible for developing and managing the daily work.
We Work within Your Budget and Schedule
We pride ourselves on projects that remain on budget and schedule. We will respect your budget and see it as a challenge and responsibility to create great design within any financial limitation. We will be honest and straightforward if we feel your ambitions begin to exceed your budget, and will work with you to bring the two in line at every stage. Our goal is to place you in control of all resource decisions.
We are Experts at Regulatory Approvals
We have a strong record of guiding clients through planning and building department review processes. We work actively with neighbors and other constituencies to gather support for your project. Neal has worked in government as an urban planner and has graduate degrees in public policy as well as architecture, which has proven to add a level of strategic insight into these often-complex procedures. Neal is the current Chair of the AIASF Public Policy and Advocacy Committee (PPAC), and has been at the forefront of advocating for positive change in the SF Planning Department’s residential design review procedures.
We Are with You from Start to Finish
Our role is to represent your interests at every phase of the project. We have built up a great pool of contractor, consultant and supplier resources, which we gladly share with you. We help you evaluate bids and select your contractor. We provide construction oversight to ensure that what is built is exactly what you had envision. We do this by preparing thorough sets of drawings (which minimizes surprises, change orders, and delays once construction begins), and by being on-site regularly until the job is done.
We Promote Sustainable Choices
We are committed to proactively offering our clients a full range of sustainable options for construction methods, materials, finishes and building systems, and are skilled at guiding you through the choices in each area.
With each project, we attempt to develop and deepen our holistic vision of sustainability and the architect's role in promoting it. Certainly, product and finish material selection, emerging environmental technologies, and innovative construction techniques play a foundational role in this, but so too do less tangible aspects of design.
Broadly speaking, our work attempts to foster a strategic and nuanced relationship to our environment. We research precisely the particular attributes of site and context, thoughtfully expanding upon them to arrive at forms that work in concert with key sustainability concepts. This includes fundamental issues of building orientation and siting, as well as more ephemeral qualities that highlight our bonds to the natural world.