It is a fact among peers that the construction of a building is not just “a set of well drawn designs accompanied by the computation of structural and mechanical engineering analyses for compliance to the Building Code. It is unequivocally far more than that! A task of this caliber imposes the balance of employing talent, inspiration and creativity through the use of science in ways that the outcome amounts to more than the sum of its parts. It is where physics and mathematics, relate to psychology and art, creating emotion and connection to life while serving a socio-economic and technical purpose. In Metrax, we aspire human embracement while considering organic functionality with the sole purpose of integrating form, function and the naturality of engaging human activities placidly in every design we produce.
Much as we’d like to, we can’t perform miracles but compromise is not a characteristic of our work. From the orientation of a building concept to the materials chosen and space allocation planning, success lies upon the preservation of balance and our people strive to achieve this in every possible way. It’s neither form over function nor function over form that we are after. It is the closest possible approximation to the “ideal” balance that we pursuit, given the corresponding environmental and financial limitations of each project. In every case there is a unique recipe for cost, appearance, technical integrity and functionality while in the end, we always raise the bar because we love the challenge of reaching above it.
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From external views to floor plans and the integration to the surrounding environment, we follow the same approach of combining the client needs with the possibilities determined by the budget and code restrictions to come up with the most efficient solution. We also offer extended ad hoc services ranging from the design of furniture fixtures, lighting systems, Green Buildings (bioclimatic planning), landscape design, and soft materials selection used for shading and decoration. Every small detail counts since it contributes to the end result. First we define the purpose and then we build the solution that serves it the best.
Continuity, Integrity, Balance
Interior spaces, naturally begin with the architectural design of their shape, their volume formation and floor layout. Following construction, the decorative elements used, should be complementing the atmosphere created by the structure as an integral part of the whole, simultaneously avoiding exaggeration or the creation of confusion to its encounters. For this purpose, we provide full interior decoration services both in-house and in cooperation with our affiliates which are experienced and renowned professionals in their fields.
There are instances where the owner requires the use of their own providers and although it is their decision to make, we strongly recommend our active presence in the process in order to ensure consistency, the integrity of the initial concept of the building, the preservation of its functionality and finally the desirable appeal to the targeted audience. There have been numerous cases of well designed buildings marred by the wrong interior design choices solely due to lack of coordination and communication with the architect. Be it our own architectural team or an external architect used in a project we are managing, we always abide by this principle and our advice to the customer is the same.
Depending on the building use, we approach its interior through the choice of style to be applied, the decorative elements and materials used, in ways that they integrate perfectly with the architectural vision and create the targeted atmosphere for the intended use. There is no unified solution for each intend and purpose, thus, a per case analysis and study of the decoration is required and each installation is custom.
The surrounding environment of a building is the canvas for its display and the grounds that form the atmosphere it “lives” in. Irrelevant of the size, appropriate use of this space is what can make a structure distinguish itself from the “pack” and illuminate its presence positively. The use of complementary structures, plants & solid materials accompanied by proper lighting, add character and life to the main construction and make an otherwise negative and indefinite space positive. However, improper choices can easily mar the objective and lead to mediocrity or even the creation of completely negative effects or confusion to the viewer. In this respect, we are as meticulous with our choices as we are throughout the whole design process. Whether we deal with plants selection and soil composition best suited to a specific land site or a pathway to the entrance and a complementary structure that houses equipment, it is all very important to us. We choose down to the last decorative pebble based on tolerance to the weather, ease of maintenance, longevity of style, integration to the scene, cost and functionality. It is yet another case of balance to be maintained and Metrax people make sure it does.
We offer a complete range pre-construction services starting with brainstorming sessions and concept design to complete 3D representations using the most contemporary software tools available incl 3D printing. Read about our pre-construction services section for more information and details.
Structural Engineering, Physics & Aesthetics
This is not a part of the building process that the client normally gets to make choices. Aside from mathematical accuracy and safety, structural calculations need to strictly adhere to specific regulations of the building code while the engineers signing them are legally bound to them as well. As a matter of fact, there are usually more than one solutions to supporting the structural integrity of a building and not all lead to the same aesthetic result. In Metrax our structural engineers collaborate closely with our architectural team and produce building frames that respect both the architectural concept and the legal prerequisites in the most efficient and economically feasible technical manner.
The mechanical engineering science is responsible for the “nervous system” of a building. As important as it is for living organisms it is equally critical to every modern structure and its operation by humans. The longevity and contemporaneity of a building designed today will largely depend on the proactive elements of its mechanical engineering infrastructure. Water & waste management, electricity, heat dissipation, thermal loss and general power consumption, communication infrastructure (appropriate and suitable cabling for modern systems), selection of tested and reliable mechanical, electrical and electronic equipment, are all critical parts that can have a huge impact on both the cost of running a building, its legally determined energy class signature as well as its future expandability, “upgradeability” and total resale value.
For these reasons, we strive to ensure that our clients are presented with choices that account for the most efficient use of current resources in order to increase functionality, manageability and allow for clear upgrade paths without radical interventions in the future. In Metrax, we call it Open Paths Design (OPD) and is our evolving methodology of ensuring the outcomes outlined above. You can learn more about our approach by clicking here.
In many instances, both Structural and Mechanical engineering elements can lend themselves as parts of the architectural concept or even as decorative elements through smart design and choice of materials used. On the other hand, they should never create obstacles, subtract from the aesthetics or use valuable space due to design inefficiencies or inadequate supervision during installation. Concrete beams, pillars, piping, electric lines, plugs, heating equipment and several other elements of the structure are carefully considered in our designs, never appearing where they are not meant to, while servicing them is not compromised either. It’s the sheer number of details that make the difference in the final outcome.