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Architectural practices are typically broken into two hyper-generic categories: Residential and Commercial.  Historically, the ‘How’ is basically similar between the two, but the ‘Why’ is what has them vastly apart.  Let’s start with the basics and dig into the distinct differences between Residential and Commercial Architecture. Then we can draw inspiration from both, to make something uniquely you.

Today’s world of architecture demands professionals remain agile, flexible and adaptable. In the worlds of both residential and commercial architecture design trends, materials, and technologies are constantly evolving and improving. Applying practical knowledge of these to the unique inspiration and needs of a client yields a functional yet beautiful outcome.

What is Residential Architecture? 

A residence, as Le Corbusier mused in the 1920’s, should be ‘A machine for living’.  Maybe this is a harsh reduction of what home really is, but it’s not wrong.  How each person prioritizes the events and interactions of their life, is up to them.  The spaces that we occupy on a daily basis should integrally support, encourage, recharge, and maybe even challenge the way we live. Our job as architects is to coordinate a unique interface between the built and the occupant(s).

Materials, volumes, nature, privacy and visual access, storage, places of rest, and places to gather should be curated based on the individual. Customization to this level offers an authentic representation of one’s ideal ‘Machine for living’.

What Is Commercial Architecture? 

Good, bad, or indifferent, businesses are in business to make money. There are an infinite variety of businesses and business opportunities. What comes to mind when you think of commercial spaces? Office buildings, coffee shops, grocery stores, auto mechanics, theaters, data centers and schools to name just a few. Each has a specific client engaging with the business to accomplish a specific task. An architect will meet the demands of the business with efficiency on every front. Whether it’s product displays or space planning for staff workspaces, the architect’s goal is to efficiently design a space that meet the needs of the business. 

Now that we have a basic understanding of residential architecture and commercial architecture, let’s turn attention to how we bring a residential approach to small commercial architecture. What does that mean exactly? In the following discussion, we’ll break it down. 

Our Residential Approach To Small Commercial Architecture 

To Perkins Architecure, a residential approach to small commercial architecture means to pay additional attention to two important areas: attention to use of space and a special focus on design. When it comes to utility and functionality, the architectural features should meet the daily demands of the business. 

Just as every custom home is different, every small commercial architecture project is different. And that’s where the skills of a residential architect translate so well. An individual commissioning a custom homes wishes to enjoy relaxing, bespoke features of the space. Similarly, the owner of a small commercial space wishes to invoke a specific customer experience. Human scale, person-to-person interaction and individual values are key design tools in both residential and commercial architecture. The objective of every design decision for small commercial architecture is simple: Thoughtful composition around your company’s core values.

Attention to Detail And Finishes 

It’s no secret that details play a central role not only in a custom home, but in small commercial spaces as well. That’s because small details come together to create the overall aesthetic of the space. Like a painting made of individual brushstrokes composing a painting. Small businesses are interacted with daily and the materials that make up their space should hold their value. Understanding the infrastructure required for maximum durability and longevity allows a business owner to trust the work for years to come. It is truly the experience garnered by a residential architect that will bring all of the details to life to create a truly superior finished product. 

Keeping An Open Mind About Your Small Commercial Architecture 

Now you have a better understanding of what it means to take a residential approach to small commercial architecture. Remember, at the end of the day, only a residential architect understands how to perfectly balance the many difficult design and architecture elements, along with facilitating the entire process. We understand what it takes to create the bespoke and we would love the opportunity to bring the dream in your minds eye to fruition.