At what point do you have too much experience?

Stores, wineries, churches, clinics, court houses, apartments, personal residences, fitness centers, breweries, schools, universities… and one dumpster enclosure. These are among the architectural projects we have worked on here at ESPA. As we serve repeat clients and meet new ones, the question comes up, at what point to we have too much experience? If a client is looking for an architect to design a church, is it better to have designed ten, or one? Does having more experience in a particular project type make you more familiar with the client’s needs, or, are you less likely to arrive at a unique and customized approach?

There is an architect in another part of the country that specializes in designing dentistry facilities. That is all they do, and they do them all over the country… hundreds of them. Would we want them designing our dental office? No.

Having familiarity with an industry is helpful, but it’s having an intimate understanding of this client’s specific work processes and needs that will determine the success of his project. Having done work in so many sectors gives us helpful perspective and uncanny problem-solving abilities. We have seen so much, that we are very rarely surprised by anything. We have worked for so many kinds of clients that we can offer suggestions and ideas that apply across the board, no matter the industry. We have seen things succeed and fail in such a variety of environments, which is why we get it right the first time for our clients.

Experience matters, but breadth of experience makes all the difference.


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