Winn Wittman Architecture’s award-winning designs are spread across the Texas market.
PROCESSES ARE CRITICAL for any business, regardless of industry. For Winn Wittman, his commitment to the “Wittman Process™” has been key to receiving industry awards and successfully serving the Texas market for nearly 20 years.
“The Wittman Process breaks down the design process into separate phases,” says Winn Wittman, president and owner of the firm. “We also involve potential builders at an early stage of the schematic design to get their feedback”
Founded in 1996, Winn Wittman works in all of the major markets in Texas: Austin, Dallas, Fort Worth, Houston and San Antonio. The firm specializes in contemporary, residential and commercial architecture, including remodeling and interior design.
The Wittman Process always begins with the attitude that the company is “co-creating” rather than designing for clients. The additional commitments from all involved parties results in an architectural vision that meets the client’s needs and values for long-term enjoyment. Rather than a one-size-fits-all approach, Winn Wittman designs a plan uniquely suited to each client’s life situation, budget, aesthetic preferences and sustainability goals.
The five phases are:
• Predesign – the parameters of the project are set.
• Schematic design – clients are presented with multiple solutions.
• Design development – designs are developed in detail.
• Construction documents – the builder’s drawings are produced.
• Construction administration – the architect observes the construction.
“Our process has evolved through learning a lot of lessons over the years,” Wittman says. “The process is based on client type – some want to be a part of every decision, while others want a hands-off approach. It is our job to identify what type of client it is, tailor the process to their aesthetic preferences and communication style, and make them happy.”
Unlike most architects, who use a floating fee, Winn Wittman typically works on a fixed-fee basis. The fee generally varies from 8 to 15 percent of the expected construction costs depending on the size of the project. The firm creates a road map for the specific project, including the permitting process, interior design, sustainability options and any other relevant issues. The road map is a useful tool whether or not the client decides to hire Winn Wittman.
“We have no predominant style for our firm,” Wittman says. “Our style is based on customer preferences, the site we are building on and green building practices. However, we have most often worked in a contemporary style, even before that style was popular.”
The Austin-based firm’s work is also characterized by an exuberant yet timeless approach to form, color and detail.
Winn Wittman draws inspiration from the technology of the present, enduring substance of the past and the universal collective unconscious. The firm seeks to create spaces and places of joy, beauty and reflection.
As a member of the American Institute of Architects (AIA), the Texas Society of Architects and AIA Austin, Winn Wittman’s work has been published internationally and has received awards and recognition from the AIA, the Dream Home Awards, World Architecture News, the Industrial Designers Society of America and Architectural Record.
Across Texas, Winn Wittman works with high profile clients and partners that serve as references to the performance of the Wittman Process. This includes Roger Beasley Porsche, Ferrari of Austin and the Metropolitan Club of Austin.
“Transparency is very important to us because when a client begins to distrust an architect and a builder it is hard to regain that trust,” Wittman says.
That transparency includes client access to project bank accounts and budgets in real time, as well as scanning and uploading all invoices to shared file folders for client review.
Online meetings, iPhone photos and screen-sharing applications are common tools used to increase transparency.
“It is also important for our general contractors to get multiple bids for the client’s peace of mind,” Wittman says.
“Our job is to offer a wide variety of high-quality services to meet client satisfaction.”
A rare service Winn Wittman offers are one-, three- and five-day custom tailored furniture-buying trips to Los
Angeles, Miami, Milan and New York City.
For 2015, Winn Whitman’s client portfolio is as spread out as the compnay’s personalized furniture buying trips. The company is building a $15 million, 12,000-square-foot house in Austin with a 5,000-square-foot underground garage. The residence sits on a hill and overlooks the capital of Texas.
“There were many challenges designing the fish-scale roof and implementing the wrought iron features,” Wittman says. “But now the project is halfway done, and it is satisfying to see it taking shape.”
Winn Wittman’s high-profile commercial project for 2015 is a restaurant design for one of Austin’s most popular and well-known chefs, David Garrido.
“There are different ways to approach each project, but we lead by first establishing a strong design and construction team to build trust with the client,” Wittman says. “We want to maintain the tradition that we have built to earn more satisfied clients and more awards.”