Friday, Jul 10, 2020
HomeIf Your Home Could SpeakA prescription for your house

A prescription for your house

You sit in a doctor’s office, waiting to be called in. In your mind, you run over what you plan to tell the doctor: when the pain started, what you took for it, what else you’re on. A few minutes later, you’re sitting in the examination room, wondering why it’s so cold in there. The doctor comes in, and you recite your list. He listens carefully, then says, “Uh-huh. I see. Can you please remove your shirt?” Even though you’ve already told him what’s wrong, he examines you, takes notes, then tells you what his diagnosis is, and you are relieved. It’s not as bad as you thought. A minute later he hands you a small piece of paper with some unreadable writing on it. This “prescription” is his instruction to the pharmacist for the treatment or cure of your ailment.

You sit in the architect’s office, waiting to be called in. On your iPad, you have written the list of things you plan to tell the architect: how many rooms you need, what size the property is, how much you intend to spend. A few minutes later you’re sitting in the conference room, admiring the photographs of completed buildings. The architect comes in and you recite your list. He listens carefully, takes notes, then says, “Uh-huh. I see. If you don’t mind, I have a few questions.” Even though you’ve already told him what you want, he asks you questions about your lifestyle, your family and your budget. Then he spends the next few weeks examining you and your list, diagnosing your project needs. Finally, he hands you some big sheets of paper with unreadable diagrams on them. You are delighted. Those drawings are the instructions to the builder for the construction of your project, the “cure” for your project need.

Doctors, lawyers, engineers, accountants, architects – all professionals offer the same service. They listen, examine, diagnose, then prescribe a “cure”. In the case of the architect, the list you brought in which gets refined during the interviews is called the “brief”. The examination takes place over a series of meetings and reviews. The diagnosis is the design that meets your requirements. And the prescription is “written” on drawings and specifications which are first checked to confirm that they meet all the requirements, and then are used by the builder to deliver the “cure” for your building needs.


  • Patrick Rahming & Associates is a full-service design firm providing architectural, planning and design services throughout The Bahamas and the Northern Caribbean. Visit its website at, design blog at and like its Facebook page. The firm can be contacted by phone at 356-9080 or by email at [email protected] or [email protected] The firm’s mission is to help clients turn their design problems into completed projects through a process of guided decision-making, responsible environmental advice and expert project administration.


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