How To Develop Architectural Conceptual Design

architectural conceptual design

Architectural conceptual design is designing a building or structure from the ground up. This process aims to create a blueprint for a structure that represents the client's needs and desires. The process begins with an initial idea or sketch, refined and updated as more information is gathered. Ultimately, the final product should be realistic yet imaginative enough to appeal to the client and other potential users. Finally, a complete design rendering must be created so everyone can see it and understand how it will look when completed.

What is Architectural Conceptual Design?


What is architectural conceptual design?


Architectural conceptual design is developing and expressing ideas for a proposed building or other structure. The architect begins by studying the site and gathering information about the client, program, and budget. They then create sketches and models to explore various design possibilities. The final step is to select the best design and prepare construction drawings.

When starting any architectural project, the conceptual design phase is key. This is when you take all your ideas and put them down on paper (or a computer screen). It’s also when you start to figure out the feasibility of those ideas and how they might fit into the bigger picture. During conceptual design, you’ll create sketches, models, and diagrams. You may also develop a site and floor plans to help you better understand what your project could look like. It’s important to note that conceptual design is just that - conceptual. It’s not meant to be final and will likely change as the project progresses. But it’s a good starting point for getting everyone on the same page.

Approaches to the Design

There are many different ways to approach the design of a building. The most common approach is conceptual architectural design, which starts with an idea and develops it into a full-scale plan. Other approaches include the conceptual engineering design, which focuses on the functionality of the building, and the construction documents phase when the details of the final design are worked out.

One of the most important aspects of architecture is the conceptual design phase. This is where the architect comes up with ideas and sketches to convey what they want the building to look like. There are a few different approaches that can be used during this process. 

The first approach is to develop a concept for the entire building. This can be done by thinking about the function of the building and how it will fit into its surroundings. The architect then sketches out ideas for how to best achieve this vision. The second approach focuses on individual rooms or spaces within the building, and this can be helpful when trying to solve specific design problems. The architect will come up with several different solutions and then decide which one works best. The third approach is to combine both of these techniques.


Functional design is a key aspect of conceptual architectural design. For a building to fulfill its intended purpose, the functionality of the design must be considered. This involves looking at how the building will be used and how the spaces within it will be arranged. The layout of a space and the materials and finishes used can all play a role in how functional a design is.


The design and construction industry is always evolving, with new materials and technologies constantly developing. This can be a challenge for architects regarding conceptual design, as they must consider how the latest innovations could be used in their projects. In some cases, materials that can't be used may be available because the technology isn't there to support them. Other times, new material may present an opportunity to create something truly innovative and exciting. Architects must stay up-to-date on the latest materials and technologies to make informed decisions about the best use in their designs.


Contextual design is a process that helps designers create meaningful and relevant experiences for their users. By taking into account the user's cultural, social, and technological context, contextual design helps create a more user-friendly interface. One of the key aspects of contextual design is understanding the user's needs. Contextual design helps designers understand what the user wants to achieve and how they want to achieve it. This understanding allows designers to create an interface that is easy to use and relevant to the user's needs. 

The contextual design also takes into account the user's environment. By understanding the user's physical surroundings and cultural and social context, designers can create a truly contextualized interface.


There is no one right way to design a building. Architects must conceptualize the project, create a schematic design, and develop construction documents. The conceptual design phase is the most important, as it establishes the look and feel of the finished product. Many factors go into designing a building, including the site, climate, purpose of the structure, and style. Architects must also consider how people will use the building and what they need to do their jobs or live their lives. They may also need to consider local zoning regulations or building codes. The schematic design phase considers all these factors and creates a blueprint for the finished product. This can include everything from floor plans to elevations to electrical schematics.


When designing a structure, an architect first starts with the conceptual design. This is a very loose sketch of the overall look and feel of the building. It's not meant to be specific but more of a general overview. This allows the architect to explore different ideas and develop the best solution.

Once the conceptual design is finalized, the architect moves on to the formal design. This is where all of the details are worked out. The dimensions of each room, the type of materials to be used, and even the placement of each door and window are decided. The final step is construction. This is when all the plans created in the previous steps are turned into a physical building. Of course, changes always need to be made along the way, but having a well-thought-out plan makes things much smoother.


A process that is growing in popularity for the design of architectural projects is collaborative design. In this process, a team of architects and engineers work together to create a conceptual design for a project. This type of collaboration has several benefits:

  • It allows the team to come up with more innovative ideas.
  • It helps to ensure that all aspects of the project are considered.
  • It leads to a more coordinated final product.
  • It can save time and money on the project.


Philosophy studies general and fundamental problems connected with existence, knowledge, values, reason, mind, and language. When it comes to architecture, philosophy is what helps us to conceptualize our designs. It allows us to see the world differently and create something aesthetically pleasing and thought-provoking. By thinking deeply about our surroundings and their impact on us, we can develop innovative ideas that challenge the status quo and make people think about architecture in a new way.

Exercises And Ideas

One of the most important aspects of architectural conceptual design is coming up with exercises and ideas that can help you explore a wide range of possibilities for your project. Here are a few exercises to get you started:

  • Sketch out your ideas. This is a great way to get your creative juices flowing and see how different ideas might work together.
  • Draw inspiration from other architects or buildings. Look at different styles and see how to incorporate them into your designs.
  • Experiment with materials and finishes. Trying out new materials can help you develop unique ideas for your project.
  • Take advantage of technology. There are a lot of great tools online that can help you visualize your ideas and experiment with different concepts.

Break It Down

Conceptual design is developing an idea for a building or other architectural structure. This may involve creating sketches, diagrams, or models to help communicate the idea. The goal of conceptual design is to create a clear and concise plan that can be used to guide the eventual construction of the building. One important part of conceptual design is understanding the needs of the people using the building. The architect must consider how much space is needed, what kind of activities will take place in the building, and how it will be used daily. The architect must also consider the site where the building will be located. They need to think about things like climate, topography, and existing structures nearby, and all of these factors will influence the design of the building.

Understand the Problem

When beginning the design process for a new structure, it is important first to understand the problem that needs to be solved. The architectural conceptual design phase is about exploring potential solutions and narrowing down the options, and this involves creating different concepts for how the building could look and function. After reviewing the requirements and constraints, the architect will begin sketching ideas. These initial sketches may be very rough, but they will help to give a general idea of what is possible. Once a few concepts have been developed, the team can evaluate them more closely.  The goal is to find a solution that meets all requirements while still being feasible and affordable. It is important to remember that not every option will be perfect, so it may be necessary to compromise on some aspects.


Sketching is an important part of the architectural design process, and it allows you to explore ideas quickly and develop a conceptual understanding of the design. When sketching, don't worry about making things look perfect – focus on getting your ideas down on paper. There are many different ways to sketch architecture. One popular method is to use perspective drawing to create a three-dimensional effect. You can also use freehand sketches or orthographic drawings to communicate your ideas. No matter which method you choose, be sure to experiment and explore different possibilities. The more you sketch, the better your final design will be.

Study Your Precedents

One of the most important aspects of being a successful architect is having a strong understanding of precedent. It's important to study the work of both past and contemporary architects to develop your style and better understand the history of your field. Look at how they tackled similar problems, what solutions they came up with, and how the public has received their work.

When starting a new project, looking at precedents within your discipline is also helpful. If you're designing a new building, for example, look at other buildings that have been constructed using similar materials or in a similar style. By doing this, you'll get a better idea of what's possible, and you'll be able to avoid making any mistakes that have already been made in the past.

Design Solution

Design Solution is creating a plan for a building or structure. The first step in the design process is developing a concept. This can be done by sketching ideas or using software to create a virtual model. Once the concept is finalized, the next step is to develop a floor plan and begin selecting materials and finishes. The final step is to put everything together and create a finished product. 

One of the biggest challenges in designing a building is balancing aesthetic appeal with practical considerations. The architect must find a way to make the structure attractive while also ensuring that it is functional and meets all of the requirements set forth by the client. A well-executed design solution can be truly impressive and improve the appearance and value of any property.

Purpose of Conceptual Design: Establishing the Scope And Parameters of a Project


Purpose of conceptual design: Establishing the scope and parameters of a project


Conceptual design is developing an overall idea for a project and determining its scope. This includes deciding what the project will involve, what materials and technologies will be used, and how it will be executed. Conceptual design is also important for establishing communication between the client and the architect. The architect can use conceptual design to understand the client's needs and desires better, and the client can use it to see how their vision might be realized.

Elements of Conceptual Design: Form, Function, And Program


Elements of conceptual design: Form, function, and program


Process of conceptual design: Generating ideas and selecting the best one. The conceptual design process involves generating ideas and selecting the best one. This is where architects come up with their initial designs and start to plan out the project in more detail. It's a very important step because the quality of the conceptual design will determine how successful the project will be. One of the most important aspects of this process is brainstorming. Architects must come up with many different ideas and select the best one. They can do this by considering feasibility, practicality, and aesthetics. Once they've selected a design, they'll refine it and make it more detailed. This is a challenging process, but it's also very rewarding. When done correctly, the conceptual design can set the tone for the entire project and make it successful.

5 Types of Architectural Concepts to Inspire You


5 Types of Architectural Concepts to Inspire You


When it comes to architectural design, countless concepts inspire you. Here are five types of architectural concepts to get you started: 

1. There are many types of architectural concepts that can inspire you.

2. Some concepts might be traditional, while others could be more modern.

3. It's up to you to find the concept that speaks to you and helps you achieve your design goals.

4. Be creative and explore different options until you find something that reflects your project's vision.

5. Keep in mind that there is no perfect architecture - each style has its strengths and weaknesses. Experiment until you find what works best for you.

How Much Does An Architectural Conceptual Design Cost?


How much does an architectural conceptual design cost?


A conceptual architectural design is a necessary precursor to the schematic design stage of any building project. The conceptual design sets out the project's parameters and establishes the proposed scheme's feasibility. A conceptual architectural design is a preliminary plan showing an architect's basic ideas for a building or renovation. The cost of a conceptual architectural design varies depending on the size and complexity of the project. Generally, the cost ranges from $1,000 to $5,000.

The cost of a conceptual design can vary depending on the size and complexity of the project. Smaller projects will typically cost less than larger projects, and simple projects will cost less than more complex ones. The fee for a conceptual design typically includes all meetings with the client and all work done by the architect in developing the scheme. 

However, additional costs may be incurred during this project stage. These can include costs for planning applications, environmental impact assessments, and specialist reports such as engineering or traffic studies. The cost of a full set of architectural drawings will vary depending on the size and complexity of the house, but it is typically between $1.50 and $2.50 per square foot. If you have any questions, please contact us. We always support your query.

Conceptual Design Vs. Architectural Planning


conceptual design vs. architectural planning


Conceptual design and architectural planning are two very different aspects of the architecture process. Conceptual design is the first step in the process and is used to develop a broad idea of the project. On the other hand, architectural planning is used to create detailed drawings and specifications for a project.

The main difference between conceptual design and architectural planning is that conceptual design does not involve any specific measurements or calculations. It is more about developing an idea and figuring out what needs to be done to make that idea a reality. On the other hand, architectural planning involves creating precise drawings and calculations to ensure that the project is structurally sound and meets all safety requirements. Conceptual design is often seen as less important than architectural planning, but it is essential for creating a successful project.

Design Concept Architecture Example


Design Concept:

A design concept is an idea or image in your head of what you want your finished product to look like. It can be a sketch, a photo, or a general idea. 

The design concept for my kitchen is a modern farmhouse style. I want the cabinets to be white with black hardware and the countertops and backsplash to be gray marble. I also want a large kitchen island with seating for four people. 

Design Concept Architecture:

When designing a building or other structure, the designer must first develop a concept for how it will look. This concept may be based on many things, such as the function of the building, its location, or the era from which it takes its inspiration.


Architectural conceptual design is a process that is used to create and communicate ideas for buildings or other structures. It can be used to develop designs for new buildings or to improve the appearance or functionality of existing ones. The process involves creating sketches and models and using computer software to create 3D models. By using architectural conceptual design, architects can create better designs and communicate their ideas more effectively.

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Last Updated: Oct 31, 2022

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