Working at XS Architecten
Can I submit an (open) application?
Even if we have no vacancies, we welcome applications.
However, we do not welcome solicitation based on vacancies.
What is your company’s policy on diversity?
We aim to build a diverse team, based on the conviction that this makes our world greater and our work better.
What does an architect do?
Spatial design is the core of our work. We design environments in which people live and move. To ensure that these people feel comfortable, we have to understand what is important to them. On top of architectural knowledge, this also requires a knowledge of materials, light, sustainability, processes, contracts and financial matters.
Do you also produce architectural drawings?
Yes, this represents close to the majority of our work. Sound architectural detailing of a project is extremely beneficial during the implementation phase.
I have brought in a project consultancy; don’t they take care of the architectural work?
Possibly, but often they will hire an architect for this work and, in many cases, we are the best choice.
You do a lot of work in the fast food sector, but I want something entirely different. Can you do that too?
Yes, we certainly can! Our strength lies in our working processes and our feeling for routing and space perception – and we can translate this strength into any (retail) environment.
I want to build. Should I go to a contractor first, or to an architect?
Every project starts with a good, clear building plan. This is the job of the architect, so it is best to go to an architect first. A contractor knows more about implementation and building practices. That means that the contractor can fairly quickly join in and contribute ideas about building methodology and costs.
How does XS work?
Do you also work with Revit?
Again, yes. Revit is an amazing program, but we work primarily with Archicad. This allows us to export seamlessly in IFC – the open standard for BIM.
What is your policy on sustainable building?
To us, sustainability is a given. Building is something you do for the future, so today’s requirements are a minimum ambition level. At the same time, we are cautious when it comes to experimenting with new materials and systems; our client is never our guinea pig.
I see that you work for major retailers. How do you reconcile that with your own ethical principles?
By focusing on logistics and process, we are in a good position to help and advise clients in the retail, hospitality and care sectors. We are aware of the efforts these clients are making to innovate and to improve themselves and, in our role, we try to contribute the most we can to these efforts.
Which projects are a good fit for XS?
What is your expertise in the area of retail and hospitality projects?
XS specializes in translating business concepts into buildings. User-friendliness and space perception are key to every design.
What is your expertise in the area of care projects?
In the focus areas of (social) hygiene, infection prevention and routing, we develop the right design for the practice. This approach, combined with our feeling for hospitality, creates optimum space perception for both the patient and the care professional.
Do you build houses?
We enjoy applying our expertise to building houses as well. XS is involved specifically in complex integration projects, redevelopments and infill locations. We prefer to leave large-scale home-building projects to others.
Do you build passive houses?
Yes, we have developed a concept for passive houses.
My project is abroad. Is that a problem for XS?
We regularly carry out projects in Belgium, Luxembourg, Scandinavia and Iceland. During the permitting process, we usually collaborate with local partners.
In addition, our office is registered as architects with the Architektenkammer Bayern and we have a number of German-speaking employees in our office. We can also work with local partners for permit requests and building supervision, if necessary under the HOAI.
Does XS Architecten develop projects itself?
No, we work for project developers and we don’t want to compete with them.
I’m a developer. What can you do for me?
Our specific knowledge enables us to deliver added value, particularly in projects involving various functions, such as retail, hospitality, care and housing.
Does XS Architecten have a recognizable style?
Yes, you’ll see our company signature in the way we apply our clients’ house styles, as well as in the way we approach spatiality and composition.
I have an idea/style I’m really enthusiastic about. Can you help me with that?
We are always looking for the question behind your idea and sometimes that might mean that we can think of better solutions. But applying a style is not an end in itself for us.
I want to develop a new retail, hospitality or care concept. Can you help me with that?
Definitely! We have virtually all the expertise we need in-house to do just this and, for graphic design, we have partners with whom we regularly collaborate.
Do you work with regular partners?
XS Architecten works with a broad network of partners along the advisory and design path. The work from these partners is always offered directly to the client. It is customary for us to coordinate such activities.
Do you work with your own contractors?
No, that doesn’t mesh with our independent role as architects. We do have a long list of contractors we can recommend, each with its own speciality and working method.
Are you a member of any (branch) organizations?
XS Architecten is a member of the BNA (Branch Organization for Dutch Architects) and registered with the Bayerische Architektenkammer. We are also a recognized learning company.
We are suppliers. Can you specify our product in exchange for commission or a kickback?
We cannot do that. If your product is right for our project, we will recommend it but, as far as we are concerned, your marketing budget is better spent on service and after-sales.
What is your revenue model?
XS Architecten is independent. Our income is derived 100% from our clients. We are a commercial company and constantly strive to optimize our services so that our prices always at market level.
What does an architect cost?
If an architect does his work correctly, he will save money for the client. Of course, our work costs money. Depending on the scope and complexity of the work, the fee consists of a percentage ranging from 2% to 10% of the overall costs. During design and implementation, our challenge is to deliver such good quality that failure costs are kept to a minimum.
Do you work on a “no cure no pay” basis?
Almost every project starts with a feasibility study. Sometimes, this reveals that the plans are not feasible. Every client tries to write off as little as possible and we can help with that by working as efficiently and effectively as possible, which can keep start-up costs down. But we always send an invoice.
My architect invoices his hours and costs on a monthly basis? In retrospect, the project always works out more expensive than we expected. What can I expect from XS?
We prefer to work with a contracted price for our work. This creates clarity throughout the entire project. Additional work is only required if the assignment changes in the interim.
Does XS take part in design contests?
In principle, we do not take part in design contests because we believe that they place too great a burden on our resources. We prefer to work on our own innovations instead.
My architect calculates his fee as a percentage of the building price. How does XS deal with this?
Although building costs give a clear indication of the scope of a project, we are not in favour of this method. Depending on the scope and complexity of the work, the fee consists of a percentage ranging from 2% to 10% of the overall costs. This method maintains the incentive to create the best building for the best price.
I have an urgent job. How quickly can you respond?
Depending on the complexity of the request, we can draw up a plan or give advice within a few days or weeks.
Can I make an evening or weekend appointment?
Weekend appointments are unusual for us but, for private appointments, information evenings and presentations, we are often out and about in the evening.
What happens if you make a mistake and I suffer damage?
Our firm is insured for professional liability in accordance with BNA guidelines. Our insurer imposes the condition that we declare the DNR 2011 applicable to our work so that the legal relationship is correctly regulated.
What happens if I’m not satisfied with your work?
It may be that you aren’t happy with our service or with a design. We will always make every effort to repair mistakes or to adapt the plans to your wishes. If that doesn’t help, we follow DNR 2011 to resolve whatever situation has arisen.