Geert Vennix architecte

Geert Vennix architecte

Who is Geert Vennix

My name is Geert Vennix and I am an architect practicing from Les Vigneaux in the Hautes Alpes. My projects are characterized by a contemporary style yet with a warm look and feel. This is achieved by a frequent use of natural materials such as wood and natural stone.
Sustainability goes without saying and a perfect integration in the surrounding alpine landscape is one of the key themes in my work.

I graduated in architecture in 1996 at the Eindhoven technical university and I am entitled to call myself an architect both in France and the Netherlands.
I learned the tricks of the trade by trend setting offices such as The Architectengroep (Hans Ruijssenaars, Kees Rijnboutt, Dick van Gameren) and SeARCH (Bjarne Mastenbroek). After winning a competition for an apartment building in Antwerp, Belgium in 2002 together with Frederik Vermeesch I founded my own practice together with Frederik in Amsterdam in 2003.. The Schaafstraat project (called Arboretum) in Antwerp was completed in 2009

In 2010 me and my family relocated to Les Vigneaux, a small village in the Vallouise valley in the French department of he Hautes Alpes (05) on the  doorstep of the Parc National des Ecrins. The love of the mountains brought us here.
The love for practicing architecture has remained And I continued here what I have been doing in the Netherlands: being an architect and running my own studio.
I am a registered architect in France (Ordre des architectes region PACA nr 077133) as well as in the Netherlands.
The MAF insures my professional responsibilities under contract number 58383 K 21.
Geert Vennix architecte

Clients and projects

The projects I work on and the clients I work with

Since 2003 I worked on numerous projects, Houses and apartment buildings, industrial buildings and offices and even some shops, restaurants and a hotel. Here in the Hautes Alpes in France I am mainly working on individual houses, both new and renovation. Beside these projects I designed several interiors.

Next to designing buildings and seeing them build I am working as a sub contractor for various clients. I do help out colleagues and contractors by doing  technical design development and REVIT (BIM) modelling.

I do the occasional preacquisition surveys in cooperation with Maison des Maitres or on my own account.
I can manage your building site to guarantee a correct execution by your contractor  (maitre d’oeuvre).

Here in France my clients are mostly private, wishing to build a house or a holiday home. They are not only of French or Dutch origin but also British, Irish, Belgian, German, Swedish, Moroccan and even American-Iranian.  I have been working for various developers and authorities such as the city of Rotterdam and Antwerp.

I can cater to al these clients because I can express myself in French, Dutch, English and German.

3D Revit and BIM

Design in 3D

I build a 3 dimensional digital model for all my projects. In this model is stored all the relevant information to eventually build a real building. This proces is known as Building Information Modelling or BIM in short. This digital model enables me to prototype the building, resolve possible problems, manage building costs and to streamline the actual building phase. But for you as a client this digital model is a great way the experience the building beforehand. You can walk around inside your future house before it is built.

Each part of the building has all the data stored in the digital object such as material, quantities, manufacturer, model and type etc. This way one can estimate building costs more precisely.
Having build the building already virtually enables me to better explain the building to the contractor. Based on the model parts can be prefabricated off site to shorten the on site construction time. This can be a great advantage in the Alps with its long, harsh winters.

Mode of operation

The development of the design process

When you decide to work with me there are different possebilities to fulfill the mission. I can manage the whole process from the first sketch to the final project delivery. But If you wish I can just provide the design manage and the permit application.

A design process always starts with a first meeting. By listening to your desires and asking a lot of questions I try to understand the scope of the project. This first meeting is always free. When you commission me with the project I start with a first sketch. This sketch will give a first form to the building translating the program into spaces, walls, floors and roofs. This is the preliminary design .

Detailed design

When you as a client are confident, on the basis of the first sketch, that our cooperation will result in a building to your liking the project will continue with the detailed design phase. IN this phase the building will be further developed. The result of this phase will be a set of documents ready to apply for a building permit. Based on your needs and and capabilities there are three solutions:

  • I complete the detailed design and you will take charge of the permit application and the construction management.
  • I complete the detailed design and apply for the permit (it is mandatory in France that this is done by an architect when the building is 170m2 or over)
  • I complete the detailed design , apply for the permit and manage the bid and building processes.

In the contract drawn between the client and the architect the scope of the mission will be detailed.

From Permit application to construction

As an architect I will manage the building permit application and provide all the necessary documents. The processing of the application will take some time. In general in France it is 2 months but this can be longer when the project lies in the immediate surroundings of a historical monument. This invokes the involvement of the architectes de batiments de France which will lengthen the procedure to 4 months max. Knowing that almost every old church classifies as a monument this is not uncommon to happen.

Meanwhile I will be busy working on the bid documents.
When the permit is obtained it has to be posted on the site at least two months before the beginning of construction work. During this period third parties can file an objection against the project.

Bid documents

Detailed drawings and a thorough description of the building form the bid documents. On the basis of these documents one or more contractors will be asked to bring out a bid. Take notice that here in France on single family house projects there is usually no general contractor but every specialty, carpenter, mason, plumber etc, will be contracted individually.In general it is the architects who coordinates these parties during construction.

After an analyses of the different bids of the bid results the various contractors will be selected and contracted. Usually the architect coordinates the process, the client is the contracting party.

Meanwhile I will be busy preparing the construction documents. Detailed plans that describe how to build the building.

Construction and handover

Finally, when the permit has been obtained and the contractors have been selected, construction can begin. My role is to oversee the construction and to organize the weekly meetings.
When completed the building will be handed over from the contractor to the client. At this official moment the contractors work is inspected for conformity to the contract and a list is drawn up of subjects jet to be corrected. At this moment the client is invited to accept the building and the building will be handed over officially from the contractor to the client. It is finally yours.


The architects fee

The architects fee is dependent on the scale and the complexity of the project. Based on the nature of the project there are three possibilities:

Fixed price

For a sketch, an expertise, second opinion  or a small clearly defined project I usually ask a fixed fee.


For major projects such as a house from sketch to handover my fee is calculated on a percentage of the actual building costs.  The actual percentage depends on the nature of the project but usually ranges between 8 and 18%. This fee is divided over the different phases of the design process.

12 % Preliminary design
20% Detailed design and permit application
22% Bid documents and organizing the bid
5  % Contracting the selected contractors
36% Construction
5  % Handover

In the case of a partial mission only the fees for the phases I was charged with will be billed.

Time spent

For projects that are limited in their scale but complex by nature, such as renovations and small extensions my fee is based on the time spent. I will keep a detailed report of the hours passed.

Please do contact me if you have any questions or would like to discuss a possible project. First meetings are always free.