Naturally, when you are faced with the challenge of renovating or building a house or transforming your work premises, you ask yourself whether or not you need an architect and is it worth the cost.
“Maybe,” you ask yourself, “I can do this myself”
Unfortunately, sooner or later, you will probably have to take a cold hard look at your time, energies and abilities. It’s one thing to repaint a room or build a shed during the weekend, but it is an entirely different thing to promise yourself, your boss or even your spouse, that you can deliver a functional and attractive building or premises on time, at the required cost.
So what is an architect?
Many people know of architects but few expect to have the need and opportunity to work with one. So what can he or she do for you?
Architects are ordinary people who dreamed of designing and constructing beautiful and inventive buildings. To do this they had to spend many years studying and learning their trade while developing their left and right brain skills to be able to practice their profession. They became both linear and lateral minded individuals who see, understand and manage a huge quantity of factors and information to produce a viable result. Architect’s work with their clients to imagine and design the future premises or building and then drive the process to turn this into reality.
So why do I need an architect?
Simple objectives such as designing and building an office building for 300 people or a beautiful and comfortable house for your family will quickly turn into a challenge for which a thousand questions must be answered. Here are just some examples of questions that will need to be resolved:
- Who will live or work in the building and what will they need to do this?
- What kinds of rooms and spaces are required and how should they be arranged and designed?
- What technologies will be required and how can they be integrated both discretely and effectively?
- What regulations must be observed and what building permits will I need?
- What style should the building have and what will it represent to my clients and the local community?
- What materials should be used that will be attractive, ecological, economic and easy to maintain?
- In essence, how do I proceed effectively to reach the result I need to achieve?
Architects are trained and practiced in seeing and understanding the numerous and complex issues of designing and building or renovating a building. They should be able to organise these issues into a coherent, practical, cost effective and attractive building design and construction program. They represent their ideas in drawings and models, find technical solutions, quantify the costs, identify and engage the correct professional partners, and plan and manage the time schedule and different resources to drive the project to successful delivery.
What will the architect do for me?
Your architect is there to serve your interests, constantly striving to find clear answers to complex questions and battling to deliver the premises or building you require within your set parameters. Your architect works in anticipation: gathering and presenting all the designs and necessary information (procedures, costs, quality and timeline etc.) that you require to be able to make informed decisions before and during construction. When you are ready, your architect then acts as your representative to manage and drive the project to successful conclusion.
Quite apart from responding directly to your very real and obvious project needs, architects are also practiced at recognising and resolving issues you might not have expected at the outset. Simple parameters such as site context, building regulations, lighting quality, poor air or noisy traffic can have huge impacts on the success of a project. Today, the process is further complicated by factors such as energy conservation, sustainable development and recycling, financial and social demands from local and national authorities, and the need to anticipate the multiple and changing needs of future users.
Get in touch with your chosen architect to discuss your ideas and needs. He or she is a very busy person, like yourself, but if you are determined to reach a result, your architect will work very hard to develop, defend and deliver your project. An architect will demonstrate a very useful ability to not only produce a great design that meets your needs, but also explain and guide you through the all the processes, and successfully obtain the approval and cooperation of all the necessary parties needed to ensure your project is built to your satisfaction.
« Our opportunity, as designers, is to learn how to handle the complexity, rather than shy away from it, and to realise that the big art of design is to make complicated things simple. » Tim Parsey