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The Many Facets of Being an Architect

If there is one profession that inspires awe, it is that of an architect. Look up at a beautiful building with intricate innovative designs and that feeling of wonderment will creep up on you. As you admire the structure and design, spare a thought for the person behind the scene – the architect, one who is fascinatingly creative, innovative and exclusive in thought.

However, an scope of an architect is not limited to designing new structures only, he is also responsible for making extensions and alterations to old buildings and looking after conservation of old heritage properties. This is a more difficult proposition. Designing an establishment from scratch is one thing but addition and restoration to an existing structure means that the new portion has to blend in well and seamlessly in aesthetics with the old premises. This can be really tough if the additions are to a very old building with classic and grand regal looks.

Architects have to work very closely with their clients and construction professionals. It all starts from preparing the blueprint and getting client approval, both in design and budget. In modern times, architects have the benefit of advanced software that can create 3D images of proposed projects, thereby helping clients to know precisely the look of the finished projects. Any suggestions by the client can within minutes be implemented in the 3D images. Once this initial stage is over, architects have to work with those that are responsible for construction – surveyors and engineers for example – and give detailed drawings and specifications to the construction team.

There are three types of architects, depending on the work they specialise in.

The first is the usual building architect whose work has already been discussed in-depth here. It is what the common man thinks of an architect.

The second is a landscape architect. In recent times the curb value of a building does not rest only on the aesthetics or architectural splendour of the structure – a lot of importance is placed on landscape beautification of the surrounding areas and greenery. Apart from this, landscape architects are also instrumental in designing farm houses with their huge acreage of rolling lands as well as beautiful golf courses. The latter again is a much specialised art and golf course architects are highly paid and much in demand around the world.

The third is naval architects who design ships – ranging from those going to battle to luxury cruisers and liners that take tourists to exotic places around the world. This too is a much specialised activity.

Architects usually start off their careers as salaried employees in construction companies, going on to become partners or associates. Many even float their own firms after acquiring the required level of professional expertise.