Architect

Architect

Overview
An architect is a person trained in the planning, design and oversight of the construction of buildings. To practice architecture means to offer or render services in connection with the design and construction of a building, or group of buildings and the space within the site surrounding the buildings, that have as their principal purpose human occupancy or use.
Etymologically, architect derives from the Latin architectus, itself derived from the Greek arkhitekton (arkhi-, chief + tekton, builder), i.e.
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An architect is a person trained in the planning, design and oversight of the construction of buildings. To practice architecture means to offer or render services in connection with the design and construction of a building, or group of buildings and the space within the site surrounding the buildings, that have as their principal purpose human occupancy or use.
Etymologically, architect derives from the Latin architectus, itself derived from the Greek arkhitekton (arkhi-, chief + tekton, builder), i.e. chief builder.

Professionally, an architect's decisions affect public safety, and thus an architect must undergo specialized training consisting of advanced education and a practicum (or internship) for practical experience to earn a license to practice architecture
Architecture
Architecture is both the process and product of planning, designing and construction. Architectural works, in the material form of buildings, are often perceived as cultural and political symbols and as works of art...

. The practical, technical, and academic requirements for becoming an architect vary by jurisdiction (see below).

The terms architect and architecture are also used in the disciplines of landscape architecture
Landscape architecture
Landscape architecture is the design of outdoor and public spaces to achieve environmental, socio-behavioral, or aesthetic outcomes. It involves the systematic investigation of existing social, ecological, and geological conditions and processes in the landscape, and the design of interventions...

, naval architecture
Naval architecture
Naval architecture is an engineering discipline dealing with the design, construction, maintenance and operation of marine vessels and structures. Naval architecture involves basic and applied research, design, development, design evaluation and calculations during all stages of the life of a...

 and often information technology
Information technology
Information technology is the acquisition, processing, storage and dissemination of vocal, pictorial, textual and numerical information by a microelectronics-based combination of computing and telecommunications...

 (for example a software architect
Software architect
Software architect is a general term with many accepted definitions, which refers to a broad range of roles. Generally accepted terminology and certifications began appearing in connection with this role near the beginning of the 21st century.-History:...

). In most of the world's jurisdictions, the professional and commercial uses of the term "architect", outside of the etymological variants noted, is legally protected.

Origins



Throughout ancient and medieval history, most architectural design and construction was carried out by artisan
Artisan
An artisan is a skilled manual worker who makes items that may be functional or strictly decorative, including furniture, clothing, jewellery, household items, and tools...

s, such as stone mason
Masonry
Masonry is the building of structures from individual units laid in and bound together by mortar; the term masonry can also refer to the units themselves. The common materials of masonry construction are brick, stone, marble, granite, travertine, limestone; concrete block, glass block, stucco, and...

s and carpenter
Carpenter
A carpenter is a skilled craftsperson who works with timber to construct, install and maintain buildings, furniture, and other objects. The work, known as carpentry, may involve manual labor and work outdoors....

s, rising to the role of master builder
Master Builder
Master Builder can refer to:* Master builder, also "master mason", a central figure leading construction projects in pre-modern times .* The Master Builder, a play by Henrik Ibsen....

. Until modern times there was no clear distinction between the architect and engineer
Civil engineering
Civil engineering is a professional engineering discipline that deals with the design, construction, and maintenance of the physical and naturally built environment, including works like roads, bridges, canals, dams, and buildings...

. In Europe, the titles "architect" and "engineer" were primarily geographical variations referring to the same person, often used interchangeably.

Architects in practice


Architecture is a business in which technical knowledge, management, and an understanding of business are as important as design. An architect accepts a commission from a client. The commission might involve preparing feasibility reports, building audits, the design of a building or of several buildings, structures, and the spaces among them. The architect participates in developing the requirements the client wants in the building. Throughout the project (planning to occupancy), the architect co-ordinates a design team. Structural
Structural engineer
Structural engineers analyze, design, plan, and research structural components and structural systems to achieve design goals and ensure the safety and comfort of users or occupants...

, mechanical, and electrical engineers and other specialists, are hired by the client or the architect, who must ensure that the work is co-ordinated to construct the design.

Design role


The architect hired by a client is responsible for creating a design concept that meets the requirements of that client and provides a facility suitable to the required use. In that, the architect must meet with and question the client [extensively] to ascertain all the requirements and nuances of the planned project. This information, known as a program or brief, is essential to producing a project that meets all the needs and desires of the owner—it is a guide for the architect in creating the design concept.

Architects deal with local and federal jurisdictions about regulations and building code
Building code
A building code, or building control, is a set of rules that specify the minimum acceptable level of safety for constructed objects such as buildings and nonbuilding structures. The main purpose of building codes are to protect public health, safety and general welfare as they relate to the...

s. The architect might need to comply with local planning
Urban planning
Urban planning incorporates areas such as economics, design, ecology, sociology, geography, law, political science, and statistics to guide and ensure the orderly development of settlements and communities....

 and zoning
Zoning
Zoning is a device of land use planning used by local governments in most developed countries. The word is derived from the practice of designating permitted uses of land based on mapped zones which separate one set of land uses from another...

 laws, such as required setbacks, height limitations, parking requirements, transparency requirements (windows), and land use
Land use
Land use is the human use of land. Land use involves the management and modification of natural environment or wilderness into built environment such as fields, pastures, and settlements. It has also been defined as "the arrangements, activities and inputs people undertake in a certain land cover...

. Some established jurisdictions require adherence to design and historic preservation
Historic preservation
Historic preservation is an endeavor that seeks to preserve, conserve and protect buildings, objects, landscapes or other artifacts of historical significance...

 guidelines.

Documentation role


Architects prepare the technical or "working" documents (construction drawings
Architectural drawing
An architectural drawing or architect's drawing is a technical drawing of a building that falls within the definition of architecture...

 and specifications
Specification (technical standard)
A specification is an explicit set of requirements to be satisfied by a material, product, or service. Should a material, product or service fail to meet one or more of the applicable specifications, it may be referred to as being out of specification;the abbreviation OOS may also be used...

), usually coordinated with and supplemented by the work of a variety of disciplines [i.e., with varied expertise like mechanical, plumbing, electrical, civil, structural, etc.] engineers for the building services and that are filed for obtaining permits (development and building permits) that require compliance with building, seismic, and relevant federal and local regulations. These construction drawings and specifications are also used for pricing the work, and for construction.

Construction role


Architects typically put projects to tender on behalf of their clients, advise on the award of the project to a general contractor
General contractor
A general contractor is responsible for the day-to-day oversight of a construction site, management of vendors and trades, and communication of information to involved parties throughout the course of a building project.-Description:...

, and review the progress of the work during construction. They typically review subcontractor
Subcontractor
A subcontractor is an individual or in many cases a business that signs a contract to perform part or all of the obligations of another's contract....

 shop drawings and other submittals
Submittals (construction)
Submittals in Construction Management are shop drawings, material data, samples, and product data. Submittals are required primarily for the architect and engineer to verify that the correct products will be installed on the project....

, prepare and issue site instructions, and provide construction contract administration and Certificates for Payment to the contractor (see also Design-bid-build
Design-Bid-Build
Design–bid–build , also known as Design–tender and traditional method, is a project delivery method in which the agency or owner contracts with separate entities for each the design and construction of a project.Design–bid–build is the traditional method for project...

). In many jurisdictions, mandatory certification or assurance of the work is required.

Depending on the client's needs and the jurisdiction's requirements, the spectrum of the architect's services may be extensive (detailed document preparation and construction review) or less inclusive (such as allowing a contractor to exercise considerable design-build
Design-Build
Design-build is a project delivery system used in the construction industry. It is a method to deliver a project in which the design and construction services are contracted by a single entity known as the design–builder or design–build contractor...

 functions). With very large, complex projects, an independent construction manager
Construction management
Construction Project Management is the overall planning, coordination and control of a project from inception to completion aimed at meeting a client’s requirements in order to produce a functionally and financially viable project that will be complete mingement is project management that applies...

 is sometimes hired to assist in design and to manage construction. In the United Kingdom
United Kingdom
The United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern IrelandIn the United Kingdom and Dependencies, other languages have been officially recognised as legitimate autochthonous languages under the European Charter for Regional or Minority Languages...

 and other countries, a quantity surveyor
Quantity surveyor
A quantity surveyor is a professional working within the construction industry concerned with building costs.The profession is one that provides a qualification gained following formal education, specific training and experience that provides a general set of skills that are then applied to a...

 is often part of the team to provide cost consulting.

Alternate practice and specializations


Recent decades have seen the rise of specializations within the profession. Many architects and architectural firms focus on certain project types (for example, health care, retail, public housing), technological expertise or project delivery methods. Some architects specialize as building code
Building code
A building code, or building control, is a set of rules that specify the minimum acceptable level of safety for constructed objects such as buildings and nonbuilding structures. The main purpose of building codes are to protect public health, safety and general welfare as they relate to the...

, building envelope
Building envelope
The building envelope is the physical separator between the interior and the exterior environments of a building. Another emerging term is "Building Enclosure". It serves as the outer shell to help maintain the indoor environment and facilitate its climate control...

, sustainable design
Sustainable architecture
Sustainable architecture is a general term that describes environmentally conscious design techniques in the field of architecture. Sustainable architecture is framed by the larger discussion of sustainability and the pressing economic and political issues of our world...

, technical writing
Technical writing
Technical writing, a form of technical communication, is a style of writing used in fields as diverse as computer hardware and software, engineering, chemistry, the aerospace industry, robotics, finance, consumer electronics, and biotechnology....

, historic preservation
Historic preservation
Historic preservation is an endeavor that seeks to preserve, conserve and protect buildings, objects, landscapes or other artifacts of historical significance...

(US) or conservation (UK), accessibility
Accessibility
Accessibility is a general term used to describe the degree to which a product, device, service, or environment is available to as many people as possible. Accessibility can be viewed as the "ability to access" and benefit from some system or entity...

 and other forms of specialist consultants.

Many architects elect to move into real estate (property) development
Real estate development
Real estate development, or Property Development, is a multifaceted business, encompassing activities that range from the renovation and re-lease of existing buildings to the purchase of raw land and the sale of improved land or parcels to others...

, corporate facilities planning, project management
Project management
Project management is the discipline of planning, organizing, securing, and managing resources to achieve specific goals. A project is a temporary endeavor with a defined beginning and end , undertaken to meet unique goals and objectives, typically to bring about beneficial change or added value...

, construction management
Construction management
Construction Project Management is the overall planning, coordination and control of a project from inception to completion aimed at meeting a client’s requirements in order to produce a functionally and financially viable project that will be complete mingement is project management that applies...

, interior design
Interior design
Interior design describes a group of various yet related projects that involve turning an interior space into an effective setting for the range of human activities are to take place there. An interior designer is someone who conducts such projects...

 or other related fields.

Professional requirements



Although there are variations from place to place, most of the world's architects are required to register with the appropriate jurisdiction. To do so, architects are typically required to meet three common requirements: education, experience, and examination.

Educational requirements generally consist of a university degree in architecture. The experience requirement for degreed candidates is usually satisfied by a practicum or internship (usually two to three years, depending on jurisdiction). Finally, a Registration Examination or a series of exams is required prior to licensure.

Professionals engaged in the design and supervision of construction projects prior to the late nineteenth century were not necessarily trained in a separate architecture program in an academic setting. Instead, they often trained under established architects. Prior to modern times, there was no distinction between architects, engineer
Engineer
An engineer is a professional practitioner of engineering, concerned with applying scientific knowledge, mathematics and ingenuity to develop solutions for technical problems. Engineers design materials, structures, machines and systems while considering the limitations imposed by practicality,...

s and often artist
Artist
An artist is a person engaged in one or more of any of a broad spectrum of activities related to creating art, practicing the arts and/or demonstrating an art. The common usage in both everyday speech and academic discourse is a practitioner in the visual arts only...

s, and the title used varied depending on geographical location. They often carried the title of master builder
Master Builder
Master Builder can refer to:* Master builder, also "master mason", a central figure leading construction projects in pre-modern times .* The Master Builder, a play by Henrik Ibsen....

, or surveyor, after serving a number of years as an apprentice (such as Sir Christopher Wren
Christopher Wren
Sir Christopher Wren FRS is one of the most highly acclaimed English architects in history.He used to be accorded responsibility for rebuilding 51 churches in the City of London after the Great Fire in 1666, including his masterpiece, St. Paul's Cathedral, on Ludgate Hill, completed in 1710...

). The formal study of architecture in academic institutions played a pivotal role in the development of the profession as a whole, serving as a focal point for advances in architectural technology and theory.

Professional title distinctions


According to the American Institute of Architects
American Institute of Architects
The American Institute of Architects is a professional organization for architects in the United States. Headquartered in Washington, D.C., the AIA offers education, government advocacy, community redevelopment, and public outreach to support the architecture profession and improve its public image...

, titles and job descriptions within American architectural offices might be as follows:
  • Senior Principal / Partner: Typically an owner or majority shareholder of the firm; may be the founder; titles may include president, chief executive officer, or managing principal/partner.

  • Mid-level Principal / Partner: Principal or partner; titles may include executive or senior vice president.

  • Junior Principal / Partner: Recently made a partner or principal of the firm; title may include vice president.

  • Department head / Senior Manager: Senior management architect or non-registered graduate; responsible for major department(s) or functions; reports to a principal or partner.

  • Project Manager: Licensed architect, or non-registered graduate with more than 10 years of experience; has overall project management responsibility for a variety of projects or project teams, including client contact, scheduling, and budgeting.

  • Senior Architect / Designer: Licensed architect, or non-registered graduate with more than 10 years of experience; has a design or technical focus and is responsible for significant project activities.

  • Architect / Designer III: Licensed architect or non-registered graduate with 8–10 years of experience; responsible for significant aspects of projects.

  • Architect / Designer II: Licensed architect or non-registered graduate with 6–8 years of experience, responsible for daily design or technical development of projects.

  • Architect / Designer I: Recently licensed architect or non-registered graduate with 3–5 years of experience; responsible for particular parts of a project within parameters set by others.

  • Intern Architect
    Intern Architect
    An intern architect is a person who has successfully completed an accredited degree in architecture and is preparing for registration/ licensure as an architect...

    : Unlicensed architecture school graduate participating in defined internship program; develops design or technical solutions under supervision of an architect.

Architect's fees



Architects' fee structures are typically based on a percentage of construction value, hourly rates or a fixed lump sum fee. Combinations of these structures are also common. Fixed fees are usually based on an a project's allocated construction cost and can range between 2 and 12% of new construction cost, for commercial and institutional projects, depending on a project's size and complexity. Residential projects range from 12 to 20%. Renovation projects typically command higher percentages, as high as 15-20%.

Overall billings for architectural firm
Architectural firm
An architectural firm is a company which employs one or more licensed architects and practices the profession of architecture.- History :Architects have existed since early in recorded history. The earliest recorded architects include Imhotep and Senemut . No writings exist to describe how these...

s range widely, depending on location and economic climate. Billings have traditionally been dependent on the local economic conditions but, with rapid globalization, this is becoming less of a factor for larger international firms. Salaries also vary, depending on experience, position within the firm (staff architect, partner or shareholder, etc.) and the size and location of the firm.

Professional organizations



Refer to the international list of professional architecture organizations for groups created to promote career and business development in architecture. A wide variety of prizes are awarded to architects to acknowledge superior buildings, structures and professional careers.

Prizes, awards, and titles


The most lucrative award an architect can receive is the Pritzker Prize
Pritzker Prize
The Pritzker Architecture Prize is awarded annually by the Hyatt Foundation to honour "a living architect whose built work demonstrates a combination of those qualities of talent, vision and commitment, which has produced consistent and significant contributions to humanity and the built...

, sometimes termed the "Nobel Prize
Nobel Prize
The Nobel Prizes are annual international awards bestowed by Scandinavian committees in recognition of cultural and scientific advances. The will of the Swedish chemist Alfred Nobel, the inventor of dynamite, established the prizes in 1895...

 for architecture
Architecture
Architecture is both the process and product of planning, designing and construction. Architectural works, in the material form of buildings, are often perceived as cultural and political symbols and as works of art...

." Other prestigious architectural awards are the Aga Khan Award for Architecture
Aga Khan Award for Architecture
The Aga Khan Award for Architecture is an architectural prize established by Aga Khan IV in 1977. It aims to identify and reward architectural concepts that successfully address the needs and aspirations of Islamic societies in the fields of contemporary design, social housing, community...

, the Richard H. Driehaus Prize for Classical Architecture
Richard H. Driehaus Prize for Classical Architecture
The Richard H. Driehaus Prize for Classical Architecture was established in 2003 by The Richard H. Driehaus Foundation and is presented annually through the University of Notre Dame School of Architecture to honor a major contributor in the field of traditional and classical architecture.-Driehaus...

, the Alvar Aalto Medal
Alvar Aalto Medal
The Alvar Aalto Medal was established in 1967 by the Museum of Finnish Architecture and the Finnish Association of Architects . The Medal has been awarded intermittently since 1967 when the medal was created in honour of Alvar Aalto. The award is given in recognition of a significant contribution...

 (Finland
Finland
Finland , officially the Republic of Finland, is a Nordic country situated in the Fennoscandian region of Northern Europe. It is bordered by Sweden in the west, Norway in the north and Russia in the east, while Estonia lies to its south across the Gulf of Finland.Around 5.4 million people reside...

), the Carlsberg Architecture Prize (Denmark
Denmark
Denmark is a Scandinavian country in Northern Europe. The countries of Denmark and Greenland, as well as the Faroe Islands, constitute the Kingdom of Denmark . It is the southernmost of the Nordic countries, southwest of Sweden and south of Norway, and bordered to the south by Germany. Denmark...

), and the Governor General's Awards (Canada
Canada
Canada is a North American country consisting of ten provinces and three territories. Located in the northern part of the continent, it extends from the Atlantic Ocean in the east to the Pacific Ocean in the west, and northward into the Arctic Ocean...

). Other awards for excellence in architecture are given by national professional associations such as the American Institute of Architects
American Institute of Architects
The American Institute of Architects is a professional organization for architects in the United States. Headquartered in Washington, D.C., the AIA offers education, government advocacy, community redevelopment, and public outreach to support the architecture profession and improve its public image...

 (AIA), the Royal Institute of British Architects
Royal Institute of British Architects
The Royal Institute of British Architects is a professional body for architects primarily in the United Kingdom, but also internationally.-History:...

 (RIBA), and the Royal Architectural Institute of Canada
Royal Architectural Institute of Canada
The Royal Architectural Institute of Canada , founded in 1907, is a Canadian association representing over 3,600 architects, and faculty and graduates of Canadian Schools of Architecture.RAIC is the voice for architecture and its practice in Canada...

 (RAIC).

Architects in the UK who have made contributions to the profession through design excellence or architectural education, or have in some other way advanced the profession, are elected Fellows of the Royal Institute of British Architects
Royal Institute of British Architects
The Royal Institute of British Architects is a professional body for architects primarily in the United Kingdom, but also internationally.-History:...

 and can write FRIBA after their name if they feel so inclined. Architects in the US
United States
The United States of America is a federal constitutional republic comprising fifty states and a federal district...

 who have made contributions to the profession through design excellence or architectural education, or have in some other way advanced the profession, are elected Fellows of the American Institute of Architects
American Institute of Architects
The American Institute of Architects is a professional organization for architects in the United States. Headquartered in Washington, D.C., the AIA offers education, government advocacy, community redevelopment, and public outreach to support the architecture profession and improve its public image...

 and can write FAIA
FAIA
Fellow of the American Institute of Architects is a postnomial, designating an individual who has been named a fellow of the American Institute of Architects...

 after their name. Architects in Canada
Canada
Canada is a North American country consisting of ten provinces and three territories. Located in the northern part of the continent, it extends from the Atlantic Ocean in the east to the Pacific Ocean in the west, and northward into the Arctic Ocean...

 who have made outstanding contributions to the profession through contribution to research, scholarship, public service or professional standing to the good of architecture in Canada, or elsewhere, may be recognized as a Fellow of the Royal Architectural Institute of Canada
Royal Architectural Institute of Canada
The Royal Architectural Institute of Canada , founded in 1907, is a Canadian association representing over 3,600 architects, and faculty and graduates of Canadian Schools of Architecture.RAIC is the voice for architecture and its practice in Canada...

and can write FRAIC after their name.

External links