Last month we began looking at the New Zealand Institute of Architects’ booklet, ‘10 myths about architects’. We think it has some great information about what architects like us actually do and how we might help you. Here’s a link to download the full booklet.
Myth 6: Architects just work in the big cities
Architects aren’t just big scale industrial designers. Even in small towns, architects proudly design a wide range of public and private buildings. A good architect will know their town, their tradespeople, and understand the needs of the community. Local architects are particularly useful because of their up-to-date knowledge of the area’s building regulations, codes, and consents.
Myth 7: Architects just draw plans
Planning the design of the project is the core of the architect’s work, but there are lots of other useful things architects can do. Before you’re even able to pick up a hammer, your architect will have navigated the consent process for you. Noting your budget, the architect will have selected suitable materials and construction methods, and can supervise the building of these. The success of your project is dependent on the architect’s skills, even in the final stages of your build.
Myth 8: Architects only work for rich people
No way. Architects design a wide variety of projects. No matter the size of the project, they bring the same skills, undertake the same processes, and reap the rewards of the same design and budget challenges. Architects have designed mansions for wealthy New Zealanders, but they’ve also designed hundreds of houses for homeowners and for government agencies like Housing New Zealand.
Myth 9: Architects are idealists and builders are realists
Architects dream of projects with unlimited budgets and sci-fi materials. However, the reality is that they do their work in the gritty world of building consents, code-compliance, budget constraints, and client specifications. Architects anticipate that the success of your project will depend on many different contractors, so they are used to juggling the practicalities of builders, landscapers, council officials, and engineers.
Myth 10: Architects don’t listen
The relationship between the architect and client is built on good communication. The architect will listen to the client’s ideas and requirements to form the basis of their design, asking questions to get a grasp on what the client is looking for. However, a good architect may sometimes challenge the client’s brief! For example, the architect could offer solutions that the client hasn’t thought of, or make sure what the client is asking for is realistic.