The word architecture can refer to any human structure both ancient and modern. The unique characteristics give a unique reference to such structures in human history, defining the period in history, culture, lifestyle, and cognition for the people. Thus, architecture becomes a reflection of the culture of a specific people, time, and history, also an indicator of the level of evolution and human progression.
From the ancient and prehistoric monuments to modern-day marker symbols, all tell the tale of a particular time in history communicates a continuing message to the future. Every piece of architecture, therefore, from the ordinary bridges on the road to private and public state-owned constructions, all tell the tale of a linked history to the future generation.
Frank Lloyd Wright defines architecture as ‘’the art of designing a building in a way that integrates the functional, psychological, climatic, and aesthetic aspects to create a harmonious effect, that both please the eye and the mind, and serves the purpose for which it is designed’’.
Architecture is the art and science of designing as well as building space, structure, and surroundings with aesthetic features to accomplish some specific purpose that gives a sense of excitement to the viewers.
Architectural design is considered as the basis and the first phase before bringing the idea to reality. It is a discipline that focuses on covering and meeting the needs and demands, to create living spaces, using certain tools and especially, creativity. Therefore, the aim is to combine the technological and the aesthetic, despite the general belief that architecture is only a technological task. it mixes design, which is the creative process, and architecture, which is based on the creation and presentation of solutions at a technical level. In general, we associate it with drawings, sketches, or outlines of a project, and it is one of its fundamental bases. In this aspect of architectural design, there are also other factors involved that are related to geometry, space, or aesthetics, among others. After all, architecture, and therefore architectural design, is made up of many elements and processes or phases.
An architect is generally the one in charge of architectural design. They work with space and elements to create a coherent and functional structure.
So, in the field of architecture, an architectural design is planning for a building and can contain architectural drawings, specifications of the design, calculations, time planning of the building process, and other documentation.
Architectural design is primarily driven by the holistically creative manipulation of mass, space, volume, texture, light, shadow, materials, program, and Realistic elements such as cost, construction, and technology, to achieve an end that is aesthetic, functional, and often artistic. This distinguishes architecture from engineering design, which is usually driven primarily by the creative application of mathematical and scientific principles.
It prepares instructions for constructing the buildings as planned. Also, it can be macro such as urban design, landscape architecture, and buildings constructions or it could be micro such as interior design or public art. Architectural works, especially bildings and monuments are also perceived as cultural symbols and as works of art, yet they are design objects since they are functional as well as being artistic.
The Architectural Design Process
The architectural design process has seven main design phases, each of which plays a critical role in the success of the project. Whether you’re a landowner planning a new building, an architect chasing a big commission, or a prospective homebuyer, you need a clear understanding of what to expect in all seven phases of design.
These seven phases are, in order:
1. The pre-design phase
Defining the program
Also known as the programming phase, this phase kicks off the architectural design process. In the pre-design phase, the architect interfaces with the client to learn about the plot of land, any existing structures, and the client’s wishes for the future building. (Whenever possible, an in-person site analysis gives the most accurate information for all project types.) The architect researches local zoning and land-use restrictions, then makes a cost estimate as part of their competitive bid to win the commission. If the parties agree on the terms and the scope of the project, they draw up a contract for architectural services.
2. The schematic design (SD) phase
Beginning the design.
In this next phase, the architectural design team begins to translate the client’s wishes into a building design concept. This may involve sketches, drawings, 3D renderings, and preliminary site plans, floor plans, and building elevations. Any building systems, such as HVAC and plumbing, also belong in the schematic designs.
3. The design development (DD) phase
Working out the details
This is the phase where the architect’s design intent manifests as a detailed plan. If the project requires a structural engineer, that person typically joins the team at this point. The architect also presents the client with both exterior and interior finishes, which will go atop the foundational structure. Finishes can greatly affect the total cost of a construction project (as well as the project schedule), so this phase must be handled with the utmost degree of respect. At this point, a more realistic cost estimate will come into view.
4. The construction documents (CD) phase
Preparing for permitting.
In this next phase of the architectural design process, design becomes a reality. The architect produces two sets of detailed drawings that specify every detail of their final design. One set is called the construction set, and it remains on-site throughout the construction process. The other set is called the permit set, which the architect sends to the local permitting authority, whether that’s a city or a county. In a design-build project, the in-house construction contractor becomes involved at this point.
5. The building permit phase
At this point, the architect must submit the permit set of drawings as part of a larger permit application. The city or county reviews the submittals for structural integrity and adherence to zoning laws and building codes. Permitting can be one of the slowest parts of the construction process, but it protects architects, builders, and property owners from potentially dangerous construction errors. Simple construction projects in permissive municipalities can get approval in a matter of days. If you’re building something ambitious, or if you’re building in a historic district, the permitting process can take months.
6. The bidding and negotiation phase (optional)
Determining the cost.
If the building is a design-build project that is designed and built by the same firm, there is no need to field bids from construction contractors. If no contractor comes pre-attached, the client and the architect interview contractors and solicit competitive bids. Potential contractors sit down with the client and architect to go through the construction drawing sets and discuss materials and schedules. Contractors seek shovel-ready projects to keep their crews busy throughout the year. Therefore you will have a better chance of securing a contractor—and a competitive price—if your project is already permitted and ready to go.
7. The construction administration (CA) phase
Monitoring the build.
In this final phase, the architect’s role shifts from creative design to project management. While they don’t physically manage the job site, they make regular site visits to ensure that the project is being executed according to their plans. The contractor and their crew assume control of the project like a film director taking over a screenwriter’s script. Project budgets can balloon on account of cost overruns, but with careful planning, no changes will be needed.
In fact, Architectural designers have the artistic vision and talent to conceptualize and develop design plans for buildings and landscapes; with artistic vision, they are professionals who specialize in planning and designing structures/urban landscapes. They develop plans that determine the appearance of buildings, such as houses, businesses, factories, and malls, and participate in the process from the idea phase to construction completion.
Their job description entails collecting information on the design requirements for a building project by interacting with clients to identify specifications and budgets. They provide clients with recommendations on suitable architectural design considering factors such as building site, cost, and trend.
Architectural designers produce building plans/designs using CAD tools and manual technical drawing instruments and create architectural plans which meet the desired requirement and expectations of clients by designing according to budget and preference. They present building designs to clients or management for approval. As part of their duties, architectural designers specify the cost estimates, materials, duration, and other relevant information required for the actualization of a building project.
Also, they interact with other building designers and professionals to exchange ideas on techniques/styles for structural plans. They prepare and present job proposals to clients, emphasizing their ability to deliver architectural designs that meet set requirements. Architectural designers may act as supervisors to direct and guide junior designers in the preparation of structural designs and models. They ensure company policies and standards are maintained when providing services to clients. Part of their work description includes reworking and modifying designs as may be requested by clients or management. They ensure proper documentation and record of all vital information related to a structural design. They also keep in touch with clients during construction to tackle and resolve problems that may arise due to design/planning. Their roles also entail conducting research as well as attending conferences/workshops to improve on existing knowledge, and staying up-to-date with architectural trends. These designers aim to balance functionality, comfort, safety, and cost in a building design.
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