Understanding the Role of Architecture Firms

There is a common misconception regarding the process of commissioning a new building. Those who have never before attempted such a project may be inclined to believe that it is simply a matter of handing a set of plans to a construction company whose artisans will then proceed to assemble the home of their dreams and hand them the keys on the planned completion date. However, as most architecture firms would be quick to point out, a typical bespoke building project will seldom be that straightforward.

Anyone with sufficient imagination and a little artistic talent might be able to sketch an impressive idea for a new home or office block, but it takes the skill of draftsman to convert the concept into a working blueprint. The task does not end there, however. Before building can commence, those plans must be validated as practical and safe. This will require engineering knowledge beyond that of a draftsman, but a basic requirement for architecture firms.

Derived from the Greek prefix “arkhi-“, meaning “chief” and the word “tekton” meaning “builder”, a modern firm of architects can be required to possess the combined skills of a surveyor, an engineer, an artist, and, of course, a “chief builder” in order to dispense the range of services necessary to support its clients. Working closely with the client, architecture firms are responsible for arriving at a design concept that will suit the practical purposes of the structure, satisfy the aesthetic requirements of the client, and comply with any local building legislation, whilst ensuring to remain within the confines set by the client’s budget.

As times and titles have changed, so has the role of these “chief builders”. Buildings, materials, and the practices of the construction industry are now recognised as major contributors to the burgeoning carbon footprint. Consequently, while functionality and aesthetics remain cornerstones of the design process, the demands of the 21st-century now require architecture firms to pay more attention to energy conservation, sustainability, and environmental concerns, in general.

Once the plans have been drawn and approved, the next step is to appoint a builder. Although the client is free to undertake this task, it is best left to an architect who will submit a tender to companies known to be dependable and offer advice regarding the awards process. Once again, clients may proceed with the project without further assistance, but would definitely benefit by continuing to rely on an architecture firm to provide the project management services that will monitor and control progress, quality, and costs.

JK Designs boasts a young and dynamic team that combines all of the skills to drive a project from the drawing board to completion.