Archinect
anchor

How often are you satisfied with your finalised buildings compared to your first concepts?

Eren_123

I obviously know architecture is not all about aesthetic design, but are most of your projects just glass blocks or is it more exciting than that? If they are, what actually brings you joy in working as an architect?

 
Mar 17, 21 3:28 pm

I'm never satisfied with my built work.  I can always find something that I could have done better.

That's part of what brings me joy as an architect, I'm constantly learning and improving. 

Mar 17, 21 3:45 pm  · 
2  · 

Yep - I'm always happy seeing the finished project but I'll nitpick the hell out of it with things I could do better next time.

Mar 17, 21 4:25 pm  · 
2  · 
SneakyPete

I'm very different than Chad, and I think that's OK. I can find a plethora of things that didn't go as well as I had planned, designed, or hoped. Some are my fault, some are not, and I learn from them all. But the one thing I keep repeating to myself is that nobody sees the building the way I do, and nobody knows the mistakes unless I tell them.

Feedback from my peers is always welcome, and criticism (as long as it is not intended solely to wound) is amazing. If nothing bad is said, I feel like a superhero, no matter how much the flaws I know about make me feel like a charlatan at the exact same time.

And I feel the need to say that none of my projects are "just glass blocks." Very few projects are. Even if the building is shrouded in curtain wall, the design is never as simple or easy as it looks, and the simpler and easier it looks from the final built work the more effort went into it. 


Mar 17, 21 3:58 pm  · 
4  · 

Bingo. Making something appear simple belies the often immense effort that went into making it that way. Also the msitakes that only you know and see. These can be useful - if played correctly.

Mar 17, 21 4:34 pm  · 
1  · 
natematt

95% 

Always tend to have ONE thing that is left eating away at me. Like, I'm happy with it, and I'm pretty good at just ignoring the little things, but there is always that one thing that just really didn't go right, even if it has nothing to do with the architect.... 

Never did a glass box...at least not that got built... or will... 

Mar 18, 21 3:53 am  · 
1  · 
Almosthip

Most of the time I am happy.  I do have one project that had all of its detailing removed and now it just looks like a 6 stories of boston pizza tri coloured nacho chips

Mar 17, 21 4:14 pm  · 
1  · 
Almosthip

did I mention the EIFS......

Mar 17, 21 4:15 pm  · 
3  · 

EIFS is right up there with OMG and WTF.

Mar 17, 21 6:28 pm  · 
2  · 
_N8_

Also, I hope we start to move away from 'finished' buildings as a concept. Especially with the movement toward renovating older buildings, a structure is never as finished as one might believe. You have to take pride in your involvement in a project knowing it is just one fraction of what has changed on the site, and will not be the last.

Mar 17, 21 4:15 pm  · 
 · 
bowling_ball

The flip side of the great benefits that come with real time (albeit crude) rendering is that once clients see it, they're locked in. It's not easy to explain that the rendering is just a very crude approximation.

Mar 17, 21 4:35 pm  · 
1  · 
x-jla

since entering design-build I’ve found it’s very hard to blame everything on the designer or contractor.  

Mar 17, 21 4:19 pm  · 
 · 
whistler

I think sneakypete was quite eloquent in explaining what most architects  / designers feel about a completed project.  There is always something to be learned and always things that could be done better or differently.  Keep the big goals and objectives in mind. Projects are like wars they are won through a multitude of smaller battles. Hopefully you can win a majority of the battles, but if you have parameters set out in advance then you can judge the projects success.  

Just had client phone this morning who was so enthusiastic over their home.  Their major priorities were to get good views, be bright and  have better sunlight.  They were floored by how good the new place wanted it met all three priorities, if they are happy who am I too complain???

Mar 17, 21 4:41 pm  · 
3  · 
JLC-1

the joy in the face of the client, the good ones anyway. (I only do residential)

Mar 17, 21 5:34 pm  · 
1  · 
midlander

they take so long to build that i've usually gotten bored of the idea by the time they're done and always end up wondering what would have been a better way to approach the design.


also a big part of the joy in visiting architecture is discovering the details of how it fits into the site and how it works behind the images i've already seen. whereas projects i've designed present no surprises and there is nothing for me to explore.

Mar 17, 21 6:12 pm  · 
 · 
midlander

otoh many projects involve outside consultants for landscaping and interiors and i am not often involved coordinating their work. i'm always impressed and excited to see how other designers react to the project - this is usually my favorite part of seeing the finished building.

Mar 17, 21 6:15 pm  · 
 · 
atelier nobody

Every time I drive past or walk into a building I worked on, whether as principal designer or junior draftsman, I feel a combination of pride and "hmm, that's something I'd do differently now."

Not everybody gets to work on the museums with the zillion-dollar endowments, and even those who do don't get to do it all the time - someone still has to design the strip malls. Anyone who doesn't at least try to put as much of the same craftsmanship as they can into the tight-budget, developer-driven, mundane buildings as they do into the high-profile projects doesn't deserve to be called an architect.

Mar 17, 21 6:41 pm  · 
 · 

Tight budget projects is all I ever work on.

Mar 17, 21 6:45 pm  · 
1  · 
bowling_ball

"Anyone who doesn't at least try to put as much of the same craftsmanship as they can into the tight-budget, developer-driven, mundane buildings as they do into the high-profile projects doesn't deserve to be called an architect." Not to be a jerk but this is just stupid. How about being responsible to your client? Not every strip mall or processing plant needs to be cutting edge. They do, however, need to be durable, safe, energy-efficient, and on budget/ schedule. But yeah, next time I have an industrial client I'll make sure to use some gimmick details that require shipping specialized glazing from Argentina, just so I can show off to my architect friends. Give me a break.

Mar 17, 21 9:19 pm  · 
 · 
midlander

there is a craftsmanship to design that isn't about more difficult ways of building things, just more thoughtful. nice entries, protected spaces - the effort to think about how people will feel using the building and passing through the space. this is what should distinguish architect led design from projects led by an engineering team.

Mar 18, 21 12:39 am  · 
1  · 
bowling_ball

Absolutely. I guess I'm stuck on the "craftsmanship" term, which I don't agree with. That's designing for users, IMO.

Mar 18, 21 12:44 am  · 
1  · 
midlander

right, it's a question of whether craftsmanship can be a part of design work itself or only is in execution of the construction. i view it as the former.

Mar 18, 21 2:53 am  · 
 · 
Non Sequitur

hurrah for doing someone’s homework assignment. 

Mar 17, 21 8:11 pm  · 
 · 
Jay1122

I wish I could do some glass block buildings. Or get to design a boring box. Nope, here is a roof replacement, room renovation, facade renovation job for you.

Mar 18, 21 9:18 am  · 
 · 
midlander

seems like you should look for a job in a different office then, those aren't unreasonable aspirations.

Mar 18, 21 6:27 pm  · 
 · 
randomised

satisfied is a big word, I'd say relieved...

Mar 18, 21 7:08 pm  · 
3  · 

Block this user


Are you sure you want to block this user and hide all related comments throughout the site?

  • ×Search in: