The primary job of an architect designer is to design and oversee the construction of buildings and structures. Houses, churches, hospitals, schools, and virtually all other buildings were originally designed by an architect designer. This person may work on designing particular types of buildings, such as homes, or various types on a project-by-project basis.
When the architect designer comes up with a design for a new building, he draws them in a plan, or blueprint, using his skills and drawing tools. Before the use of computers, architects used large sheets of paper, squares, rulers, compasses, and drafting tables to draw their designs. Today, architect designers have a wide variety of drawing or drafting software programs to choose from. These programs not only make drawing faster and easier, but allow the architect to make changes to designs with just the click of a mouse.
Once the plans are complete, the architect designer passes them along to a contractor or various construction crews. He may also remain heavily involved in the process of erecting the building to ensure that the plans are followed exactly or to handle any potential problems with the design that may arise.
Drawing plans for any new building requires the architect designer to consider several things. The function of the building is a primary issue to work out. Function refers to how the building will be used, and the architect’s responsibility is to design a structure that meets the needs of that purpose. For example, a hospital will require wide hallways for wheelchairs, nurses, and emergency personnel to pass through. It will also require an adequate number of small rooms to serve as patient bedrooms as well as larger rooms for surgical and other procedures.
The safety of a building is another key factor to consider for the architect designer. Emergency exits must be factored in, as well as aspects that ensure the building is structurally sound. Arches and dome roofs may look appealing, but if designed without the proper support, the building may fall in on itself under certain conditions. In fact, a popular sports arena once caved in under the weight of only one foot (30.5 cm) of snow due to improper implementation of the original design. One of the worst things for an architect’s career is for one of his designs to prove dangerous.
The education obtained by an architect may vary from person to person. Some are fully trained engineers with a four-year degree or higher under their belts. Others may focus solely on the physical aspects of a building’s design and work alongside a more structurally inclined engineer to ensure safety and stability. An architect designer can also be self employed with any education level preferred by the individual, so long as all government licensing has been obtained if necessary and he has the knowledge required to design safe and attractive structures.
Additionally, there are subcategories of architectural design that one may partake in. An example is the landscape architect designer, who draws plans for the landscaping of a building or home. This can include placement and installation instructions for plants, grass, fountains and other decorative items such as statues.