ARKI-THINK By Ar. Maundy Florendo, PIA, UAP

ARKI-THINK By Ar. Maundy Florendo, PIA, UAP

Who needs an architect?

Anyone can draw. So who needs an architect? Roofs are just triangles; and walls are just squares. Stairs are just zigzags; and doors are just rectangles. So who needs an architect? Colors are just a mix of the primary blue, red, and yellow. Add some black, and you no longer need a licensed professional to make your house lively. If architecture is simply drawing and a basic mix of colors, then indeed, no one needs an architect.

But architecture is not just drawing. As a matter of fact, drawing is not even a mile closer to architecture than a flea to a dragon. If one uses drawing as reference to understanding architecture, one will surely get lost. It’s like taking the SLEX in going to Ilocos or like tapping your credit card on an LRT Beep machine.

Architects are hired to create and not just draw, conceptualize and not simply mix colors, innovate and not merely copy. Architects do a lot of services that are not even related to drawing. An architect can provide an array of architectural services from womb to tomb of an architectural project. From the time a projects is envisioned and conceptualized, up to the time the structure is built, utilized, and eventually demolished to build a better building.

Architects can prepare economic and feasibility studies, project financing, site selection and analysis, lot utilization and land use, space management studies, architectural programming, and promotional studies. They can do architectural research, consultation, space planning, value management, preparation of design brief, problem analysis, design schematics, development of building design, contract document management, bidding and negotiation. They do Architectural Interiors, Acoustic Design, Architectural Lighting Layout and Design, Site Development Planning, Site and Physical Planning Services (including Master Development Planning,Subdivision Planning, and Urban Design), Comprehensive Development Planning, Historic and Cultural Heritage Conservation and Planning, Security Evaluation and Planning, Building Systems Design, Facilities Maintenance Support, Building Testing and Commissioning, Building Environmental Certification, Forensic Architecture, Building Appraisal, Structural Conceptualization, Preliminary Services, Contract Documentation and Review.

Even when the architectural design is finished, architects can still provide Post-Design Services (including Construction Management Services), Dispute Avoidance and Resolution, Special Building/Facility Planning and Design, Building Components Analysis, Management of Architectural Practices, Quality and Work Control, Evaluation of Construction Work, Preparation of Daily Inspection Reports, Filing of documents, Coordination and Supervision, Cost and Time Control, RecordsKeeping, Building and Facilities Administration, Grounds and Landscaping Supervision, Building Equipment Maintenance, Business Development and Management, Post-Construction Evaluation, Project Management, and Design-build Services.

The architect can negotiate for market discount on building materials and construction methods for the credit of his/her clients. The architect can introduce systems that can make a building less costly but more efficient. The architect can advise the clients as to legal aspects of the plan or design. Most of all, the architect can make the clients’ life more comfortable and meaningful through his architectural masterpiece. And every structure that the architect designs is based on the client’s specific needs and what the environment dictates. So each building that the architect designs is unique from the others. It bears the mark and character of the one who owns it.

So who needs an architect? Those who value safety, comfort, and uniqueness; those who are ready to pay for a well-planned structure that is custom-fit to their special needs; those who consider creativity and innovation as important ingredients for development. It is they who need architects.

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