Are you looking to build a career that incorporates design, engineering, and seeing projects come to life? Do you want to design buildings, landscapes, and even neighborhoods and cities?
Then becoming an architect may be the best career decision you make. What does an architect do? Architects are responsible for designing safe, efficient, and functional buildings. This includes everything from homes and apartments to office buildings and everything in between.
And there are many different types of architects to choose from. Maybe you want to focus on designing custom, luxury homes. Or maybe you want to design eco-friendly buildings that incorporate elements of green design.
Whatever your specific passion, there’s an architectural path for you. Keep reading to discover the main kinds of architects to determine which specialty is best for you.
Commercial architects are one of the most common. They are responsible for designing almost any type of building used for business purposes.
This might include a single retail store or a strip mall to house multiple businesses. Or it might be a large-scale office building.
Commercial architects need to understand the workflow of a business and design accordingly. It also needs to have an aesthetically pleasing appearance so that it’s welcome in its local community.
Commercial architects require an extensive understanding of engineering principles and local building codes to design a safe, energy-efficient building.
Commercial designers need to invest in the best marketing for architects to stand out and find new clients with so much competition.
Residential architects are those that specialize in dwelling units. This includes single-family homes, apartment buildings, vacation homes, and others.
Some architects work exclusively with individuals looking to build a custom home. In fact, in years past, this is how most homes were built.
Today, however, most neighborhoods use only a handful of different floorplans. Contractors build rows of identical homes with only minor customizations. Still, these homes need to be designed by an architect.
Residential architects can also work with clients to plan remodeling projects and home additions.
Luxury Residential Architect
Many people who build their own homes don’t necessarily build a large, luxury home. Many choose a smaller yet customized floor plan.
But some architects specialize in designing high-end, luxury homes. These allow architects to showcase a full range of design, style, and skill. These are usually multi-million dollar homes for celebrities, professional athletes, and entrepreneurs.
Luxury architects get to have much more fun during the design process, as they get to implement many things that normal clients can’t afford to do.
Industrial architects differ from commercial architects as industrial facilities have unique needs. This could be a factory, a waste-water management plant, or an industrial agriculture facility. Architects need to consider the entire property before design a single building.
They need to be familiar with the industries they serve, as there are often major concerns with resource transportation, waste management, warehousing, and many other factors.
Every beautiful park, garden, and city green space was designed by someone. There are architect firms that specialize in landscape design.
This type of architect focuses not on the design of a structure but the organization of natural elements; plants, trees, grass, hills, waterways, and so forth. Think of Central Park, for example.
The massive 843-acre park was designed in 1858 by Frederick Law Olmsted and Calvert Vaux, who won an architectural contest for the privilege of designing the park.
Today, tens of millions of people visit the park every year. It’s one of the only green spaces available for many New Yorkers. And this was the legacy of a landscape architect.
Many architect companies are also prioritizing green architecture. They prioritize the environment, limiting a building’s carbon footprint, and adding green space.
Many cities in Asia and Europe, such as Singapore, are known for green architecture. By driving down the city streets, you’ll notice buildings with rooftop gardens, living green walls, and many other natural elements.
These buildings also prioritize energy efficiency, considering the position of the building in relation to the sun, the materials used for the project, and so forth.
If you have a passion for design and the environment, becoming a green architect can be a fulfilling career that makes a difference.
Some architects don’t design one-off buildings. They design entire city blocks, neighborhoods, or streets.
With such limited space in most large cities and poor design elements for decades, urban designers are looking for solutions, if not centuries ago. They are looking for solutions to the traffic problems in the city, for the lack of space for houses, for parking lots and public transportation, and many other factors.
They can work to help reimagine existing cities or help to plan and build new and emerging ones.
But designing cities affects a lot of people. As a result, there is more of a relationship with the public, government, local businesses, and city residents.
Many architects only work on the structure of a building. Once the roof and walls are built, they are much concerned with what happens inside the building.
But some architects like to perform their own interior design. They get satisfaction in designing both the outside and the inside of a building.
Interior design architects have a wide range of knowledge regarding furniture placement, final materials such as flooring or cabinets, fabric choices, colors, and more.
The result is a complete piece of architectural majesty. In fact, Frank Lloyd Wright, one of the greatest architects in history, was the interior design type. As a result, many of his buildings are now museums.
Types of Architects; How to Choose
All types of architects prioritize design. Whether it’s a home, an office building, a park, or an interior space, they know how to create something out of nothing.
And the beauty of becoming an architect is choosing a sub-focus. Do you want to participate in the fight against climate change? Do you want to work with luxury homeowners? Do you want to focus on outdoor spaces and landscapes?
Whatever you choose, make sure it’s something you love that will keep you motivated every day.
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