I’ve seen this topic posted by a couple of other architects and thought I’d add my 2 cents worth, it’s also been a while since my last blog (sounds like confession, sorry), so here goes, number one of ten:
1. Most of the projects you work on will never go ahead and if they do, someone else will probably be the architect.
I’m not talking here about architectural competitions where the vast majority of architects will be losers but instead the projects for whatever reason and whatever stage just don’t go any further.
I was awakened to this fact in my first year out of practical experience where after working for weeks on the refurbishment and restoration of a large Victorian house, the project architect informed me to stop working on the drawings as the developer had changed his mind about the job and was looking at another project instead. What! My lovely design and drawings will never get built! Wake up and smell the coffee lad, the reasons why this happen are plentiful, here are a few, some of which particularly relevant to the current economic climate:
* Unable to sell property in order to build
* Divorce or splitting up
* Act of God, yes seriously
* Trying to fit a pint into a quart pot
* Sums don’t stack up
* Death (sad but still ends a project)
* Change of job
* Decision to get drawings done by retired woodwork teacher (fictitious) rather than lovely design, construction and management by qualified and registered architect
* Unease taking on project due to current economic climate & risk of redundancy, business failure etc…
What’s amazing is that a project can end at any stage for any of these reasons, even when you’ve received the planning permission the project can still grind to a halt. Whatever the reason, that project ain’t happenin’ and you’ll learn early on in your career that it’s just a fact of architectural life.
But what can be done about it? I hear you ask. Absolutely nothing, it’s a simple fact that architects have to live with and it would be too depressing to work out the percentages.
That being said, the work put into a project needs to be paid for and it’s also one of the reasons why I ask for an upfront retainer from my clients before the project commences.
I would love to hear from other architects why projects have halted, please feel free to comment and disagree strongly if you think what I’ve said is crap!
Below is work in progress of job that did go ahead!