“There are two basic roles that an architect needs to play: a specialist and a generalist.
1. Architect as a Specialist
First, an architect is a specialist, and you need to have thorough and in-depth knowledge on architecture: you need to know architectural history, how to do sketch and perspective, and how to read and draw plans, elevations, sections, details, etc.
2. Architect as a Generalist
Second, an architect is a generalist or a “general contractor” for design service.
Many consultants, such as structural, electrical, mechanical, and plumbing engineers are design “subcontractors,” and they subcontract a portion of the design work under the architect’s master design contract.
Some other consultants such as soils, civil and fire protection engineers, and landscape architects are typically under the owner’s contract. (They could be under the architect’s contract also, depending on how the master design contract is structured.)
Regardless whose contract these consultants are under, as an architect, a generalist for design work, you do need to know enough about their portion of the work to coordinate them.”
Quoted from page 2 of “Architectural Practice Simplified.” Non-exclusive right of use granted.
Copyright 2011 Gang Chen, Author, Architect, LEED AP BD+C (http://GreenExamEducation.com/)
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