Flair and durability

ANTONY SVILICICH is a Spearwood architect who helped to get the Spearwood Progress Association back up and running in 2018 before having a tilt at getting onto council. In this week’s THINKING ALLOWED he makes a pitch for anyone thinking of building a home to rethink that cookie-cutter box and consider something with a bit more flair – and durability.

WHEN I meet people for the first time and they ask what I do for a living, the first response I usually get is, “you must live in a big amazing house”. 

I also occasionally get, “do you drive a flashy red sports car”. 

Unfortunately for me, I don’t live in a big house and I don’t drive a sports car. 

That’s not to say that there aren’t architects out there that live in big homes and drive flashy cars.

So what do architects actually do? Well, to put it simply they design buildings, such as houses, office buildings, schools, universities, museums, council buildings and industrial buildings to name a few.

Surprisingly in Australia only about 2 per cent of houses are designed by architects. 

Why is this so?

There are a probably quite a few reasons but I’ll save those for another day. 

So who designs most of the houses in Australia? 

Well most of the houses are designed by building designers.

So what is the difference between an architect and a building designer? 

An architect is a registered design professional who has completed a five-year university course and obtained a degree in architecture. 

Then they must have at least two years of experience working in an architect’s office before they can sit for and pass written and oral exams before becoming a registered architect.

Although many designers have a drafting background, anyone can actually call themselves a building designer. 

Yes that’s right, you don’t need any credentials or qualifications to call yourself a builder designer. 

You or any other Tom, Dick or Harriet can go out there and start advertising yourself as a building designer and start designing houses for clients.

“But architects are more expensive than designers,” I hear you say. 

More often than not that is true, but with most things in life you get what you pay for.

Architects are actually more qualified and have better training, they provide at better quality design outcome as well as provide a far superior level of detailed design.

Most architect designed homes also have a better resale value and some are even sought after by buyers. 

The houses designed by the late Iwan Iwanoff are considered collectables, similar to fine art. 

The late Peter Overman was arguably considered the best residential architect in Perth during his career and his homes usually demand a premium when they are put up for sale.

If you needed brain surgery would you go to your local butcher to perform the operation, or would you seek the services of a qualified neurosurgeon? 

Don’t get me wrong, I love my local butcher, I think he makes the best cevapi and chorizo in Perth, but I’d be pretty reluctant having him slice open my skull and pull my brain apart. 

Don’t know about you, but I’d prefer to pay the extra dollars and get a neurosurgeon to do the job.

If you’re investing several hundred thousand dollars, or even more to purchase a block and then build a house, wouldn’t it make sense to get a fully qualified licenced professional to design your home?

Surely with spending that sort of money you would want the best possible outcome for your investment.

So next time you’re thinking of building a home, consider speaking to a registered architect to see if they can help you with your project……we don’t bite. 

If you’re considering using someone who isn’t an architect, remember, who would you prefer, the butcher or the neurosurgeon?

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