An architect will be essential to any complex design and construction project, whether you building from scratch, extending your home, or completely remodelling. You should bring them in right at the start of the project, as soon as you have decided upon a basic style and design plan – and they can start to turn the inspirational content of your homify Ideabook into reality. A good architect will then work with you throughout the duration of a design project, smoothing out all of the planning and helping to turn the ideas in your head into a liveable, beautiful reality.
Architects are the central nervous system of a smoothly-run home design project. They will draw up plans using sophisticated 3D modelling software and in long-hand as well, considering how to blend structural strength with the aesthetic touches that will style your home into a work of art. A skilled architect will have an instinctive feel for how buildings relate to the environment. They will know in an instant whether your ideas will fit into the context of Hong Kong, and they should also be able to advise you about any suggested changes. During the design phase, they will listen to your ideas and turn them into practical plans for interior designers and contractors to follow. Without an architect on board, the whole process of home design will be much slower, more frustrating, expensive and – in the end – far less successful.
Remodelling refers to design projects which seek to completely alter the character and appearance of a building. They will incorporate elements like new roofs, windows, wall cladding and materials, landscape gardening and masonry, entirely new wings and additional structures, loft conversions, summer houses, pools – the whole range of home elements an architect can design. If you want to create a style, an architect with remodelling experience can tell you quickly what needs to be changed, how much it will cost and how long it will take. An architect working on your remodelling project can also show you in detail what the finished home will look like, to ensure that your chosen style is achieved.
If you inherit an old-fashioned property or purchase a run-down home, you may well feel the need to undertake renovation. In this case, an experienced architect will be able to advise about how to use the existing materials and finishes – which they could be able to restore without removing. They will be able to show how chaotic, decaying properties can be turned into vibrant, dynamic and modern spaces. An architect will also be able to bring in specialists to make old furnishings and structural elements look as good as new. So, instead of remodelling, an architect may advise that you restore the brickwork or wooden panelling of your home to achieve your desired style.
A good architect will always be an ace planner. After all, designing and building homes doesn’t just require artistic skill and stylish flair. An architect will have to come up with designs that look good, but are also simple for contractors to build when the time comes. Your architect will use 3D planning software and bring in the right engineering assistance to turn your ideas into a set of plans that can be built effectively and quickly.
An architect will predominantly act as a planner and adviser, getting the ball rolling on your design project and creating the appropriate plans. When it comes to actually building your home, the architect will generally pass a lot of control over to a site manager. Most of the time, site managers can be brought in on the advice of your architect, who should have a reservoir of contacts from their previous experience.
It hasn't always been easy for individual home designers to find the ideal architect in Hong Kong. In the past, big architect firms have catered for major clients and public bodies, and individuals have had to work hard to find the right architect and then negotiate with them to get the service they need. Nowadays, homify makes it simple to secure the services of a skilled architect in Hong Kong. We offer a comprehensive directory of the city’s major architect firms – with a wide variety of different styles and skill sets. You can see at a glance the kind of projects that they have been involved with and easily make contact to arrange an initial appointment.
Not necessarily. A large architect firm might have plenty of different staff members with varying skills and levels of experience – so they can call on the right staff members for each separate project. However, with large firms, you cannot be certain that they will be completely attentive to your own unique desires, and they may not be able to always provide one-to-one service. Sourcing your architect from a small boutique firm will allow you to find an architect who can provide a more personalised service.. You can see the history of their projects and deal directly with them as an individual, and may feel like they are more available to chat whenever you feel the need arises.
This depends upon your project and how important it is that your exact vision becomes reality. If you have a very clear image of what you want to achieve, then it makes sense to use homify’s directory to find an architect with experience in creating similar structures. If an architect has only built Scandinavian style lodges, it probably won’t be a great idea to bring them in to style a Hong Kong villa. However, if you are a little fuzzy about the elements of your design plan, you may want to find an architect who operates more broadly.
At first glance, it might seem that bringing in an architect will cost the earth. However, with the advent of web-based directories like homify, the cost of hiring an architect in Hong Kong has been falling, and you should be able to negotiate a good price. It’s also true that having skilled design professionals to work on your project will save money in the long run. A well designed home that is skilfully constructed and possesses a harmonious style will be more valuable than its poorly designed counterparts. With that in mind, it may well be worth paying a little more to find the right architect than choosing a cheaper option.
If you are looking for an architect in Hong Kong, your first port of call should be the homify website. You can find a full list of local practitioners under the ’professionals’ section, where Hong Kong’s finest architectural firms will be listed. When you have found an architect who possesses the right experience, click on their profile and you can find full contact details, from e-mail to telephone numbers. You can browse images of previous projects, as well as Ideabooks that the architect has worked on.
In every country, architects are subject to regulation and in Hong Kong this is no different. The Architects Registration Board is run by the profession itself, and maintains a directory of certified architect specialists. The aim is to ensure that the quality of professionals working in the city can be maintained, and that all architects will work safely and effectively.
Every home building project will need to bring in a number of different professionals, besides a skilled architect. These may include:
An Interior architect will focus on designing the rooms of your home, complementing the work of your main architect, who will generally emphasise the structure as a whole. They will help to finalise the right finishes for walls, floors and ceilings as well as the best way to light your home and other critical issues such as room acoustics. They will also consider whether the rooms offer good access for people using the home.
General contractors are external professionals who are brought in to carry out specific tasks, and they will often be hired directly by your architect. Examples that could be relevant to your design project might include masons, painters, roofers, pool installers, gardeners, glazers, solar installers, kitchen planners, bathroom designers and fitters, joiners, lighting specialists, plumbers and interior designers.
Kitchens often require specialist planning to get them just right. Your architect may well advise that you bring in a kitchen planner with expert knowledge about kitchen surfaces, how to keep children safe from harm, lighting strategies and seating arrangements. They can design open plan kitchens or make the best use of confined spaces, so are well worth considering.
An architect can plan and oversee the construction phase of your project, but to achieve a finished style and make your dreams come true, a designer may be necessary to add the final touches. Designers will have experience in crafting aesthetic styles, using elements such as paint schemes, carpets, lighting, ornamental decorations and art works. Without them, arriving at a beautiful home design will be much harder.
Hong Kong is unusual in architectural terms because it is so densely packed. The architecture seeks to make the most of small spaces, making it vital that stylish homes are also cleverly designed. The city also has relatively few ancient buildings, with an emphasis on modern architecture which makes elegant use of advanced materials and space.