Architect Barbados: arrival, clients, projects, ways of working ...

I've lived and worked as an Architect in Barbados since 1980, after qualifying in the United Kingdom.

 

I've learnt many lessons in running a practice:

 

Run a small tight practice: "architecture is best practiced hands on, think of it as a craft not as a production line"

 

Listen carefully to your client: study their brief and ask questions, the best buildings are produced from carefully examined briefs, make no assumptions, think about their needs now and in 5 and 10 years time ...

 

On the size of jobs: there is no such thing as running large and small jobs differently, they both need the same day to day attention to detail, treat each project, large or small, with equal importance and realise that there is no such thing as a quick or easy job ...small jobs can trip you up as easily as large ones ...

 

On hiring contractors ...have your client realise that the lowest bidder for a project is probably not the best one,

Make no assumptions ...assume site problems are not completely sorted out, especially co ordinating the various trades ...

 

Colleagues: never be afraid to ask your fellow architects their opinion of your design work, they have probably come up against similiar problems in the past and their offer of unbiased critique of how you have solved design problems will be always be helpful.

 

Spotting problems on site: as the saying goes ..."get ahead of the curve" ...in planning the job, realise how your contractor goes about organising the work, look out for cost cutting and easy but incorrect ways to build and beware of compromises in construction details ...

 

Statutory Codes and regulatory authorities: 

My experience also includes submissions to Barbados Town and Country Planning,  townplanning.gov.bb , the Coastal Zone Management Unit when building on coastlines, coastal.gov.bb , and the Environmental Protection Department,  epd.gov.bb for public health compliance.

 

Raising a building out of the ground is a test of your talent, training, vision, patience and your tenacity ...share all of these, especially your talent, with your client and produce the best building possible within their budget and their timetable ...and don't compromise.