The Work of Plan constructed by the Royal Institute for British Architects has become an unwritten industry standard.
Not just British Architects rely on the 8 phase design and construction plan.
Whether you are new to the concept or looking to refresh your RIBA knowledge here is the Ultimate Guide for you!
What is RIBA?
The RIBA is the Royal Institute for British Architects who developed the first plan of work back in 1963.
The aim of the plan was to provide an outline model for the building design and construction process in the UK.
For half a decade the plan has consistently been adapted to changes in the industry until it got completely revised in 2013.
The new plan of work is set to be the updated standard of procedure.
8 detailed phases lay out the path from initiation of a project all the way to the completion of a building and ribbon cutting.
The revised plan further includes a phase dealing with the occupied building and maintenance.
The phases are
- 0 – Strategic definition. (New addition)
- 1 – Preparation and brief.
- 2 – Concept design.
- 3 – Developed design.
- 4 – Technical design.
- 5 – Construction.
- 6 – Handover and close out.
- 7 – In use. (New addition)
The phases are categorized in 5 areas of the project:
- The new additions are both pre and post areas.
- Phase 1 is Preparation.
- Phase 2, 3 and part of Phase 4 are Design stages
- Remaining of Phase 4 is Pre-construction
- Phase 5 is Construction
- Phase 6 is Use
No architect is forced to follow the rules set out by RIBA, although it has become a universal standard.
This guide will explain the most recent Plan of Work and provide a detailed explanation of each step.
One of the significant changes in the 2013 model is that it aligns to more than just the traditional procurement route.
While the majority of architects still use the traditional contractual agreements other sorts, like the Design and Build forms of procedure have also grown in popularity.
The new WoP is flexible to fit the new trends in the industry.
On the website of the RIBA it is possible to create a custom work of plan to fit the desired procurement route.
The 2007 RIBA’S Plan of Work consisted of 11 steps lettered from A to L.
The 2013 RIBA’S Plan of Work is divided into 8 stages numbered 0-7, to avoid confusion to the previous phases.
Adapting to the changes in the industry, the new phases are also BIM ready, mapping out the processes.
If you are unfamiliar with BIM, there are helpful videos explaining the process.
The Plan of Work introduces a new flexibility when it comes to (Town)-planning.
The 2013 recognized the need to make a plan adaptable to different sizes and scopes of projects to ensure the best experience for both ends of the contract.
Through adjustable templates their website, the plan can be completely fitted to the scale of the project.
The tasks marked *Variable can be adjusted to the 3 P’s Procurement, Programme and Planning.
The 8 Phases
To demonstrate the process of construction through a real life example, we will show the project Fountainbridge by Oberlanders Architects in Edinburgh.
The project started in 2006 and has won multiple design awards since opening in 2012.
Some examples for the design process are not publically available and will be shown through other project.
0 – Strategic Definition
One of the new additions to the 2013 Plan of Work is the first step of the cycle.
During the strategic definition it is the suppliers goal to properly consider the clients Business Case and Strategic Brief, before creating the Initial Project Brief in Phase 1.
A Business Case is the client’s rationale behind the initiation of a new building project.
This can be anything from a simple spoken request, to a detailed written proposal, explaining what exactly they want from this project.
The architect is to thoroughly go through the wishes and intentions of the client before they can work on the Project Brief.
Together they are able to properly define the scope of the project and go into the preparation process more prepared.
The business case often includes first cost evaluations and discussing the sites available for the project. This phase is particularly important in terms of sustainability, for example if it would benefit for a building to undergo refurbishment rather than be built new.
An example of a new refurbishment boom are first-tier cities in China.
There, no more land is being released for development, driving the industry towards refurbishment of old building instead.
Factors influencing this can be aspects like budget, local planning policies and building context.
Initial considerations of all team members for the projects are being considered, to create the best work force possible.
The Project Program is also being established.
This outlines the projected length of the project and how briefing, design and construction phases are going to be distributed in this time frame.
The only people involved at this stage are the client and the architect.
No information exchange with the government is necessary yet.
Summary Phase 0:
- ensure the client’s Business Case and the Strategic Brief have been properly considered
- establishment of Project Plan
- consideration of Team Members
1 – Preparation and Brief
The main goal of the second stage, or Phase 1 (not to get confused) is to produce the Project Initiation Document (PID)
The PID includes the Initial Project Brief and a Feasibility Report, as well as the Client Brief and Business Case from the previous phase.
The PID is what is being used to gain funding for feasibility studies.
This stage is important to ensure that the Concept design in Phase 2 can be as productive as possible.
The Initial Project Brief lays out the main Project Objectives, such as:
- Quality Objectives
- Project Outcomes
- Sustainability Aspirations
- Project Budget
- Other parameters/ Constraints
The quality objectives are the objectives that set out the quality aspects of the project.
Size and location of the project are defined
The demanded project outcomes have been discussed in the first stage.
How long it takes to produce the PID fully depends on the scope of the project and special requests that need to be considered.
Depending on the project it can be relevant to contact local authorities pre-appointment.This will make future engagement easier and help guide the design from early on.
Local architect should be contacted to get familiar with local policies.
Who’s in charge of creating the project team depends on the contract between architect and client.
The relationship is established as a Contractual Tree:
- Client Service Consultancy: (Full Control)
- Here the architect does everything
- -Interior designer
- -MEP (Mechanical, electrical, plumbing)
- Here the architect does everything
- Client Consultancy: (Full service)
- The client does everything in terms of hiring all subcontractors
- -Architect only responsible for design part
- Split Consultancy: (Shared partnership of a project)
- The Architecture firm works together with Financial establishment/government/engineering company
- -Usually chosen for larger projects
- Sub-Consultancy: (Very specific)
- Focus on one element of the project
- -This can be doing just landscape, interior design, drawings, design, etc
- -Client chooses what role the architect will play in the project
It is required to create an initial Risk Assessment.
Once the Initial Project Brief and Feasibility Report have been completed the Project Initiation Document is finished and the project can move into the design phases. (2 – 4)
Summary Phase 1:
- creation of Initial Project Brief
- creation of Feasibility Report
- production of Product Initiation Document
- assembling the Project Team
- creation of Risk Assessment
2 – Concept Design
The project is now in the first of 3 design phases.
The goal of this phase is to produce a Final Concept Design.
2.1 First drafts
This is the first time the client gets to see a visual representation made from the Project Brief.
The visual can be anything from drawings to models designed to show the aesthetics of the project including:
General procedure is that the client receives 3 different concept proposals for the construction.
They can be similar or completely different.
The client then gets to choose which proposal fits their needs the best by combining elements from all designs.
2.2 Final Concept Design
When the final design has been agreed on the architects begin with the design.
This includes for example:
- -general drawings
- -sketches, drawings
- -models (physical + 3D models)
- -very rough renders.
The drawings should be 1 to 50/500 (Adjustable to project needs)
Part of the drawings are:
- -What is surrounding the project on the plot of land
- -How does the external world affect the design
- -busy highway,
- -parking lots,
- -foot traffic etc
Large scale drawings are helpful in seeing how a building is going to function in its location.
It is essential to revisit the brief during this stage and it should be updated and issued as the Final Project Brief as part of the Information Exchange at the end of Stage 2.
2.3 Hand In
The final design has to be prepared for hand in to the client.
- General plans
- sections, elevations
- all relevant material to express the design.
The drawings move up to a scale of 1 to 100/200
Concept Design Checklist
Tells you how your designs to the surroundings.
Provides other information such as square meters, walls, size of plot, relation of what is indoor and outdoor.
Prodive the vertical visual aesthetic of your design
-It’s the exterior shell, the view from the outside
Future drawing (the design in context of what it would look like once it’s build)
-3D mock up
- 1 render of the building
- 1 render of the interior
- 1 render of how it relates to the landscape and surroundings
1 render of the building in colour:
1 render of the interior:
1 render of how it relates to the landscape and surroundings:
What’s around it (access to it)
1 to 1500 to 1 to 5,000 (Adjustable to project needs)
-View from above showing the land around it
The following types of design were not available from Oberlanders Architects and are shown by other project examples:
Provide you with the vertical elements of the building
- Gives you a good idea of how your design and your building relates to other buildings heightwise
Technical 3D View of the design for the entire building Visualization of a plan
Can be any size, helps demonstrate the final product in a more tangible way
In the past years using Virtual Reality has been introduced as a way to show clients the designs in 3D.
This might set of properly once the technology further advances.
2.4 Permits and permissions:
Local planning authorities need to be consulted to obtain permits and permissions needed.
Things to consider are:
- The historical significance of the site
- Government issued building programme
- The surroundings (Water, land (brown and urbanized))
- Need air rights?
Feedback from the consultations may result in changes to the design.
The length of Phase 2 is depending on the scale and complexity of the project
2.5 Cost Plan
With the finished design the elemental cost plan for the project can be produced. This lays out all assumptions, abnormal costs and whole-life costs.
Summary Phase 2:
- Produce Initial Concept Design
- Client decides on Final Concept Design
- Creation of visualisation of Project Brief
- Creation of Elemental Cost plan
3 – Developed Design
The main goals of this phase are to produce a Final Design to be send to authorities and approved.
The architectural, building services and structural engineering designs will be finished by the end of phase 3.
With the Final design approved the Cost plan can be determined and aligned to the Project Budget.
It usually involved the planning application, but due to the flexibility of the 2013 PoW, it can vary across the phases.
In phase 3 the design is further developed.
Visualisations are moved to a 1 to 20/50 scale depending on the project scale.
The designs produced now are dimensionally correct and co-ordinated as CAD-drawings.
Models should show:
- -Window, door, exit, fire escapes, stairway locations
- -Wall patterns
- -Some electrical
- -Fittings, fixtures, equipment
- -Environmental and cleanup fees/charges
- -Atmospheric conditions (Mood boards/Material boards – e.g. concrete and wood, glass and tiles, etc)
- -Load bearing mechanical (structural logic of the building – e.g. foundation, pillars, and load bearing walls)
- -Aesthetics from the interior, exterior, and landscapes
Building System Services:
- -Tech, security, advanced functionality
- -Mechanical, Plumbing, Electrical (MPE)
Structure of the Building – Type Selection
- -Concrete (prefab + in situ)
- -Masonry (brick + mortar)
- -Steel (i beams + cladding – multiple types)
Changes during this phase are usually documented.
The chosen materials and dimensions can give an accurate estimate of the cost plan.
Changes in this phase are often made to adjust to the project budget.
The cost estimation is where things tend to go wrong.
Avoid these common errors for the closest estimate possible:
- Lack of transparency
- Not using an estimating checklist
- Oversimplifying Labour costs
- Ignoring weaknesses
- Lack of risk estimation
- Number errors
Phase 3 is usually when the planning application is being submitted to the responsible authorities.
The detailed drawings and reports are to be included in the application.
A planning application can include:
- A standard application form
- Location plan, showing the site and context
- Site plan or block plan, showing the proposal in greater detail
- An ownership certificate
- Agricultural holdings certificate
- Application fee
Further factors depend on location and scale of the project.
Summary Phase 3:
- Final Design approved
- Submission of Planning Application
- Cost plan finished (Labour excluded)
- Creation of detailed CAD models
4 – Technical Design
The goal of Phase 4 is to prepare the detailed technical designs for the building.
In the end of the stage the designs should include all architectural, structural and building services information.
This includes any design for specialist subcontractors and specifications.
All designs are to align with the Design programme and Design Responsibility Matrix.
4.1 Detailed Drawing
The Lead and Construction architect come together to produce detailed drawings of the designs.
The scale of detail now goes from 1 to 1 up to 1 to 20.
How detailed each designer has to get depends on whether the construction will be built according to the design team or based on information given by a specialist subcontractor.
The drawings now include things like electrical outputs, insulation and other specifics.
Depending on the project, all needed engineers are subcontracted and work alongside the Lead and Construction architects.
At this stage the overall design of the building does not change anymore.
The Design team is expected to work on their part individually, according to the designs set out in the previous stages.
It is possible that the design team has to respond to queries that arise during the construction phase.
Once the detailed designs are finished the Architects hand it over to the Project Manager.
It is important to regularly check in with the authorities during this phase.
If the supplier has already been chosen it is their responsibility to create their own supply chain.
For this they have to prepare tender documentation and their own version of the employer’s information requirements.
If the supplier hasn’t been chosen the tender documentation and pre-tender estimate now have to be produced in order to tender the construction contract.
All contractors are reviews, new ones are chosen, approved and contracted out.
Who is responsible for appointing all subcontractors depends on the original contract between Architect and Client.
The Lead architect and Project manager approve all selections of contractors and discuss these with the client for his approval.
Summary Phase 4:
- Preparation of detailed drawings
- Designs by specialists subcontractors
- Construction Architects join the team
- Preparation of tender documentation
- All contractors approved by Project managers and client
5 – Construction
The goal of phase 5 is the offsite manufacturing and onsite construction of the building.
All construction is according to the designs produced in the previous stages.
The Design Team still has to respond to design queries arising during this stage.
5.1 Construction and Building
The Architect’s role during construction depends on the contract.
Traditionally the client appoints the contractor who is responsible for the work onsite.
The architect firm usually offers a Contract administration service to oversee that the work is according to the programme through regular visits.
The contract administrator deals with:
- Requesting/ Issuing instructions from the client
- Construction progress reports
- Reporting defects
- Issuing interim certificates
- Documenting defects and issuing making good certificates of said defects
- Issuing the final certificate
5.2 Health and Safety
Local inspectors review and observe the site to make sure all health and safety laws are being followed
Summary Phase 5:
- The Construction onsite
- Manufacturing offsite
- Processing Design Queries
- Contract Administration Service
- Issuing Final Certificate
6 – Handover and Closeout
The goal of phase 6 is the handover of the completed building and the conclusion of the building contract.
The client is now able to occupy the building.
For 6 to 12 months, also called Defect Liability Period, the contractor is still responsible for any defects on the property.
At the end of construction, a report is produced covering the contractors, errors, accidents, incidents of waste/loss.
The contract administrator is issuing his final report on the construction.
In some cases the client may keep a retention sum for the contractor unit the Defect Liability Period is over. This ensures that the contractor does his job.
6.2 Inauguration and official opening
The completed site is visited by the client and other relevant parties.
All members of the Project Team are invited and the building is officially ‘In-Use’.
Often includes an official Red Ribbon Cutting ceremony and champagne.
Summary Phase 6:
- Completion of construction
- Hand over to client
- Issuing of final report
- Start of Defect Liability Period
7 – In Use
This is the second new addition to the RIBA’s Plan of Work 2013, and aims to provide an aftercare service to the client and the building.
The service provided to the client can include for example:
- Advice on Maintenance
- Energy certificates or consumption
- Letting or tenants queries
- management of facilities
- Tenants queries
- Facilities management
- The preparation of tender documents for maintenance and operation contracts
Sometimes it’s necessary to pass on expert knowledge in order for the building to be used properly.
This especially applies when it comes to sustainability.
The ‘end of life’ of a building can be part of Phase 7 or considered part of the Phase 0 of a new construction cycle.
In this case it’s considered whether the development can be reused by refurbishing it or has to be demolished.
This stage is what united the phases of the plan into a cycle of development.
Phase 7 Summary:
- Aftercare service for client
- Advice on ideal use of property
- Consideration of end of life
RIBA Plan of Work Concluded
The Plan of Work is recognised internationally as standard procedure.
While no one is expected to use it, by doing so you can play it safe.
“Unless they are inappropriate, use the RIBA forms of Appointment” – A Guide to Keeping out of Trouble.
The guide allows to simplify the project to both architects and clients, and increases the communication between both parties.
Need help getting started?
We worked through the red tape and bureaucracy so you don’t have to.
In most cases you must complete some official forms for the Building and Residency Register (BBR forms) together with the building application for the municipality.
Visit your municipality’s website and find the correct forms to be filled in. Here, and at BBR.dk , you can also read more about the review and application for construction work.
- Are you looking for existing building drawings?
- Local authority contact?
- No sure what you can or cannot build? See the restriction here.
- Building regulations to consider?
- Help with your Cost estimate?
What do you think about the RIBA Plan of Work 2013? Share your experience and thoughts, send us a message!
The date an architect seems like the perfect find in the sea of love that we all fish in.
A creative genius who draws something and then actually makes it reality.
Elegant ribbon cutting events for the newest addition to the city’s skyline.
Sounds like a dream, doesn’t it.
The reality of dating an architect might involve more coffee than champagne, and looking at the same sketch for 2 months.
Ted Mosby had us dream of the hopeless romantic who builds the next Empire State building.
But looking back at even his depiction, being an architect often looks a lot different.
We’ve compiled a list of 20 things you need to know before dating an Architect, to prepare you for the ride of your life.
1. Their heart is taken already
One thing you need to prepare for when meeting an architect is that they are already taken by someone else.
Architecture is the committed relationship they got in to when they first signed up to University.
There will be times where you get stood up for studio sessions or construction site visits. And you will have to deal with that.
Being passionate is one of their greatest qualities, even if it affects other parts of their life.
Would you rather find someone who’s dull and directionless?
2. They are (mostly) not rich
It is a common misconception that Architects make a lot of money. There are exceptions of Architects that made the big break.
Surely firms like Fosters and Partners don’t have to worry about paying rent with cashing over 2 million USD a year, excluding their highest paying project.
Usual Architects mentioned in Forbes lists fall in the older age category.
You are more likely to come across a younger, less successful partner, who will not be cutting red ribbons any time soon.
In reality, architecture doesn’t involve skyscrapers, but a lot of renovations.
The broke artist curse doesn’t spare the building designers.
On the good side, this makes architects very good at handling the money they have.
This doesn’t mean they are stingy, just very specific.
Tasteful limited finds will grace your bedside table.
Time to say goodbye to your ikea shelf, because sundays are now for antique flea markets.
3. There always will be pens around
The architect significant other comes with a new, never ending supply of pencils.
No matter if it’s black, blue or red, any colour you need won’t be hard to find.
Having constant access to pencils can prove very beneficial.
Instead of putting everything on a phone, you can return to having your shopping list on paper.
If your architect and you have already made it to living together, beware of the laundry.
The endless supply of pencils often comes out of a black hole in their back pockets. Their dominantly black wardrobe is pretty much immune to any damage.
Yours might not be.
Prepare to throw out some white shirts, and keep your socks away.
At least the monotone wardrobe makes laundry sorting a lot easier.
4. You get your personal Arts and Crafts store
The utensils supply doesn’t stop with the pencils. Any arts and craft stationery is likely to appear around your partner and their home.
The issue of not having a glue gun around is now one for the past.
Dating an architect can come in handy, as they often are, handy.
Knowing your prospective partner can fix the basics themselves is reassuring.
Broken shoe? Superglue.
Your personal art supply store also pays off when festivities approach.
To make up for their smaller budget, they can craft the best presents. Wedding season seems a lot less intimidating now.
And you won’t have to worry about buying your own laser cutter any longer.
What a relief.
5. New destinations
Architects can show you the world.
And they will, no matter what the payment checks look like.
Just not the world by the ocean.
Or in the mountains.
They will show you the world of granite structures and stuck decorations.
If you like a good city holiday you are in luck because with an architect by your side a lot of those are coming for you.
Prepare for treks on the path of architectural history with your personal tour guide.
Rome, Paris and Athens make for good destinations and also offer delicious food if your guide allows you a lunch break.
Did you know the Luxor Obelisk on the Paris Place de la Concorde is also the biggest sundial in the world?
After returning from holidays now, you certainly will.
In the case you go on an actual guided tour, your architect might jump in to correct them.
Being a little embarrassed is okay.
It’s also inevitable to end up with a photo album full of pictures from your trips. Without you or your family in it.
Just a lot of buildings.
6. There will be a lot of books
If you manage to convince your significant other to join you on a trip to the beach, you will need a book to relax with.
It will come in handy to have a whole library at home to chose from.
Strictly architecture content of course.
Having every edition of the encyclopedia is essential.
So are any other architecture related publications from the last 5 centuries.
Decorating your flat will prove a lot easier, as half of the space is already covered by books.
7. And anything else architecture related
Besides books, the flat is also covered in anything other architecture related.
Sketches flying around the rooms like paper planes, sometimes folded into one.
Instead of buying vases or statues you can arrange your partner’s insane collection of models around the tables.
Be careful when handling them.
Breaking their models might break a bit of their heart with it.
8. You’ve now joined Architecture 101
Going on exclusively cultural holidays will eventually pay off. The good thing about dating an architect is that their passion and knowledge will rub off on you.
Whether you want it or not.
After a couple months of coffee dates, you could easily pass architecture 101, without the endless all nighters.
Architects spend a majority of their early years learning the industry lingo.
Selfless as they, this knowledge will be passed to you.
Architectural jargon sounds like a mystery to outsiders but once you are in, you are in.
The longer you spend together, the more of their jokes will be understandable.
Still not all.
The world of architecture humor is almost as big as their heart.
9. They have a lot of patience
Patience is key.
This counts for almost every relationship.
To make it through the hard times with your partner you will both need to show a lot of patience, working together.
Good thing, that architects are as patient as it gets.
Spending years of their lives sketching the same floor plan over and over again, just to then do the same in modeling; makes you acquire a certain level of patience that can’t be matched.
Glueing 1000 miniature trees to a model requires fine tuning that will help your relationship as well.
If you are someone who likes to provoke conflict to get what they want, you might be out of luck with this partner.
It’s nearly impossible to be more annoying than their clients.
Learn to talk it out.
10. Any place is educational
You’ve learned about the educational trip abroad that await you.
But when money is tight and the most travelling you are getting done is to the grocery store, you won’t be left empty handed.
An adventure down the road might include a history lesson on the embassy building you just passed.
Or an in depth opinion on why the new bypass near your home is a technical disaster.
Driving through the countryside to visit families for the holidays won’t have much to offer for analysis.
Fear not, there are more podcasts out there than you could ever possibly listen to.
Your architecture classes don’t end because it’s christmas.
11. They’re coffee snobs
Whether it’s the all nighters studying for the degree show back in college or staying up until the late night drawing for another project deadlines.
A humans best friends might be dogs, but an architects is coffee.
No matter the time of the day, they are always seen with a steaming cup in their hand.
This makes them excellent baristas. It’s like having your own brewery at home.
But the years of drinking coffee also makes them quite picky when it comes to the magical bean.
Prepare to make room for quality arabica coffee and wave goodbye to the instant sachets left in the cupboard.
Coffee is an easy way to impress your date.
If you are still on route to dating an architect, do some research and suggest a date at a good coffee shop. Knowing 2 facts about coffee can go a long way.
12. They can stay up all night
What brought them to their coffee addiction in the first place are the allnighters they had to endure during their studies and continue on in their career.
As a partner, you might be happy that they can stay up all night doing more fun things, being used to the lack of sleep.
But in most cases they are more likely to have already stayed awake the previous nights working, so on a day off their brain clocks out at 7pm
All night action is reserved for pen and paper.
13. You only have architect friends
Dating an architect comes with the free addition of new architect friends.
Like other profession, your partner often attracts people from the same industry.
Good that you’ve picked up some of the lingo, this will help you blend in to the group.
After an hour of discussion on the sustainability of the new opera house being built even the most dedicated partner can zone out.
Don’t be surprised if by the time you zone back in the topic still hasn’t changed.
Architects never run out of things to say.
14. They’ve got a wandering eye
Dreaming of long walks in the city with your loved one. Staring into each others eyes in the moonlight. Sounds pretty romantic.
Until you notice they aren’t looking at you but at the bridge behind you.
Architects are prone to have a wandering eye. Not in a bad way.
They won’t get distracted by other people during a date.
Walking past a new refurbishment is another story.
15. They do a lot of overtime
As you may have guessed from their lack of sleep and coffee addiction, being an architect involves a lot of overtime.
Not paid overtime.
This might be where the misconception about their wealth comes from. Someone who spends all weekend in a studio surely are paid back for that sacrifice.
The issue of overworking interns has become so widespread that in 2016 a new federal law was passed in the USA demanding that companies pay their employees time and a half for their overtime.
With 90-hour weeks leading up to competitions, an architects schedule can be insane.
Previously unpaid as well.
Prepare for some lonely nights, and have an open ear to complaints.
16. Architecture is everywhere
For architects, the job doesn’t end once they leave the office. They have the power to connect everything around them to architecture.
It’s possible to use this to your advantage.
Want to watch a movie genre they don’t particularly like? Chose one that plays in an architecturally interesting location. Luckily almost every rom-com plays in New York with sufficient scenes of the Empire State building.
And no spy movie misses out on London.
17. They talk a lot without saying
If you are familiar with How I Met Your Mother you will know the architect looking for love, Ted Mosby. His portrayal is said to be one of the most accurate when it comes to showing the struggle in the industry.
His character, while lovable, has a habit of talking around the point, and constantly correcting his friends about everything.
To survive in a studio, architects have to be very good at giving their opinion.
They have a way of making you question your own.
Don’t be fooled by their talking around the point, they don’t know everything.
If you want to win an argument, prepare to justify every statement.
Opinions that are not backed up have little value to an architect.
Good luck with the fighting.
18. Gifts are easier than ever
Architects being so passionate about their job makes gift shopping a lot easier.
Although you might have found enough pencils in your flat to last a lifetime, they won’t see it like that.
Architecture related things are a very broad category.
Books, notebooks, pencils, pens.
More glue for the glue gun.
As creative individuals, they will appreciate a creative effort from you as well.
It might be hard to master their humor but once you get it, you will nail every present.
(Coffee machines work wonders)
19. They are never satisfied
After spending a lot of time with an architect, it will become clear that they don’t love anything that already exists. Every construction could’ve been done differently.
They would have designed the bridge much better themselves. And the colour your neighbours are painting their house doesn’t compliment the original style of the building.
They will talk about projects they like, but always systematically criticize it at the same time. Often in the same sentence.
If you appreciate honesty, you’re in luck.
They’re not scared to give you helpful critique when you ask for it.
20. You won’t need to worry about the future
If you manage to get yourself to date an architect and dealt with the 19 things mentioned above, you are looking towards a bright future.
How convenient that the one by your side can design that future for you.
When it comes to starting a family and eventually getting your own house, your architect will make sure it’s the best home you can find.
Whether it’s finding the best offer on the market or even building it themselves.
You won’t have to worry about it.
They will do enough of that for both of you.
Do you recognise the architect in your life, or yourself in this list?
Architecture around the world has undergone a lot of changes in the last decades. With the times it’s not just the lifestyle of the cities that adapted but also its public spaces. From entire new skylines to greener public spaces here we have accumulated a collection of 40 examples of amazing transformations.
Let the before and afters inspire you and inform you about the ever-changing buildings from across the globe.
1. Klyde Warren Park
In 2006 Architect James Burnett unveiled his design to put a lid on the Freeway going through Dallas, Texas.
The idea was first met with a lot of scepticism as a park including a theater stage, sport facilities and 322 trees weighs a lot.
By using geofoam the problem could be solved and by 2009 the city had enough funding to put the foundation over the streets.
General Contractors Archer Western and McCarthy Building Cos. finished the 21,000 square meter park in October 2012, after an expense of nearly 80 million USD.
2. Rio Madrid Project
The Manzanares river going through Madrid has been surrounded by highways since the 70s and didn’t leave much room for romantic scenes. It wasn’t until the second half of the 20th century that Major Alberto Ruiz-Gallardon signed off the project that would turn the streets into a green space.
Spanish architect collective West 8 designed the new area, which would be split up in individual components offering anything from green space to skate parks and restaurants.
In 2003 the highways were moved into 43 kilometre long tunnels to make space for the new park, which habitats over 8500 lamps; 5500 seating areas; 33 bridges connecting the two overhauled riversides.
Over 4 million euros later in 2010 the project was completed and completely open to the public.
3. A’Beckett Urban Square
For years the RMIT University in Melbourne Australia used the 2800 squaremeter space as a car park surrounded by its academic buildings.
In 2012 the cities Mayor took a stand against inactive property owners and sparked a wave of urban interventions, including the RMIT A’Beckett Urban Square.
The former car park was turned into ‘pop-up’ park in 2013 and completed a year later for all the students to use,
Peter Elliot Architecture + Urban Design took over the 1.2 million USD project and designed a space designated for active and casual engagement, incorporating sport courts, landscaping, BBQ facilities and bike parking.
The urban space is only a temporary use for the space, until MRIT continues with its own expansions.
4. Place de la Republique
As the largest and one of the most important squares in Paris, the Place de la Republique attracts thousands of visitors every day. Before it became a social hub in the city in 2013, it was more of a traffic hub, surrounded by cars and streets taking up more than two thirds of the area.
The agency TVK consisting of Pierre Alain Trévelo and Antoine Viger-Kohler redesigned the whole square and ‘gave it back to the Parisienne’.
After a 2 year renovation process the area designated for pedestrians increased from 12,000 sqm2 to 24,000sqm2 and opened the stop for many businesses and activities.
One of Austria’s most prominent shopping streets has followed Paris’ example and gave the space back to the people through an amazing transformation. The 1,6km long street used to focus on the cars driving through and left little room for the shoppers walking through.
Once the different street levels were removed the visitors started to use the entire space and brought live to the city.
In 2010 the council decided to remove all traffic from certain areas of the street and turned it into a pedestrian only walk.
6. Brooklyn Bridge Park
The Brooklyn Bridge Park is barely 10 years old but holds one of the most remarkable transformations around the city in the recent years. Manhattans skyline has been solid for a few decades but the neighbouring district across the river has been lacking some development.
In 2002 the Mayor and Governor signed a Memorandum of Understanding to agree on creating the Brooklyn Bridge Park and formed the Brooklyn Bridge Park Development Corporation (BBPDC). The corporation put together a master plan in 2004 for the piers that go along the river.
Several of the Piers along the waterfront were redesigned by Architecture firm WXY Studios.
In 2010 Pier 1 opened to the public and has since become one of the cities favourite spots.
The stream passing through Cheonggyecheon was hidden underneath a multiple story freeway before the city decided that instead of renovating the ageing concrete it was time to transform the area.
The government wanted to connect the two sides of the city which were separated through the freeway without creating traffic congestion.
SeoAhn Total Landscape came up with a design which would both allow the people to make use of the stream again and continue the flow of traffic in the city.
22 bridges were build across the water, 12 for pedestrians and 10 for automobiles. The public transport system in the centre got a push and the use of cars has also been discouraged by the Seoul Metropolitan Government.
8. Alaskan Way Viaduct
An earthquake hit Seattle in 2001 and destroyed parts of the city, including the multilane freeway Alaskan Freeway, going along the pier.
Instead of rebuilding it the city decided to change parts of the lanes underground to allow the space to be used for pedestrians. After a 10 year debate between council, public and government whether to keep the highway over or underground the reconstruction by the Washington State Department of Transportation began in 2011.
Known as the Highway 99 Project the new tunnel cost the city nearly 3.3 billion USD and was opened with a 2 year delay in 2018.
9. Pier Freeway
The Piers of San Francisco are one of the main attractions the city has to offer. Similar to Seattle the Pier used to be blocked by a highway viaduct for years until an earthquake damaged it severely in 1989.
The removal opened the pier to development and created an open space in one of the busiest areas. 3,000 new housing units, 2 million square feet of offices and 375,000 square feet of retail replaced the former traffic centre.
10. Denver Union Station
The original Denver Union Station was built in 1868 by architects Taylor, A.; Fairfield & Burton.
Today the old beaux arts style building isn’t recognisable after RTD purchased the building in 2001 and developed a master plan to renovate the station and 79,000 square meter surrounding it.
The plan layed out to construct the new site in a single phase and the partner agencies selected Hargreaves Associates and Skidmore, Orwings & Merrill to design the space.
The 500 million USD renovation didn’t just create a new train station but simultaneously started the renovation of historic buildings in the surrounding area.
11. Berlin Central Station
The central station in Berlin is the main station in Germany, connecting the capital to the rest of the country. Underneath the modern glass construction is the historic site of the Lehrter Bahnhof, which stood on the ground from 1871 until the end of World War 2 where it was heavily damaged.
In 1998 it was decided that it was time for a new station to reunited the formerly divided city.
The construction began with building tunnels connecting the stations across Berlin and laying down the foundation stone.
Through winning a design competition the Hamburg architect Gerkan, Marg and Partners took over planning the station that opened in 2007.
12. Times Square
Before Times Square become the embodiment for Manhattan hyper-density, it was on the verge of overflowing. Underneath the millions of pedestrians and cars is the busiest station on the New York metro line.
In 2008 Mayor Michael Bloomberg and the Department of Transportation decided to make the square accessible again.
Jan Gehl and his team came together with Sadik-Khan to develop a design that would introduce bike lanes and pedestrian Plaza’s instead of multilane streets.
In the same year the renovation allowed for a New Years Eve celebration on the new Times Square.
13. TVG Station
Paris based architect Marc Mimram designed a ‘Garden-Station’, with the intention of allowing travellers to see the surroundings and seasons outside the building.
The new station was proposed in 2014 and the design features pleats going across the concrete roof to throw shadows across the station.
In collaboration with Emmanuel Nebout, contractor EGIS and developer Icade the team worked on the 142 million Euro station starting in 2015.
14. Shanghai Skyline
It only took 20 years to turn Shanghai into the metropolis we know it as today. In 1990 it was already a world commerce hub but showed green space instead of skyscrapers along the river.
After the economic reform it into the largest cargo port in the world and the architecture grew with it.
Remarkable buildings in the new skyline include the tallest building in China, the Shanghai Tower, designed by Jun Xia and built from 2008 to 2014 by the contractor Shanghai Construction Group.
Close second is the Shanghai World Financial Center designed by Kohn Peterson Fox in 1997.
15. Singapore Skyline
The tiny city-state and Island has had severe changes in its skyline since it became independent from Malaysia over 50 years ago. It’s hard to believe that constructions like Marina Bay Sands were only added to the scenery 10 years ago.
The building was designed by Moshe Safdie and Aedas Singapore in 2007 and opened to host celebrities and sports from across the world in 2010.
Only a year later in 2011 Safdie left another print on the skyline by designing the Art Science Museum shaped like a lotus flower.
16. Dubai Skyline
In 2 decades Dubai transformed from a desert city to a one-of-a-kind metropolis counting the tallest building in the world as part of its skyline.
The Burj Khalifa is construction of superlative designed by Skidmore, Owings & Merrill LLP from Chicago and with consultation of Adrian Smith FAIA, RIBA in 2004. In 2010 the city celebrated its opening and the 1.5 billion project came to an end.
30,000 apartments, 9 hotels, a mall and a lake can be found in the construction that broke all records.
17. Doha Skyline
The transformations in the middle east are incomparable to renovations in Europe or the USA.
Until the 90’s Doha was a small fishing community until the country started tapping into the oil and gas industry. Now, Qatar is one of the leading exporters in the world and has the skyline to match the skyrocketing industry.
The city isn’t done expanding as it currently has 47 buildings under construction. The Doha Tower is one of the more subtle additions to the cityscape build from 2005- 2012. The city is said to spend 65 billion USD on new projects and infrastructure including the stadium for the World Cup 2022.
Shanghai has undergone a rapid development in the past years but the fasted growing city in China is Shenzen in the south.
The former green area has now turned into the first and most successful Special Economic Zone in the country.
Danish studio Henning Larsen is working on building a new city centre in collaboration with two Chinese consortiums.
The new public space is aiming to relocate the people to the waterfront.
The city on the Brazilian coast gained tourism in 2014 as it was one of the host cities of the World Cup. Between 1975 and now it also gained a remarkable skyline going along the beach side.
20. Rio De Janeiro Olympic Park
Before hosting the Olympics in 2016 Rio de Janeiro had to undergo an immense transformation.
Completely new sport facilities were built in the years leading up to the games and changed the landscape of the city.
The London based firm Wilkinson Eyre designed the largest part of the Olympic park, a conjunction of 3 arenas all holding different sporting events. He gave the master plan to local firm Arqhos Consultoria e Projetos, who brought the vision to live.
21. Las Vegas
Vegas is known for its extravagance and excess but before there was gambling and a second Eiffel Tower, the desert town was merely there for necessity.
A few hotels were built as a stop over for trade routes across the state and with the business came the customers.
60 years later the Las Vegas strip and CityCentre is illuminated from casinos and hotels and it became the fastest growing area in America.
22. Subway Line 4
Before the Olympics Brazil didn’t just improve their sport facilities but also gave Rio’s infrastructure a push.
The new subway line 4 was build to connect the city to the event venues. The modern Design was proposed by firm Odebrecht.
It ended up opening with a delay and almost double the initial cost with 3.1 billion USD just in time for the games.
It was only made accessible to the general public in late 2017.
23. Berlin Parliament
World War 2 left a lot of the historical buildings in Europe in ruins. The German parliament in Berlin has its seat in the Reichstag which was also a victim of bombs.
Instead of removing what was left, the city decided to revive the construction and renovated the building with modern additions.
In 1993 UK designer Fosters and Partners won a competition with a design that didn’t include the glass dome that is now seen as a symbol of Berlin.
Only in 1995 the dome and its spiral staircase got introduced to the design and now attract over a million visitors each year.
The renovation cost the state over 300 million euros.
24. St. Louis Church
The St. Louis Church in Memphis Tennessee was first built in the late 1950’s with an, back-then, modern design. The original construction didn’t let much natural light into the building and in 2014 it was time to give the Church a makeover.
Already existing parts and a new altar and baldacchino were combined and kept in a similar style. The most drastic change was the new stained glass behind the altar which included artificial lighting, in order to bring life into the building.
25. Holy Name of Jesus Church
The Catholic church located in Brooklyn raised nearly 1 million USD to be able to restore the building and give the altar a new look.
What visitors previously described as ‘upside down’ hockey sticks, has now made place for a marble centerpiece which brings live into the historical place.
A lot of the renovation was done by the parishioners themselves giving back to their community.
In 2014 the church opened again for its first mass with its brand new altar.
26. Salem Jail
The Salem Jail was the oldest operating penitentiary in the States until it closed down in 1991. The living conditions were said to be so bad that inmates sued the country, and won.
It took almost 2 decades until developers David Goldman and Dennis Kanin from the New Boston Ventures picked up the abandoned building and turned it into luxury apartments and a restaurant.
The restoration cost nearly 12 million USD and was completed in 2010 with all the apartments quickly being rented out.
27. Tennessee Theatre
First opened in 1928 the theatre spent half a century entertaining generations in Knoxville with its movies.
After its closing it took 18 months and 300 million USD to give the building a well needed rehaul, lead by local firm McCarty Holsaple Architects.
Original elements of the theatre were kept intact and restored while the main stage got equipped for performing arts.
28. Boyle Hotel
Starting out as a luxury hotel in 1889 the Boyle Hotel made a promising place for shops and guests. With time the businesses left the area and the building deteriorated and after being left alone for years.
It took 24 million USD to bring back to life.
New roof, floors, doors and furniture were added by Richard Barron Architects and in 2012 it reopened as affordable apartments with new shops opening on the ground floor.
29. Art Hotel Paradiso
Ilmiodesign, have brought the Miami Beach style to Ibiza by taking on the renovation of the Art Hotel Paradiso.
With pastel colours and interior design inspired by 70’s Italian architects Artizoom, the hotel opened its doors to artists and travellers in 2018
The lobby of the hotel features a ‘Glass room’ in which one can sleep for free with the condition that the room is fully visible to people walking by.
30. Tung Fat Building
The building was first built in the 1960’s and hosted several apartments and businesses.
The name Tung Fat literally translates to ‘get rich together’ which was the original purpose of the office complex.
In 2015 Melbourne based firm KPDO gave the building a make over, creating luxury apartments while preserving the original structure.
The refurbishment costs HK$ 30 million and aims to inspire fellow architects to keep old buildings in Hong Kong alive rather than building new skyscrapers.
31. Garage Screen
The Garage screen in Moscow Russia is a modern take on an Open Cinema. Opened in 2015 the construction is designed to combine the experience of a closed cinema with an open air show. The visitors are still able to engage with the surroundings of the cinema while watching the movie.
photo source https://whitecube.com/news/news_and_events/Damian_Ortega_at_the_Garage_Museum_of_Contemporary_Art_Moscow
SYNDICATE architects created a space that was fully adaptable depending on seasons, with the roof being able to open up and the whole construction can be completely disassembled if the materials are needed elsewhere.
Known as the oldest and longest pedestrian street in the world Strøget goes through the heart of Copenhagen. While neither claim holds to be true, it was one of the inspirations to pedestrianise urban spaces in New York and other cities.
Already in 1962 it was decided to remove all traffic from the street and quickly turned the area into the shopping street.
Architect Jan Gehl studied the pedestrian walk in 1962 and found it to play a part in the policy shift to pedestrians and bicycles which still dominate Copenhagen to this day.
33. San Pablo Community
Transforming Urban Spaces doesn’t just revive old constructions, but also the life around it. In 2016 a group of female designers came into the neighbourhood and turned the sketchy shadows into a playground that parents let their kids play on.
Rozana Montriel and Alin V Wallach wanted to address one of the main issues in the country, which are the open spaces between buildings.
With low cost projects creating public spaces they increased the quality of life for many families.
A suburban neighbourhood in Amsterdam was facing similar issues as New Mexico.
The ‘garden-city’ apartments in Slotervaart were popular choices for workers in the 60’s but left alone since then the area wasn’t populated enough to grow.
Several architects took over different parts of the district and turned the empty spaces into dense and elegant apartments.
Paul de Ruiter created a school, child care centre, housing and a park out of a single public housing courtyard.
Denmark promotes the use of bicycle over automobiles and reflects this in their landscaping. Previously a car park, Regnbuepladsen is now a pedestrian area with possibilities to lock your bike.
After its renovation the square opened with a new name as a tribute to the LGBT+ Community.
36. Gemini Residence
Bjarke Ingles and his group have played a significant role in the urban development of Copenhagen.
One of the area’s he’s transformed into a popular destination in summer is Islands Brygge, one of the harbour baths of the city.
The project was completed in 2003 and holds 5 pools with a capacity of 600 people.
Near the harbour baths is another notable transformation by MVRDV who turned two former silos into apartment buildings.
The Gemini Residence has the flats attached to the outside of the silos and a lobby the height of the building to allow the tenants to move up and down.
The construction took place from 2002 – 2005 and became a part of the modern harbour front in Islands Brygge.
37. High Line Park
Another one of New Yorks favourite parks has its roots in another public construction when it’s foundation was built in 1930 as a railway line.
It connected the warehouses on Manhattans west side until the 70’s when parts of it were demolished to make space for the automobile traffic.In 2003 architects James Corner Field Operations with Diller Scofidio + Renfro won a competition with their design to turn what was left of the train tracks into an elevated park. 6 years later the High Line Park opened to the public and goes along the New York skyline.
38. Axel Towers
While Scandinavian design is taking over the world, the local architecture isn’t being left behind.
Architect group Lundgaard & Tranberg Arkitekter has changed the scenery of Copenhagen. A newer addition is found next to one of the oldest constructions in the city Tivoli.
In 2016 the Axel Towers were completed, and opened several restaurants, offices and a public garden area.
39. Palm Islands
Landscape transformations in the United Arab Emirates are known for reaching the sky. The Palm Islands in Dubai show that the constructions have reached the waters as well.
Nakheel’s construction and property management company build the palm shaped artificial island on the coast of the metropol. The islands were build over 6 years from 2001 – 2007 and took millions of tons of rocks and sand from the Persian Golf.
The Jumeirah is a community of 50 smaller islands and hosts some of the most luxurious hotels of the city.
It isn’t the only artificial landmark on the coast. The World is a smaller island near the Palm, while The Universe and Dubai Waterfront were meant to join the landscape but constructions are currently on hold
40. Skanderberg Square
The Skanderberg Square in Tirana, Albania is one of the most important cultural and historical centre of the city.
Its boulevards connect several embassies and the presidential palace. In 2004 first renovation plans were made to create a more densified city centre but the drastic change in skyline was met with protest by the public.
Between 2008 and 2011 the architect firm 51N4E proposed a different design that would turn the square into a pedestrian only zone. The area isn’t flat but shaped like a 4 sided pyramid with 2.5% slope.
The renovation completed in 2017 won the European Prize for Public Space in 2018.
Click on the map below to see where in the world to find these amazing Transformation.
Have there been any impressive transformations in your city? Let us know and comment below!