Duties and responsibilities of an architect

An architect is a trained individual who develops conceptual ideas for buildings and structures, then turn those concepts into the designs and plans that are used to guide the building process.

They are responsible for designing plans for a variety of building structures including homes, stores, churches and government buildings.

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Tips for Choosing an Architecture Firm

One of the most important parts of any building project is choosing the correct architect firm.

Ensuring that you have the right architect to design your building is essential. It is important that they understand the local planning rules and regulations and are up to date with the latest building regulations. If they don’t, regardless of how great their design is - if it cannot be built, your money will be wasted.

Before you search for prospective architecture firm, make sure you know and fully understand what you want from the space you are creating.

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Questions to ask an architect before hiring

Deciding on an architect to carry out a job is not a light decision.

You will be selecting someone who will be the mind behind the project, thus you will naturally want them to possess certain traits which you may want to enquire about prior to hiring them.

Below, are a selection of questions you may want to ask your prospective architects to help you decide if they are the right one.

What are the challenges and attractions of the job?

An architect might have an attractive portfolio and outstanding references, however, do not mistake this as an indicator of the approach they’ll take on your project. It is important to enquire about their vision for your project by asking questions such as:

What is currently working, and what requires improvement?

How will a remodel blend with the rest of the house?

What will be the challenges?

Asking these questions will help with building a good rapport with your architect and discovering if your personalities are compatible.

Do you have a signature style?

There are many architects that boast about their adaptability, which enables them to manipulate their style to fit the clients’ needs. There are, however, other architects that have a certain style that features in all of their designs, be it modernism, or reinterpretations of historic houses.

By discussing if the architect has a certain style, you should be able to decide whether it’s something you may want to incorporate into your project.

What project management services do you offer?

More often than not, architects are able to provide more than just the blueprints and design of a project.

Liverpool PSDA architects offer a wide range of architectural services in Liverpool in order to meet the clients’ needs, such as planning, design and technical, and on-site services.

How do you charge?

Architects will often charge monthly, beginning as soon as they begin work. Although, the majority of the design work will happen prior to bringing in a contractor and knowing the total cost.

Liverpool PSD Architects offer unrivalled architect services in Liverpool which can be tailored to meet your needs.

What is it about modern architecture?


Modern architecture provides something for everybody, even if an individual prefers traditional architecture.

The foundations of modern architecture are clean and simple, following the ideal that form will follow function thus why many modern architects express themselves through simplicity, clean structural elements, clear views and dropping any design specs that aren’t necessary.

Most designs will integrate elements of glass, steel and wood so to show off the industrial structural materials.

What defines modern architecture?

Both terms modern and contemporary have been confused in the design world. The fact is, contemporary design isn’t like modern, although it also can be. In literal terms, contemporary means now, while modern relates to technological and engineering developments dating back to the turn of the twentieth century.

Sticking with simplicity, modern architecture turns its attention to industrial materials including concrete, glass, and steel. Contemporary design, however, does use the same elements although the designs would be considered as new, re-though, or forward-thinking.

Modern designs allow the structure to speak for itself through minimalistic interiors and cleans lines.


Common misconceptions are often presented about modern architecture that it is too cold or cool. Although, this does not have to be true. A growing number of elements into modern designs are not seeing features of wood and stone, in neutral colours - both of which are warm and inviting materials.

Other elements that have been integrated into the design have been floor-to-ceiling stone fireplaces, large windows that allow natural light to flood into a room along with vaulted post and beam ceilings.

Alternatively, playing it safe by using warm colours like browns and beiges, wood and stone etc.


It is possible for both tradition and modern styles to work together, they knit together quite well.

The design can prove to be quite and interesting one that creatures a one-of-a-kind home for an individual to live in.

Modern architecture has proven to be unique, warm, open and inviting and more with; it has also proven that it can be combined with traditional architecture to get the best of both world.

Please visit our website to view our architecture and the services we can offer you!

Architects’ role is larger than ever in green sky thinking

Architects Liverpool
Architects Liverpool


Green Sky Thinking Week will be taking place between 20th and the 24th April.

Almost a third of the events of the week will be hosted by architects; regular names will be returning including AHMM, Architype, Bennetts Associates, Nicholas Hare Architects and Hawkins Brown.
New participants that are joining include Levitt Bernstein and Weston Williamson & Partners.

Teaming up with Beyond Green are 5th Studio, Pitman Tozer Architects, and Mole Architects to host a seminar regarding the current housing crisis, while the topic of sustainable sports grounds will be explored by David Morley Architects.

The week will see over 50 seminars providing first-hand interaction with experts from cross-disciplinary teams responsible for a majority of London’s most pioneering projects from the Crossrail, to the Thames Tideway Tunnel.

Focus will also fall upon green infrastructure, energy, data and digits, and the health and wellbeing agenda as the seminars are set to be backed by Open-City.

Visiting sites will remain a key attraction of the week: two Crossrail sites will be opening as a part of the program, along with the King’s Cross site with Argent focusing on water, while Bennetts Associates will offer tours of their recently completed BREEAM outstanding offices for Camden.

Hackney is taking on the subject of district heating, while Elementa, engineering consultancy - presently in the process of developing toolkits to roll out the WELL Building Standard in the UK - will be hosting a PechaKucha-style event on health and happiness in the workplace in the WalkieTalkie sky garden.

Visit the Green Sky Thinking website for further information about the week’s events.
Please visit our website for further information about architecture in Liverpool.

2015 prospects for architects

Resolutions have been set by everyone this year, even the architects with plans to build better towers, ditch the Lego, outlaw the ‘facades’ - and more transparency in Boris’s London, maybe. 

The locals

The issue of having every acclaimed architect slamming down a prospective design for a building, calling it a ‘monumental mistake’ and a ‘disgrace to future generations,’ there’s not much that can be done except for reconsidering your design.
Budding architect, Zaha Hadid, had to face this issue and more over her Tokyo Olympic Stadium to be scrapped - a result of a petition that gained 32,000 signatures, along with an open letter of opposition from a host of eminent Japanese architects - she called them out on jealousy.

I think it’s embarrassing for them,” she said. “I understand it’s their town, but they’re hypocrites. The fact that they lost (the competition) is their problem.

Rationing icons

Rob Tincknell, the man overseeing the redevelopment of Battersea Power Station commented on the rationing of icons, “You’ll have two icons sat side by side. What could be better than that?

The powder station is set to be transformed into a shopping centre, and can be accessed along a ‘high street’ - which will be a gauntlet of luxury apartments - and will feature a wiggling glass worm, designed by Norman Foster, on the one side and a metal flower on the other.

Facets, be gone

The arrival of the Shard piercing England capital’s skyline, lead to competing buildings attempting to mimic its fractured facets, thus the city now bearing a number of useless, angular floor plates that aren’t too pleasing to the eye.
Advice has been given to keep things orthogonal when in doubt for the upcoming year.

Equal entrances

There is no excuse for a poorly designed entry way, however if your housing associate has specified that the affordable housing units should have a separate entrance for reasons regarding maintenance, then bear in mind to design it on equal terms with the market-rate housing.

Let go of Lego

It is known that the Danish source their inspiration from Lego models they have created.
Aware of this notion, Lego has recently sought to adapt the market of adult Lego fans, by launching a Lego Architecture Studio.
This will see a hefty priced set of starch-white bricks aimed at architect grownups.
It is a good idea, for some play time. Lego is not a design tool and shouldn’t be used as one - it will result in chunky buildings popping up by certain Dutch practices.

High-rise structures

London isn’t shy of high-rise towers, although it’s prompted a negative response from the city’s Observer and Architect’s Journal, as they launch a skyline campaign to protect London’s scenic silhouette.
Along with the competition for new towers to overshadow others with new elaborate forms of peaks and technicolour cladding - 2015 will be seeing more towers but let’s make them elegant and thoughtful contributions to the capital.

What do you think is in store for 2015 architecture?
You can visit our website for our architectural services in Liverpool and more information on architecture!

Understanding the architectural process

The process of architectural work is a lengthy process that relies on planning and constant development to reach the client’s vision.

There are a few components to architecture that result to the final design of the project:

- Gathering information
- Concept development
- Concept evaluation
- Design development
- Visualisation
- Consent

Gathering information

Once a construction site has been engaged, architects will then gather information about the construction site which will all be dependant on the project requirements.
There is a possibility that photographs will need to be take in order to survey the site thoroughly.

Any issues that may affect the construction regarding the existing planting, water courses and soil type will have to be addressed.
It is likely that a confirmation of the detailed process will be done in writing to ensure who knows who is doing what.

Concept development

This is the time when the ball gets rolling as it is the opportunity for the architect’s initial ideas to be presented to the client as receive feedback on those ideas.
A floor plan may be offered with some perspective drawings that will give the client an idea of the overall layout and possibly the look and style of the proposition.

Concept evaluation

In this part of the design process, it’s mostly about whether the client is happy about the direction the architect is heading in.
Liaising with the client frequently is what helps the project move forward, it is usual for minor disagreements to occur on the detail of the design. This essentially encourages more discussions.

By this stage, a clear sense of budget can be distinguished and if any problems will impact the number.
It is also an appropriate time to ensure the client and architect are ready to continue with the designs and the drawings.

Design development

In the third phase of the project, once the concept has come to a mutual agreement, the architect will begin the process of testing and refining ideas that will contribute to the overall shape of the building.

It is possible a Quantity Surveyor will be requested to estimate an independent cost. The budget may be discussed again with it relevance to prioritising over cost, time and quality.


It can be difficult to visualise the finished building just by referring to an image which is why it is important to ensure that a client understands what is being done.
Generally, floor plans, flows, elevations and cut0through section drawing will be provided by architects along with the usual detailed sketches.


Towards this stage of the architectural process, a building consent will need to be applied for on behalf of the client, if this hadn’t already been done in the concept stage.
For a contract price to be submitted, a builder will need a very detailed proposition about the project.

As seen, architecture is a gruelling process that results in truly awe-inspiring buildings and structures.
For more information about architecture and the services we offer, please visit our website!

Liverpool’s library wins architecture award

The Library of Liverpool has topped the chart for the Riba Stirling Prize 2014!

Liverpool’s city folk were being urged to vote for the architectural beauty and the votes payed off with 30% of the votes going to the Library.

The Library of Liverpool

The Library of Liverpool won the Riba Stirling prize on the 16th October 2014.

The Library was designed by Mecanoo architect, Patrick Arends, who won the emerging architect of the year.
It’s interlocking circle design, rooftop terraces and vast glass-topped central book rotunda are all what added to this gem’s win.

Shortlisted along with the Library was London Aquatics Centre, receiving 26% of the votes, London Bridge Tower/The Shard (20%), Everyman Theatre in Liverpool (10%), LSE Student Centre in London (8%), and Manchester School of Art (7%).

It was also named West Midland’s overall building of the year, at the regional final.

For more news and information about architecture and the services we offer, visit our website!

Students designs cardboard panniers

Architecture students have designed a clever way to bring groceries back home - Packtasche (Pack Bag), foldable panniers you can pick up at the checkout.

Carrier bags hanging on for dear life off the handle bars of bicycles could well and truly become things of the past, if the solution to carrying groceries home, created by two architecture students in Vienna, gets a wide adoption.
The solution comes in the form a foldable, cardboard pannier, that can be filled with your grocery haul and then placed on your bike.

Packtasche cardboard pannier (picture source Packtasche)

The product, Packtasche, was designed by budding architects, Philipp Moherndl and Matthias Lechner; ideally stores would offer it to customers a replacement of shopping bags and carrier bags.

A simple assemble, light in weight and wholly recyclable means that carrier bags could be disappearing, and it also means that shoppers don’t have to worry about whether what they’re purchasing will fit inside their backpack and the weight can be lifted off their shoulders, literally.

While many cyclists may be familiar with panniers and may already own one, not everyone fancies the idea of carrying them around all day when they’re not using their bicycles.

The designers told an architecture publishing company: “Due to the mass appeal of the bike, conventional cycling accessories do not fit the lifestyle of many urban cyclists. The limited transport capacity of usual bicycles makes shopping difficult and inflexible.

“People often do their shopping spontaneously, on their way home or whilst cycling in the city. therefore we wanted to come up with a more flexible solution: a multi-use bag for bicycles, which is low priced and environmentally-friendly.”

The final design incorporates a handle that makes it easy to carry when not travelling on the bike, and once on it, the panniers fit over a rear rack.

“Our main goal was to make cycling in the city even more practical and attractive than it already is. The Packtasche is our small contribution to make cycling more attractive to people and hence support sustainable urban mobility,” explained Lechner.

The pair are currently hoping to expand their market to Europe and are planing to launch a Kickstarter campaign for their product.

What do you think of the Packtasche?
Let us know in the comments!