A glance at the various architectural structures in South Africa reveals the diverse and turbulent past of the country. Indigenous clans, colonisation, wars, apartheid, and the reconciliation of a post-apartheid country have all influenced our architecture. From the simple 'rondavels' of the Xhosa tribes to the Rhodes Memorial in Cape Town (which looks like it should belong in ancient Rome), architecture in South Africa has helped to conquer, divide, connect and heal the various generations.
This is also true of the various residential structures scattered all over the country, which encompass a myriad of design styles such as modern, rustic, colonial, and Scandinavian.
An architect is responsible for designing a range of structures in various fields, including houses and apartment buildings, shopping malls, hospitals, schools, and commercial buildings. This may include anything from drawing up the plans for building a brand new structure or renovating an existing building or space, like a kitchen.
An architect also takes into consideration the safety factor in the design of a building (in terms of materials used, the location of the structure, presence of fire exits, etc.), ensuring the final structure is practical and safe for people.
While some architects work across a range of projects of different types and scales (generalists), others specialise in one area, such as residential or educational.
The typical work activities of an architect include:
Keep in mind that any person in South Africa providing services of an architectural nature must be registered with the South African Council for the Architectural Profession (SACAP).
If you want to build a new house / building, or make alterations / additions to an existing house or building, then you need a professional architect.
The advantages of using a professional architect are aplenty and include:
Clients usually appoint an architect whose work they admire or who has been recommended to them. Thanks to homify, you already have an ever-expanding list of architects to peruse. Conveniently grouped in various categories (South African cities), homify presents an array of architects and other professionals. Where possible, we also provide additional data on each one, such as information and images of past projects, and customer reviews.
It is recommended to contact each architectural firm whose work you admire to set up an initial meeting (bear in mind that some firms may charge a fee for this, so be sure to ask). A meeting is important to see if their skills and services match up with your building requirements, to discuss budget and time constraints, etc.
When contacting a firm, describe your project and ask if they are available. Request information that can help to outline the firm's qualifications and experience. Apart from visiting their website, you can also ask for a portfolio of their work, or even visit one of their finished buildings.
It is important to ensure you are compatible with your architect, as you will be entering into a working relationship with them. Your architect must also convince you of their creativity and their ability to accomplish a task within budget and on time.
The final cost of building a structure is dependent on many factors, including quality of finishes, location, and the size of the project. For instance, while it is possible to build a low-cost house for under R5,000, it can also be accomplished for more than R20,000 per m².
There are four common ways in which South African architects calculate their service fees: