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1 Interior Architects in Newcastle

About the city

Newcastle is a city in the province of KwaZulu-Natal on South Africa's most eastern side. It is located about 300 km south-east of Johannesburg. Contrary to popular belief, the city was not named after Newcastle upon Tyne in England, but rather the British Colonial Secretary, the fifth Duke of Newcastle.

In terms of demography, Zulus make up the largest single ethnic group, even though Newcastle also features large numbers of citizens from British descent, including Afrikaners and Indians. This resulted in several places of worship (in various architectural styles) being built around the city's suburbs, such as the Hindu Shiva Temple. Built in 1903, this eye-catching structure seems small, but reportedly has the largest cella dome of its kind in the southern hemisphere.

What does an interior architect do?

An interior architect designs the interior spaces of a building, which means this professional has to consider both the functionality and visual look of a structure.

Interior architects are very often grouped together with interior designers, but these professional's job stretch further than simply making a space beautiful. Practicality is also considered, and an interior architect must also understand a building's structure to make it safe and functional.

Interior architects, similar to architects, draw up plans and generate 3D images to create new spaces or renovate existing ones. And just like Architects, they also need to be aware of the various building regulations to ensure their designs are correct. Their projects can be in numerous industries, including residential (private homes) and commercial (office buildings). In the majority of cases, an interior architect will work together with other professionals on a project, like Electricians and Interior Designers.

How do interior architects differ from interior designers?

Interior architecture can be seen as a combination of interior design and architecture. The main focus of interior architecture is the (re)construction and (re)shaping of an interior space.

Interior architecture starts with an existing structure and aims at altering it. This can range from minor amendments such as re-arranging doors and windows to renovating the entire space. Interior architects are also regularly asked to advise on projects concerning extensions and conversions focusing on basements and lofts.

The interior architecture portion of a project is implemented before the decorative phase, which is where interior design starts. Interior design focuses less on structural aspects (even though interior designers are also clued up on building regulations and the relevant codes). A professional interior designer uses his skills and training to make an interior space more functional and stylish. This can include altering some built-in fixtures (like a bespoke staircase or integrated storage solutions).

Interior design also considers elements like lighting, electrical, and plumbing to make a space more practical and aesthetically pleasing for the clients. The main surface finishes for floors and walls also fall under interior design.

For a more in-depth look at the differences between these professions, scope out interior architecture or design? Advice from professional designers .

Why should you make use of a professional interior architect?

Building or renovating a home is not an easy or cheap process. The costs can skyrocket even before the official work starts, as it's important to have the right plans drawn up before any building can begin. This is why so many people try to cut costs by DIYing instead, which means cancelling out the services of a professional. However, in most cases, this turns out to be a mistake. And here are five reasons that explain why:

➣  They clarify your vision

Since interior architects have extensive experience and knowledge in their profession, they can offer advice to improve your initial ideas.

➣  They see the bigger picture

We ordinary folk may not be able to see the shortcomings of our plans, seeing as we don't have the skills, training or experience. However, a professional interior architect will immediately know about climate impact, which materials are best suited for a project, etc.

➣  They can creatively solve problems

Interior architects are trained to think creatively whenever they encounter a problem during a project. Examples could be the discovery of a pipeline below your property, or a law in a residential estate which forbids the use of burglar bars on houses.

➣  They save on costs

Making use of a professional could actually save you money in the long run, seeing as interior architects have extensive knowledge of affordable suppliers, discounted materials, plus an entire network of other professionals who might work on a project for much less than you think.

➣  They provide you with peace of mind

An interior architect can also fulfil the duties of project manager on a building site, meaning they take care of all unexpected issues from day one until the project is completed.

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