Pietermaritzburg (popularly called Maritzburg in English and Zulu) has been the Provincial Capital of KwaZulu-Natal since 1854, which is why it boasts such magnificent examples of Victorian and Edwardian architecture. A glance at some of the city's suburban neighbourhoods will reveal various old Colonial houses, most of which are made up of red brick and corrugated iron roofs with wide, cool balconies edged with ornamental iron balustrades known in Afrikaans as 'broekie lace' (underpant lace).
A wealth of Victorian-type structures can be found in the city centre, especially in the main street, Church Street, where the proud Old Colonial Building has stood since 1899. Other noteworthy architectural structures include Macrorie House (1863), which was once the residence of the Bishop of Pietermaritzburg and features a small Gothic chapel; and the Pietermaritzburg Station, a magnificent Victorian setting where Mahatma Ghandi was thrown off a train despite carrying a First Class ticket.
Thanks to the large Indian population in Pietermaritzburg, various Hindu temples can also be discovered in the city, such as the Sri Shiva Soobramoniar and Marriamen Temples. Both are built in the Southern Indian style and are regarded as the principal places of worship for the city's Hindu population.
▶ Interior Designer
Most people are familiar with this type of professional and are aware that it's someone who works on a building / renovation project. Interior Designers are usually involved in all aspects of an internal space's planning and finishing. They are responsible for the visual look of a space such as the art and furnishings, and to ensure that the function and the flow works. This can include:
▶ Interior Architect
Architecture is more focused on the structural and technical aspects of a building, whether it's a residential house or a commercial/industrial space like a shopping centre. Interior architecture can be described as an arm of interior design which specialises in understanding the architectural side of the space.
An Interior Architect will become involved very early on in a project, even before the building is built. This professional will advise on the placement of the building's key structural requirements which affect how the space is ultimately used. The duties of an Interior Architect can involve working with:
In short, interior architecture is more about what a space can do instead of how it looks.
Safety, functionality, and aesthetics are all factors an Interior Architect focuses on when working on a building / renovation project. This professional's job may start with a meeting of the clients in order to start drafting the plans to create or refine spaces in private homes or a commercial structure, with the client's needs and wants forming part of the design brief. While drawing up the plans, they will take into account interior construction, lighting and furnishings.
Similar to Architects, Interior Architects must also be aware of the various building codes and regulations, plus zoning laws, to ensure their designs are correct.
Interior Architects also rely on computer-aided designs (CAD) to complete and alter their work.
1. They can ensure that a well-conceived project is built more efficiently and economically. Right from the start, they become involved with a project and continue to work with the client and other relevant professionals (Architects, Interior Designers, etc.) to ensure that not only the client's needs and wants are met, but also that the final results are structurally safe and functional.
2. They are clued up on energy-efficient buildings, which can save you heaps on bills. With an Interior Architect's knowledge, a building can be designed to maximise natural lighting and heating / cooling effects, meaning reduced costs on heating, cooling, and electric bills.
3. They work with your budget and help you select the most appropriate materials. In addition to helping you choose materials and finishes that are durable and beautiful, they also know how to stay abreast of advances in lighting, finishes, flooring, paint, etc.
4. They work with other professionals in the building / construction industry, meaning they know which ones are the best for certain types of projects, and may very well be able to organise a discount from certain suppliers / vendors.
5. They use their expertise and resources to ensure a well-designed building, which has a higher resale value.