Imagens das páginas

An architectural competition, intelligently conducted, will secure for a given building fairly and conclusively, a design as nearly as possible the best: unintelligently conducted an architectural competition is the most stupid procedure conceivable.

The American Institute of Architects has devoted a great deal of study to the subject of architectural competitions, in an effort to standardise the procedure of committees and municipalities, and to secure the best possible results in the erection of important buildings. The results of this study, in the form of a set of "rules governing competitions" to be observed by Institute members, was printed in brochure form, and is readily obtainable by writing to the Secretary of the American Institute of Architects, Washington, D. C.

Nearly all the important public buildings of this country are the result of competitions, and in most cases a number of the more prominent firms have been invited to submit drawings, according to a program of requirements drawn up by a committee. An invited competitor is usually nominally remunerated for his work, whether or not successful.

In the important civic building, then, such as a library, museum or city hall, the municipal committee in charge of the project will do well to avail itself of the carefully studied procedure outlined by the American Institute of Architects.

In the matter of making awards, many mistakes have been made by placing the power of award in the hands of a lay jury-a proceeding which ought to appear as absurd as it actually is. There should be at least one competent architect on the jury of award, for it will prove absolutely essential for some informed person to explain the drawings to the lay members

before any intelligent conclusion as to respective merit can be reached.

This is true, also, of the formation of committees and juries in connection with clubs and churches. The board may consist of several citizens who are entirely unfamiliar with architecture, and there may be one man who has travelled extensively and seen many buildings but there should always be an architect, preferably called from some distant city. With no personal professional interest in the project, the services of such an architect would prove invaluable, and the committee would be assured of competent and unprejudiced advice well worth the amount of the fee and expenses which would be voted to him.

If the scale of a building project-a small church, for example-did not warrant the weighty and expensive procedure of an architectural competition, the members of the committee in whose hands the undertaking was placed, would do well to study as many files of the leading architectural periodicals as they may obtain, as well as books on architecture, and might, if still in doubt, write to the American Institute of Architects, as a perfectly unprejudiced authority, for recommendations of architects whose works would particularly fit them to carry out the project in hand.

Architects who are "specialists" in certain types of buildings-notably school buildings, and hospitals, banks and hotels, will be found to possess certain recommendations for selection to carry out the type of building in which they have specialised, in that their experience has taught them many valuable details.

Only in recent years have real-estate operators come to realise the importance of securing competent architectural services in the planning of groups of "ready

made" houses. Careful architectural supervision will insure a consistency in the general aspect of a given real-estate development, as well as an attractive character to the individual houses. In some more notable instances architects and landscape architects have been called in to work together toward the creation of a really attractive living environment, so that already there are several tracts which should be models to all who are planning the building development of any large piece of real estate. The significant fact is that the more intelligent real-estate operators now realise that the increased initial expense involved in securing competent architectural service is not money wasted, but money invested, in that there are created far higher rental and selling values than would otherwise exist. "Neighbourhood planning," "garden cities," and "model villages" have, for some time, been common architectural achievements in England and on the Continent, and the unlimited possibilities for this practical application of "architecture" to "building" are but at the dawn of their realisation in this country.

Reverting again to the individual who is about to build for himself a dwelling, the following chapter will take up the relationship between this individual (now a "client') and the architect whom he has selected to carry out the work.





HORTLY before the close of the preceding chapter

ous means of selecting an architect, having done which, and called for the initial consultation, he has graduated from the status of a "prospective builder," and become a client.

Perhaps no one thing is more important for the client to remember throughout the building of his house than the fact that, after engaging an architect, he has entered upon a business relationship, and that the more businesslike this relationship is kept, the better for both parties. The building of a house, even a small house, calls for the expenditure of too much money on the one hand and too much skilled professional work on the other to be regarded as a mere "transaction between friends." It is not intended by this to imply that either architect or client should be cold or suspicious in their dealings with each other-the better friends they are throughout, the better for all concerned, and if all has gone as it should, they will be the best of friends afterward. If the architect has been asked to dinner, has met the client's family and friends, he is in a better position to add those intimate personal touches to the house which make it a true expression of the owner's

[graphic][merged small][merged small][graphic][subsumed][merged small]


These two illustrations show the remarkable accuracy of vision possessed by the architect, who produced the preliminary sketch before one stone of the actual house was laid

« AnteriorContinuar »