The Eiffel Tower at Paris, the Burg Dubai at Dubai, the Empire State Building at New York……. All these are awe inspiring structures that change the face of a city / state / country. These are all works of architects who not only visualize, plan, design, these structures, but also make them into reality. While many of these monuments are known for their beauty, grace and aesthetics, it is also the architect’s job to see to it that they are safe, sturdy, and most importantly, serve the purpose for which they are created.
Thus, architecture is the study which deals with planning and designing of buildings and structures. An architect can be involved in the making of private houses, high rise buildings and building complexes, as well as public structures such as stadiums, roads, bridges, parks, dams and so forth. Architects use the available space to its maximum in the given budget and they also see to it that it fulfill all the requirements. The key challenge of the architect is to strike a balance between the aesthetics as well as the technical aspects of construction.
Initially, architects work as assistants to established architects, where they are responsible for various activities such as researching zoning regulations, working with subcontractors (electricians, plumbers, etc.), and drafting plans, either manually or with computer assistance. This experience in the basics is crucial, as it trains the novice architect in the nitty gritty of the work and also gives a flavor of how to interact with different kinds of professionals. After a few years as they gain experience, they start designing parts of a building where they have to be in constant touch with the contractor and ensure that the construction is taking place as per the plans. Later, as established architects, they actually start designing and planning buildings.
Eligibility and Duration:
Entry to the course is after 10+2 , provided you have opted for mathematics at the plus two level and must have scored a minimum 50% aggregate. The B. Arch is a 5 year course. Further, on completion of the graduate course, the post-graduate awards offered are the Masters degree (M.Arch.), the PG diploma and the Ph.D.
In the 5-Year course, students will be exposed to the following papers: history of architecture, draftsmanship, surveying and leveling, budget planning, estimating and costing, architectural design, acoustics, construction methods, materials management, environmental planning, applied mechanics, structural designing, computer applications etc. many colleges now also incorporate training on architecture-related software packages such as AutoCAD and 3D Studio Max.
Most institutes have a mandatory apprenticeship period, ranging from one to two semesters. Students have to do the apprenticeship under an established architect. This it to give practical training along with the theoretical inputs.
- Academically good background in physics and mathematics
- Imaginative and creative with a bent towards designing
- An awareness of social and environmental factors
- Physical stamina to work on the desk as well on the site
- Good concentration level
- Good communication skills
- Team spirit
- Observant attitude
There are a number of National and State level entrance examinations a student could appear for, in order to get admitted to first year of five years full time undergraduate course in Architecture (Bachelor of Architecture) in various colleges of India. Following are some of the important exams a student can appear for:
- GATE ( for PG studies )
After completion of B.Arch degree one can specialize in any of the following areas:
- Urban Designing: specializes in planning and construction of urban spaces (towns and cities). Students learn about utilizing and shaping urban public space with an emphasis on its functionality, appearance and arrangement.
- Regional Planning: focuses on planning of a countryside or region. It can be looked at as an extension of urban designing, in the sense that it is concerned with the efficient planning of land use, infrastructure, and settlement growth across a significantly larger area of land than a city or town.
- Building Engineering and Management: concerns itself with the technological aspects of buildings. It focuses on analysis and design of structures that support or resist loads.
- Architectural Conservation: is a specialization that addresses the unique issues related to conservation of heritage buildings and monuments. It is concerned with the preservation of the style and form of architecture, prolonging the longevity of various material used, and preserving the overall look of the structures.
- Industrial Design: focuses on the designing of mass-produced products in a manner that combines aesthetics with functionality. It trains students to evolve product designs in a manner that amalgamates technology, engineering, consumer appeal, as well as usability.
- Landscape Architecture: is concerned with designing, organizing or modifying a landscape or area, usually for aesthetic purposes.
- Naval Architecture: focuses on the design, construction and repair of ships, boats and offshore structures that are stable, seaworthy and have the economic performance for a comfortable travel in all conditions.
- Traffic and Transport Planning: deals with the evaluation, assessment, and design of transportation facilities. For instance, it focuses on planning of roads and streets, state and national highways, pavements and promenades, railway lines and so forth.
Employment opportunities for architects are available in government as well as private sectors. In the private sector they have openings with the builders, architecture firms, and consultants etc. With some years of work experience they can even set up their own business as Consultants and Contractors. Some of the government organizations that absorb architects include Public Works Department, the Archaeological Department, Ministry of Defence, Departments of Railways, National Building Construction Corporation Ltd., City Development Authorities etc.