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Architect–client Relationship And Value Addition In Private Residential Projects

Akash Angral
Published 2019 · Business

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Purpose The purpose of this paper is to contextualise the architect–client relationship and evaluate the factors responsible for its deterioration, and then define the impact of these factors on the future needs of architects and clients, including how such knowledge can help emerging architects to develop an understanding of the profession at an early stage. It will attempt to reveal new insights and build consensus around issues, such as functionality and aesthetics, per cent-based fee structure, conflict of interest amongst architects, contractors and clients. Design/methodology/approach A combination of qualitative online survey, semi-structured interviews and online focus group discussions under the comprehensive umbrella of the case study method has been used to construct a pragmatic framework. The data collection was focused on revealed preferences rather than stated preferences, in terms of likes and dislikes, in a standard survey. Findings Overall, this paper strengthens the idea that the predicament of the profession and the marginalisation of architects is due to their detachment from clients. The findings suggest that the fee structure might be a major source of discontent and there is an urgent need for alternative routes of procurement, particularly for private residential clients. While most clients prefer functionality over aesthetics and want architects to be affordable, they are more willing to invest their trust in architects who can deliver from concept to completion. Research limitations/implications The arguments contested in this paper attempt to demystify the dynamics that are at play during the construction stage. It looks at power sharing, responsibilities and silent hierarchies that transpire between architects, clients and contractors, particularly in private residential projects. Originality/value The main recommendation of this paper is that to secure the future of the architecture profession emerging architects need to be trained more in client-centric skills than design-centric aptitude.
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