Why it’s still a good idea to hire an architect

Posted On July 28, 2019

Architecture isn’t exactly a lost art. Buildings are being designed, restored and repurposed every day all over the country. But the way residential buildings, in particular are designed has changed significantly over the years.

Our guest in a recent episode of “What’s Working with Cam Marston,” Mobile-based architect Pete Vallas, says it’s becoming more and more rare for architects to be asked to design residential spaces. Often these days, people find plans in a book or online and take them straight to a builder.

There is still value than an architect can bring to a project, however. If a client is going for a particular architectural style – Greek revival, for instance — an architect’s expertise can help them ensure that each element of the design matches that style. Vallas, who has been designing homes since the early 1980s, says an architect can also ensure that a design is going to match a client’s lifestyle.

“If you come to me, I’m going to want to intrude on your life. I’m going to want to go into your house, I’m going to open your closets, open your cabinets, and get to know you,” he says. “If that seems annoying, it’s just my way of doing my job.

“I love meeting new people, I love listening to what they want. It’s problem-solving.”

Vallas also shares with us what’s current and what’s outdated in residential architecture, how to avoid a disconnect between the concept of a design and the reality of construction, why travel abroad is always an opportunity for inspiration, why houses built prior to World War II are typically better, and what he looks for when he walks in a home.

“A lot of people get it wrong: They say ‘Pete likes symmetry,’” he says. “It’s not symmetry. It’s balance.”

Join us for a hardy discussion on what’s hot and what’s not in residential architecture.

Categories: What's Working with Cam Marston