architect


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Architect

A person who prepares the plan and design of a building or other structure and sometimes super-vises its construction.

A landscape architect is responsible for the arrangement of scenery over a tract of land for natural or aesthetic purposes in order to enhance or preserve the property.

Regulation

The practice of planning and designing a building requires the application of specialized skill and knowledge. Because the product of an architect's work is used by members of the general public, the legislature of a state may regulate the practice of those engaged in the profession. Regulatory statutes designed to protect public health and safety are created under the inherent authority of a state to protect the welfare of its citizens. As a general rule, regulatory statutes are valid, provided they are not unreasonable.

Statutes requiring that architects must be registered and licensed are based on public policy aimed at protecting citizens from unqualified practitioners. In many states, statutes call for the revocation of a license for such conduct as Fraud, dishonesty, recklessness, incompetence, or Misrepresentation when an architect acts in his or her professional capacity.

The power to revoke a license is commonly given by the legislature to a state board of architects who must act in a manner prescribed by statute. Generally, an architect is entitled to notice and a hearing when the board seeks to revoke his or her license. The architect can appeal a revocation.

Qualifications

Statutes setting forth the requirements for obtaining a license or registration generally require that the applicants be of legal age and of good moral character, have completed a certain course of study, and have a certain amount of practical experience. Many states have an additional requirement that applicants must pass an examination. A legislature may provide that certain persons who have practiced architecture for a period of time prior to legislation requiring an examination may register as architects without an examination. Such a statutory provision is called a Grandfather Clause.

Persons who present themselves to the public as architects must comply with the statutory registration and licensing requirements. The failure to do so is unlawful. In most states, persons who falsely hold themselves out as licensed architects are guilty of a misdemeanor, and contracts rendered by them with others are void and unenforceable.

Employment

The terms and conditions of an architect's employment are designated in a contract and are governed by general rules of contract law. Ordinarily, the person who employs the architect becomes the owner of the plans, unless the employment contract states otherwise. Custom-arily, the architect retains the plans after they have been paid for and the builder may possess and use them while constructing the building.

Authority and Powers

The power and authority of architects are determined by general rules of agency law. In most cases, unless the employment contract states otherwise, architects are held to be agents with limited authority. An employer is liable for acts of an architect when they are within the scope of the architect's agency, although the contracting parties may further restrict the powers if they so desire.

Architects have a duty to exercise their personal skill and judgment in the performance of their work, and they may not delegate this duty without express authority to do so. They may, however, delegate responsibility to subordinates while performing their duties as agents.

A supervising architect does not have implied authority to perform work that has been assigned to a contractor or to employ or discharge workers. The supervising architect does, however, have authority to make decisions concerning proper workmanship, fitness of materials, and the manner of work.

Duties and Liabilities

Although the duties of architects generally depend on what is designated in the employment contract, some duties are carried out as a matter of custom, such as the duty to supervise construction.

Architects are in a fiduciary relationship with their employers, and as such they must exercise Good Faith and loyalty toward them. As professionals, they are held to a standard of reasonable and ordinary care and skill in applying their knowledge and must conform to accepted architectural practices. The failure to exercise reasonable care and skill can result in liability for damages and the loss of the right to recover compensation for their services.

Compensation

Architects have a right to compensation for their services unless there is an agreement that they shall work gratuitously. To be entitled to compensation, they must carry out their contract with reasonable skill and care and without any substantial omissions or imperfections in performance. The employment contract usually fixes the amount of compensation. A standard payment scale created by the American Institute of Architects is customarily used to determine the amount of compensation.

In the event that an architect is refused payment for services, he or she may sue for the amount of compensation agreed upon in the employment contract or, in the absence of an agreement, for the reasonable value of the services under the theory of Quantum Meruit.

architect

noun architectus, artificer, author, begetter, builder, composer, constructor, contriver, creator, deviser, draftsman, enterpriser, founder, framer, introducer, inventor, maker, organizer, originator, planner, prime mover, projector, schemer
See also: author, contractor, originator
References in classic literature ?
The archaeologist and the architect were left on the great stone steps smiling at each other; but whatever their common interests, they presented a considerable personal contrast, and the fanciful might even have found some contradiction in each considered individually.
The architect who designed it must have been a genius, though I cannot help thinking that his talents would have been better employed in contriving puzzles than in shaping human habitations.
Thus property is as an instrument to living; an estate is a multitude of instruments; so a slave is an animated instrument, but every one that can minister of himself is more valuable than any other instrument; for if every instrument, at command, or from a preconception of its master's will, could accomplish its work (as the story goes of the statues of Daedalus; or what the poet tells us of the tripods of Vulcan, "that they moved of their own accord into the assembly of the gods "), the shuttle would then weave, and the lyre play of itself; nor would the architect want servants, or the [1254a] master slaves.
An architect of good taste amputated it (1787), and considered it sufficient to mask the wound with that large, leaden plaster, which resembles a pot cover.
At the appointed hour the prince, powdered and shaven, entered the dining room where his daughter-in-law, Princess Mary, and Mademoiselle Bourienne were already awaiting him together with his architect, who by a strange caprice of his employer's was admitted to table though the position of that insignificant individual was such as could certainly not have caused him to expect that honor.
Here there happened, in each case, to be rooms of such comparatively moderate size, and so attractively decorated, that the architect suggested leaving them as they were.
With equal rapture the good rider surveys the proudest boasts of the architect, and those fair buildings with which some unknown name hath adorned the rich cloathing town; where heaps of bricks are piled up as a kind of monument to show that heaps of money have been piled there before.
A sudden idea came into the head of the young architect.
Billy watered the horses at a pretty hotel farther on, where the proprietor came out and talked and told him he had built it himself, according to the plans of the black-eyed man with the curly gray hair, who was a San Francisco architect.
When Brahma, or the God of Gods, saith the Shaster, resolved to recreate the world after one of its periodical dissolutions, he gave birth to Vishnoo, to preside over the work; but the Vedas, or mystical books, whose perusal would seem to have been indispensable to Vishnoo before beginning the creation, and which therefore must have contained something in the shape of practical hints to young architects, these Vedas were lying at the bottom of the waters; so Vishnoo became incarnate in a whale, and sounding down in him to the uttermost depths, rescued the sacred volumes.
By the aid of cunning architects he had first blasted his harbour into shape, then built his hotels and pleasure-palaces, and then leased them to dependants of his who knew the right sort of people, and who knew that it was as much as their lease was worth to find accommodation for teetotal amateur photographers or wistful wandering Sunday-school treats.
The room was well lighted by a number of large windows and was beautifully decorated with mural paintings and mosaics, but upon all there seemed to rest that indefinable touch of the finger of antiquity which convinced me that the architects and builders of these wondrous creations had nothing in common with the crude half-brutes which now occupied them.