“Profound architecture arises from ideals of a better world and a more responsible, sensitive, perceptive and compassionate humankind” – Zvi Hecker
Competitions for selection of Architect have been the most imperative keystone in the journey of architecture and transformed the way world looked at it. The most famous buildings of the world are the outcome of design competitions- La Grande Arche de la Défense, Parc de la Villette, Centre Georges Pompidou, Sydney Opera House and Royal Danish Library are only a few examples to prove this point.
However under the present scenario of Design competitions, the financial imperative also plays a very important role in the outcome of results. It is argued that the competition leads to a very superfluous examination of the design and the jury in influenced by other things rather than just pure design. Jury comprises of highly erudite professionals however they still can only do a general check of the design and can’t look into functional nitty-gritty for the client.
The scenario gets more complicated in the case of public projects wherein even the final client doesn’t have a belonging to the project as she’s not the final owner. As quoted in the beginning, insightful architecture needs responsible humankind; nonetheless a responsible client is of vital significance for the success of a project. Jury merely compares the designs present and select the best out of them.
Therefore, it is the duty and responsibility of the client in this case to judge the design as per their requirement and critically analyse the same. In order to support the case an internal team/committee could be appointed including architects, engineering experts’ etc. Merely selecting a Design consultant doesn’t absolve a client from his obligation. Since in the case of a public project, the hard earned money of tax payers’ is being used design should be checked exhaustively.
It should be understood by these clients that architects had come up with a design based on his personal understanding which can’t be forced upon the functioning of the complete project. The design to an architect is as close as his child and therefore there would always be a strong resistance for any change. However, the client has a duty to get a design to suit the requirements and functionality of the said building. This should be done by continuously vetting and getting the changes done. The building/project coming up isn’t a personal property of design consultant but a moral obligation of the client. Moreover the ownership of the design gets transferred to the client as soon as the design is selected in the competition.
This should be duly understood by the professionals. As it would result in a sensitive and useful public projects and also would result in the judicious use of public money. The design calibration will result into a design, suiting to the needs of a project and not into design tampering.
Once the clients for public projects would start taking an ownership of their duty this problem would gradually disappear itself.