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-   -   Interior Architect (https://www.englishforum.ch/housing-general/284839-interior-architect.html)

Ace1 27.06.2018 10:22

Interior Architect
 
Does the concept exist here of an interior architect? I know that in France they can do a lot of interior re-modelling design work, but are limited with anything structurally significant, but I don't know if it's the same in CH.

We're needing to move walls, install stairs, new bathrooms and other reshaping work, and are struggling to envisage everything, particularly due to the lack of proper scale drawings, so these would be our starting point, hence it requires someone trained and preferably qualified in that area, and who may be better able to imagine new spaces in that context.

Any recommendations would be welcome, but not expected, given our location and assumption that more local people would have more experience of chalet construction in the area.

RTN 27.06.2018 10:54

Re: Interior Architect
 
I don't know this company but their website looks good! and they speak English.

https://www.jc-designandbuild.com/


Time is money (and lots of it!) in this game so the closer you are to what you envisage the better, any sketches and drawings will help. It is worth going to the Building inspector in your local Germainde and get them to search their records as they often have drawings and plans.

runningdeer 27.06.2018 11:01

Re: Interior Architect
 
I have never heard of anything like that so can't say for sure. But wanted to add that I would have doubts cause many things here are not what they appear and easily become structural where you need an not only architect but engineer perhaps as well. Amending internal walls could actually be structual/load bearing walls, as was the case here and that plan had to be dropped. Even creating a passage through an internal wall was problematic as it was load bearing. Modifications, even something like installing velux windows will require a full building permission from the commune with architectual plans, etc. at least here in VD.

Helm 27.06.2018 11:10

Re: Interior Architect
 
Please excuse me...

AAAAAARRGH! HULK SMASH!!!!!!!!

Quote:

We're needing to move walls, install stairs, new bathrooms and other reshaping work, and are struggling to envisage everything, particularly due to the lack of proper scale drawings, so these would be our starting point, hence it requires someone trained and preferably qualified in that area, and who may be better able to imagine new spaces in that context.
What you want is an architect. A real one.

An interior architect is the glorified version of an interior designer. They chose colours, materials and match everything so it looks glossy like the cover of a magazine. Which a proper architect has also been trained to do.

Basically you are asking to hire a soap box car to drive you, instead of calling a taxi.

If you would just want someone to draw up plans, then you'd need a draftsman. If you want to redecorate your home, and do cosmetic changes, sure go for the interior architect/designer. But if you want to move stuff around, install wet rooms, install stairs, and still get the cosmetic changes, hire the architect.

And you can get very good rates from good architects too. Just because it's a fancy title, it doesn't mean we only do fancy jobs - we crater to every kind of construction needs, to every kind of wallet, to every kind of taste (sometimes much to our dismay).

Don't be afraid. Our tribe is friendly.

P.S.: I forgot to mention: an interior designer in this country is a luxury item, much like a manicure. They cater to a specific segment of the population, one which is less ok with grey concrete boxes with plastic kitchens and tiles that only go up to 1.50m. They actually usually end up being more expensive that the regular architect.

Ace1 27.06.2018 11:26

Re: Interior Architect
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by Helm (Post 2961827)
Please excuse me...



https://youtu.be/YPIsTKpAoE4
Quote:

Originally Posted by Helm (Post 2961827)

What you want is an architect. A real one.

An interior architect is the glorified version of an interior designer. They chose colours, materials and match everything so it looks glossy like the cover of a magazine. Which a proper architect has also been trained to do.

This is what I'm trying to find out - does a Swiss "interior architect" have the skillset to start chopping walls and floors about, or are they really just glorified decorators?

fatmanfilms 27.06.2018 11:31

Re: Interior Architect
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by Ace1 (Post 2961794)
Does the concept exist here of an interior architect? I know that in France they can do a lot of interior re-modelling design work, but are limited with anything structurally significant, but I don't know if it's the same in CH.

We're needing to move walls, install stairs, new bathrooms and other reshaping work, and are struggling to envisage everything, particularly due to the lack of proper scale drawings, so these would be our starting point, hence it requires someone trained and preferably qualified in that area, and who may be better able to imagine new spaces in that context.

Any recommendations would be welcome, but not expected, given our location and assumption that more local people would have more experience of chalet construction in the area.

People who use that term in German are interior designers, nothing more.

Helm 27.06.2018 11:43

Re: Interior Architect
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by Ace1 (Post 2961845)
This is what I'm trying to find out - does an interior architect have the skillset to start chopping walls and floors about, at are they really just glories decorators?

I think the problem is in the nomenclature: an "interior architect" - as in, an architect specialised in remodelling or designing the interior of a house - does not exist. "Interior architect" is usually the title used to make "decorator" sound more fancy. It's not so say that the guy doing it doesn't have an architecture degree (see above - it pays better - so some colleagues have jumped ship), but it's unfortunately usually someone who does cosmetics and has no capacity to deal with structural problems.

The whole situation in Switzerland is pretty precarious in the sense that the name architect is not protected, which means that you have the risk of hiring someone who has the wrong set of skills (I worked for one of those, and it wasn't funny).

Hiring an architect is a safer bet in terms of actually having the proper package.

Yes, I have a beef with interior designers. A beef that became a brontosaurus beef when I moved into this country. It bothers me greatly that I'm thought as the useless tool that is in the way of the engineer (you know, the fame that we have no idea about structures and only look at the prettiness of things), but at the same time no one trusts us with the design (because we are just the proxies for the client making sure the guys in the construction site aren't cheating. The interior designers are the ones with the real knowledge).

Our job is misunderstood, and the unregulated nomenclature running amok is not helping.

Sorry for dragging you into my personal professional battle field. But really, get in contact with a local architect. Doesn't need to be a big company, and do ask for quite a few quotes. Prices might vary greatly.

If the job is small enough, you can also get a local constructor to do it, but I usually advise against it as, from experience, they tend to ignore (not necessarily knowingly) rulings in both permits and construction norms.

curley 27.06.2018 11:44

Re: Interior Architect
 
For your purpose you need an architect.

Phil_MCR 27.06.2018 12:28

Re: Interior Architect
 
Have you considered using a Personal Interior Wellness Consultant?

J_T 27.06.2018 12:49

Re: Interior Architect
 
I'd say don't mess around. All structures are individual and stress and vectors move over time. Find someone both with construction experience and good sense, whatever their title. The first priority is the physical realities, then come the pretty pictures and creativity.

RTN 27.06.2018 12:50

Re: Interior Architect
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by Phil_MCR (Post 2961918)
Have you considered using a Personal Interior Wellness Consultant?

Caution advised, wellness is a consideration or you could end up with a Personal Renovation Interior Consultant working for you.:eek:

EdwinNL 27.06.2018 15:28

Re: Interior Architect
 
An interior architect makes a model of which the building architect says "yeah, that's all possible but will cost you the same as building a new house"

Every normal architect can make you drawing and give you advice while also taking in account the price of replacing pipes, replacing structural support and such.

Kutuzov 08.11.2019 11:59

Re: Interior Architect
 
Hello,
I know this email is more than one year old, but I am curious if you managed to find the an architect or any other expert/helper? If you did, I would appreciate if you can share with me either the name, or how you did it.
We are in the similar situation, looking for some renovation of a second house in the mountains in Villars area. Nothing very serious, but we do want to upgrade one bathroom, etc. So far we talked to a couple of local renovation companies, they were extremely happy to "help" and suggested to almost complete rebuilding of everything -- moving walls, drilling floors, etc. They also said that all the local artisanal workers are cooperating... My translation was " we will rip you off as much as possible, especially as you are obviously a foreigner, and do not hope to avoid it by shopping around"...

We are still looking for someone, and are thinking what to do.
One of the options that we are considering is to use Hornbach -- buy the bathroom there and pay for the installation. It is overpriced, but less than "artisanal' renovation ;). Anyone has experience using Hornbach's workers? Especially for wooden log house?Any recommendations?

Thank you very much in advance.

Kutuzov



Quote:

Originally Posted by Ace1 (Post 2961794)
Does the concept exist here of an interior architect? I know that in France they can do a lot of interior re-modelling design work, but are limited with anything structurally significant, but I don't know if it's the same in CH.

We're needing to move walls, install stairs, new bathrooms and other reshaping work, and are struggling to envisage everything, particularly due to the lack of proper scale drawings, so these would be our starting point, hence it requires someone trained and preferably qualified in that area, and who may be better able to imagine new spaces in that context.

Any recommendations would be welcome, but not expected, given our location and assumption that more local people would have more experience of chalet construction in the area.


eng_ch 08.11.2019 12:35

Re: Interior Architect
 
Helm, I could have written exactly the same about the translation and interpreting profession so thank you for your eloquent words! I've lost count of the number of people who have sent me an enquiry (mainly via EF) wanting me to travel over an hour in each direction, spend an hour interpreting and do all the preparation..... and think CHF 30 is appropriate recompense.

Ace1 08.11.2019 12:47

Re: Interior Architect
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by Kutuzov (Post 3118307)
Hello,
I know this email is more than one year old, but I am curious if you managed to find the an architect or any other expert/helper? If you did, I would appreciate if you can share with me either the name, or how you did it.

We used someone down in Monthey to draw up a range of options, most importantly to produce accurate measured drawings of all rooms, which were not previously available. Based on her ideas I had a builder come round, later with a structural engineer, to advise on feasibility.

In the end we moderated our ideas considerably, having been through about 3 different iterations with her, but it was certainly a very helpful process. The work for which the engineer was needed will not be included at this stage, although some minor aspects of it (specifically, raising a ceiling by ~40cm) will go ahead next year. In the meantime we're using the builder to do some room modifications in one apartment.

We spent around 3k with the interior architect, which I consider money well spent, not only allowing us to revise and consider various ideas, but giving us detailed plans which have formed the basis for ongoing work and future ideas. The builder/engineer didn't charge anything, but the builder is doing some work for us soon, and the engineer may be involved when we fix some sagging floors next year.

For those who earlier said we should get a proper architect - I'm happy that, had we gone ahead with the whole interior remodelling as earlier envisaged, we wouldn't have needed one. The engineer would have been required anyway, and the work we were looking at involved putting a couple of staircases in and building/resiting a couple of walls, none of them structural. I don't see that an architect would have added anything to the mix, except more expense.

But it was clear from the answers I received that the job we were asking of our Interior Architect was in no way replacing what a real architect would have done, so I'm not arguing with those earlier replies, which were themselves very useful to us.


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