Dezeen » Blog Archive » Haus W by Kraus Schoenberg
How lovely that this house appears to be floating above the ground. :)
Ensuring that your building is compliant to the fire safety regulations is probably one of the most challenging things to do when designing a building here in Singapore.
It’s almost maddening how many rules and clauses, sub clauses and sub-sub clauses you have to go through just to ensure that your building complies to all fire regulations.
Even more maddening is the fact that when you’ve submitted your drawings to the Fire Safety and Shelter Bureau (FSSB) they reply with a cert (often in the next day) saying that the responsibility of ensuring that the building complies falls on the Qualified Person (in this case the architect) submitting. Any non-compliances will cause your fire certification to be revoked.
So where’s the third party safety net that does the checking?
Unfortunately, as tempting as it may be is cut corners in making these provisions, the cost of failing to comply is just too great to bear. You don’t just pay for failure in dollars alone but in human lives. It’s a terribly somber responsibility and something that no respectable architect should ever skimp on.
Contractors and Consultants
Having a great contractor is a wonderful thing. You can relax more and let them do their work without much intervention.
On the other hand there’s nothing more frustrating when your contractor is an idiot. They get things wrong, report the progress on site poorly and then proceed without clearance from the consultants and client.
What’s worse though is having a team of consultants that you cannot rely on either. Who just do things haphazardly and don’t take criticism well when you’re unhappy with their work.
I’m ‘blessed’ with an equal measure of idiotic and good contractors and consultants and I must say it’s balancing the human part of the process that makes me most drained at the end of the day.
Being an architect I’m supposed to be the ‘head’ consultant meaning I oversee and coordinate the works. Sometimes all I feel like is a nanny.
Making the Memorial | New York Review of Books | Nov. 2, 2000 | 19 Minutes (4,994 words)
It’s taken me years to be able to discuss the making of the Vietnam Veterans Memorial, partly because I needed to move past it and partly because I had forgotten the process of getting it built. I would not discuss the controversy surrounding its construction and it wasn’t until I saw the documentary Maya Lin: A Strong Clear Vision that I was able to remember that time in my life. But I wrote the body of this essay just as the memorial was being completed—in the fall of 1982. Then I put it away…until now.
A refreshing and honest take on the design process and the politics that mired the behind the scenes of this architecture competition. It was bound to be a difficult to get off the ground due to the highly controversial nature of the Vietnam war in the first place.
Glad that it got built. It is a very evocative and powerful piece of ‘non-architecture’.