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Choosing a Commercial Architect

When embarking on a commercial design project, such as creating a new restaurant, or retail shopping centre, remodelling an existing business, or constructing a hotel or office tower, one of the initial and crucial steps is choosing the appropriate commercial architect.

Selecting the right architect could lead to exceeding your budget and being satisfied with the final design.

Fortunately, with the advent of the internet, finding architects has become easier than ever. You can seek recommendations from friends or research potential candidates.

However, despite the convenience of technology, it cannot replace direct communication. Many professionals have realised the importance of getting to know a commercial architect personally before entering into a business agreement.

In reality, working with any commercial architect requires a significant level of trust, so thoroughly investigating your options from the outset is essential.

By asking relevant questions and researching your top choices, you can have greater confidence in selecting the right commercial architect for your project.

Choosing a commercial architect may be challenging because most are highly professional, possess extensive experience, and offer valuable ideas.

To find the ideal architect for your upcoming project, it’s important to consider certain considerations throughout your search. By using the available resources, you can ensure the smooth progress of your project.

Tips for Finding a Commercial Architect

We have created a brief guide to streamline the process of selecting a suitable commercial architect that meets your requirements. Commercial architects are vital in preparing and presenting initial proposals for buildings or complexes.

These proposals typically encompass a sketch design, feasibility study, and site reports.

Additionally, commercial architects maintain regular communication with clients, keeping them informed about the project’s progress, important deadlines, specifications, and budgets.

If any issues or modifications are needed for the proposed project, the architect will organise meetings with the client. If necessary, they can also provide final drawings and specifications.

Our guide aims to assist you in narrowing down your options and finding the perfect commercial architect for your specific needs.

Use Online Resources

Your research should go further than just looking for information about local businesses. Many architects keep an online portfolio of their work, which can be used to determine who else in town has worked with them.

As you look through this architect’s portfolio, you will likely find that you know someone at one or more of those companies who can tell you about the architect’s work.

Find an Architect’s Website

The Royal Australian Institute of Architects’ new website, “Find an Architect,” has made it much easier to find an architect. You can find a big list of trained and experienced architecture firms in Australia online.

Don’t just look in your suburb. Your architect doesn’t have to have an office close by. Instead, search by state, like Western Australia.

Ask Others in Your Industry

Even if you have access to a lot of information online, it’s still a good idea to talk to people in your field about who they or their colleagues have worked with in the past and how it went.

Did the firm pay attention? Were they well-versed in that kind of building? Did the company provide good service? 

When leading a team of professionals, builders, and officials to a successful project outcome, it’s important to have these qualities and things like how committed a firm is to build long-term relationships.

When a firm of architects has a lot of long-term clients who keep coming back, this is usually a good sign. Other people in your field will know who those companies are and be able to point you in the right direction.

A+ Rating

Look for the “A+” logo on the websites of architects. The Australian Institute of Architects gives this logo to companies that meet the highest standards in the industry.

They also have access to the latest information and advice from the industry, so you can get the best design and building ideas to meet your needs.

Look for a Connection

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After you’ve got your list of candidates down to a few, meet with each of your top choices separately. The point of this meeting is more than just to talk about the architect’s skills and qualifications.

You’re also looking for a good fit in terms of work style since the success of your project often depends on how well you and your architect can communicate. Will there be regular updates on the situation? If so, how often? Make sure you are clear from the start about what you want.

If you are working with more than one person at your chosen company, find out as much as possible about the employees and contractors helping with your project. Ask to talk to the architect’s coworkers to find out if his personality fits your project.

Choose an ‘Independent’ Architect

Working with an architect has many benefits, including the fact that you will get advice and feedback that is not biased. Their independence gives you peace of mind; when they work with other contractors, they will be your voice.

So, look for an architect not connected to other parts of the design and building process.

Ask Questions

Don’t hire the first architect you find when looking for one. You should have a few architects lined up and then choose the best one for your project from that group.

Be bold and ask the architect tough questions about how they will handle the many problems that will come up during your project.

Make sure the company you choose has the right insurance to cover any problems and get a full quote that allows for unexpected costs but still fits your budget.

To ensure your upcoming project goes as well as possible, give yourself more time to find an architect who can do the work.

If you find a professional with the skills and experience to do the job and whose communication style works well with yours, you’ll be headed in the right direction with your project.

Good Design is About Personalised Tailoring

Each new client and site allows an architect to make something new. Be wary of companies that use the same design style for everything.

Experienced architects use the criteria and possibilities of each new site and the client’s vision and way of life to build homes.

Each of these pictures shows a different house. This is because each house was built to fit the client’s needs, the climate, and the setting.

Interview Your Top Choice

As you talk to your top three to five choices, find out if their work style and way of talking to people is similar to yours. Ask if you will get regular updates on the status of your order and how often.

And will they be in person, through video conferencing, phone calls, emails, or all of these things? Make sure you know what to expect.

This is your chance to think about the things that aren’t part of the experience but can make or break it for you. You can find a lot more examples of questions you could ask online.

Lastly, Learn More About Them

If you ask the right questions initially, you can save time and money throughout the project by eliminating people who need to be a better fit. But a lot of people need to figure out what questions to ask. The questions below could be a good place to start.

  • Can I see your recent work? Any trustworthy commercial architect can show you a portfolio of recent projects they’ve worked on. This will give you an idea of their style and how much experience they have with projects like yours. Looking at their past work, you can tell if they have the right skills for your project.
  • Do you have references? References are an excellent way to learn about an architect from those who have worked with them before. Along with seeing their work, it can be very helpful to see how they work with clients. This information can tell you if the architect will give you the level of help you expect.
  • What’s their project timetable? When you start your project, you know when you want it done. But each architect works at a different pace. Some take longer than others to do. Also, some have a lot going on, so they might need more time to start on your project. Asking this question at the beginning of your project can help you narrow down the options, especially if some of the candidates can’t meet your deadline (but if many of them can’t, you may want to figure out if your deadline is reasonable for the size of the project).
  • What is the anticipated cost? Knowing how much each candidate will cost, you can get a good idea of whether or not they will fit into your budget. You will also need to find a commercial architect who can work within your budget and time frame.
  • Do they recommend general contractors? Many architects who work in a certain area know a lot about the different contractors, their reputations, and the quality of their work. Even if your commercial architect can’t recommend a contractor, it’s a good sign if they can give you referrals and recommendations.
  • What technology do you use? It takes work to design something. Many modern tools and software platforms can make it easier and make it more likely that your project will be finished without any major problems. Even if you want to avoid knowing how they come up with designs, it’s good to have a general idea of how they’ll take your ideas and turn them into reality. This knowledge can help you prepare with your materials, construction team, and money.
  • Who’s managing your project? When you work with smaller commercial architecture firms with a small staff, this question might not apply. But if you are looking at larger firms, you will want to know who will be in charge of the team and the project at the start of the project. This person will be your main point of contact.

What Commercial Architects Do

The role of a commercial architect involves designing buildings specifically for commercial purposes. They serve as both designers and advisors, offering comprehensive solutions for businesses.

Apart from meeting client requirements, commercial architects must also prioritise environmental concerns, especially as fossil fuels become scarcer and renewable energy sources gain prominence.

These architects are at the forefront of incorporating eco-friendly techniques into their designs.

Becoming a commercial architect offers numerous advantages, with the ultimate reward being creating a building design that effectively caters to its users’ needs.

Effective communication is a crucial aspect of a commercial architect’s job. They regularly engage with clients, providing detailed plans, specifications, budgets, and schedules.

Ongoing communication is important to address any issues that may arise. Architects should consider the local neighbourhood and design aesthetics for retail space projects.

Commercial architects possess skills that extend to understanding the psychology of sales and consumer trends. They study consumer behaviour and trends, anticipating the impact of design choices on the overall customer experience.

They also consider a client’s business operations, integrating these considerations into their designs. When seeking an architect for a restaurant or bar, it’s advisable to find someone who can accommodate these needs.


If you want to stay within your budget and be happy with the end result of your commercial design project, hiring the right commercial architect is essential.

The internet has made it simpler than ever to locate architects, but honest conversation is still crucial. There should be a high level of trust between you and your commercial architect of choice before beginning work together.

Look for an A+ rating on the architect’s website, get recommendations from people in your industry, and check out online resources like the Royal Australian Institute of Architects’ “Find an Architect” website.

This logo represents businesses that are up to date on industry trends and advice and operate at the highest possible standards.

Pay close attention to the interviewee’s work ethic, communication skills, and regular communication ability if they are among the top candidates. Get to know the company’s staff and outside contractors to make sure everyone works well together.

If you want objective suggestions and critiques, hiring an unaffiliated architect is a must. They need to be completely independent of the rest of the design and construction process and not be afraid to ask tough questions about how they plan to deal with the inevitable issues that will arise.

By keeping these things in mind, you can find the best commercial architect for your job and make sure everything goes smoothly. Considerations such as insurance, ease of communication, and prior experience are essential when selecting a commercial architect.

Skilled architects design and construct homes according to the unique requirements of each site and their clients’ wishes. Ask your top pick about their process, how they communicate, and how long it will take them to complete the project.

Finding out how the architect works, what to expect from them, and how they prefer to communicate can all be learned through an interview.

Enquire about the company’s recent projects, references, timetable, estimated cost, general contractors, and technology they used. By asking yourself these questions, you can find the best possible solution for your project.

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Those who practise commercial architecture specialise in the design of buildings for business use; they often act as consultants as well as designers.

Ecological considerations, such as using sustainable materials and methods, must also be given top priority. Being a commercial architect has many benefits, one of which is the ability to design a structure that meets the needs of its occupants.

Commercial architects must be able to effectively communicate with their clients in order to successfully complete their projects on time and within budget.

When planning a retail space, they should think about the surrounding area and how it looks. As a result of their expertise, commercial architects are able to take sales psychology and consumer trends into account when creating buildings.

Finally, a successful project relies on the selection of a competent commercial architect. Find the right expert for your project by asking them about their work ethic, communication preferences, and familiarity with client needs.

Content Summary

  • Choosing the right commercial architect is crucial for a successful project.
  • Thoroughly researching and investigating your options is essential before selecting an architect.
  • The internet has made it easier to find architects, but personal communication is still important.
  • Commercial architects provide valuable ideas and have extensive experience.
  • Consider certain factors throughout your search to find the ideal architect for your project.
  • Use online resources and portfolios to gather information about architects.
  • The “Find an Architect” website by the Royal Australian Institute of Architects is a useful tool.
  • Seek recommendations from people in your industry who have worked with architects before.
  • Look for architects with an “A+” rating from the Australian Institute of Architects.
  • Meeting with potential architects individually helps assess work style and communication fit.
  • Consider the employees and contractors involved in the architect’s firm.
  • Choose an architect who is independent and not connected to other parts of the design process.
  • Ask tough questions to assess the architect’s problem-solving abilities and insurance coverage.
  • Allocate sufficient time to find an architect who aligns with your project’s requirements.
  • Experienced architects tailor designs based on client needs, climate, and setting.
  • Conduct interviews with your top choices to evaluate work style and communication methods.
  • Learn more about architects by asking questions about their recent work, references, and project timetables.
  • Consider the anticipated cost and if the architect can work within your budget.
  • Inquire about their recommendations for general contractors.
  • Understand the technology and software platforms they use for design.
  • Identify the project manager who will be the main point of contact.
  • Commercial architects design buildings specifically for commercial purposes.
  • They prioritize environmental concerns and incorporate eco-friendly techniques into their designs.
  • Effective communication is crucial for commercial architects to address any issues.
  • They consider local neighborhood and design aesthetics for retail spaces.
  • Commercial architects understand consumer behavior and trends.
  • They integrate a client’s business operations into their designs.
  • Look for architects who can accommodate the needs of a restaurant or bar.
  • Architects provide comprehensive solutions and prioritize client requirements.
  • Creating a building design that caters to user needs is a rewarding aspect of being a commercial architect.
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