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An architect is a person licensed in the art of planning, designing and overseeing the construction of buildings, or more generally, the designer of a scheme or plan. See architecture or landscape architecture

Architects and landscape architects are considered professionals on par with doctors and lawyers, because they are often required to obtain specialized education and professional licensure, similar to the requirements for other professionals, with requirements for practice varying greatly from place to place (see below).

The most prestigious award a living architect can receive is the Pritzker Prize. It is considered the equivalent of the Nobel Prize for architecture. Other awards for excellence in architecture are given by the American Institute of Architects and Royal Institute of British Architects.

Although architect is a specific term referring to a licensed professional, the word is frequently used in a broader sense to define someone who brings order to the built or unbuilt environment through rational and irrational constructs using the tools of design for example, naval architects, software architects etc., and graduates of schools of architecture not doing regulated project/construction documents are often called architects. However, non-licensed architects and designers working in the construction industry are prohibited from referring to themselves as architects in most countries.



In Canada, architects are required to belong to provincial architectural associations that require them to complete an accredited degree in architecture, finish a multi-year internship process, pass a series of exams, and pay an annual fee to acquire and maintain a license to practice.

The Royal Architectural Institute of Canada [1] aims to be "the voice of Architecture and its practice in Canada." Architects who are members of this organization are permitted to use the suffix MRAIC after their names. All members of the RAIC hold accredited degrees in architecture, but not all Canadian architects are members of the RAIC.


In the United States, people wishing to become licensed architects (interns) are required to pass a series of eight exams, referred to as the Architectural Registration Examination (the ARE). In addition, interns must have eight years of practical experience (which may include accredited degrees in architecture) before they may become licensed. Although the ARE is a national exam, each state issues their own licenses. Some states, such as California and Hawaii, require supplemental exams in addition to the ARE. Other states have reciprocity agreements, so licenses may be easily transferred between certain states.

There are three types of accredited degrees in architecture in the United States; a Bachelor of Architecture, a Master of Architecture, or a Doctor of Architecture (abbreviated as B.Arch., M.Arch., and D.Arch., respectively). A Bachelor of Arts in Architecture (BA) typically takes four years - as opposed to five for a B. Arch - and is not considered a professional degree.

The American Institute of Architects [2] is the professional organization dedicated to offering a network of services to architects in the United States. Architects who are members of this organization are permitted to use the suffix AIA after their names. Although all members of the AIA are required to be licensed architects, not all architects are members of the AIA.


In the United Kingdom, the term Architect is protected by law, the latest regulations being made under the Architects Act 1997. Apart from Architects in the construction industry, the only other persons permitted to carry out business using the term are naval architects, landscape architects, and golf-course architects.

Construction industry architects (the subject of this article) must be registered with the Architects Registration Board [3] in order to practice, and who also have the power to suspend or revoke registration. The ARB took over an expanded role from the now defunct Architects Registration Council of the United Kingdom (ARCUK) as a result of the 1997 law. In order to register, an Architect must be qualified in the UK or a European Economic Area country.

The leading professional body for architects in the UK is the Royal Institute of British Architects (RIBA) [4].

See also UK topics.


The professional body for destination architects is the Institute of Destination Architects and Designers (IDAD) [5].

Notable architects

The architects in the list of notable architects are in chronological order of when they did their most important work (or emerged), and alphabetized within each time period.

Notable schools which trained architects

Bauhaus, Weimar, Dessau, and Berlin
Architectural Association School of Architecture, London
École des Beaux Arts, Paris (until 1968 when 22 Écoles d'Architecture replaced it)
Scott Sutherland School, Scotland

See also

External links

da:Arkitekt de:Architekt fr:Architecte it:Architetto ja:建築家 nl:Architect zh-cn:建筑师

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