If the Devil’s in the details, then so is God. The idiom, of course, belongs to no other than an architect. Whether or not Ludwig Mies van der Rohe actually used it is not important. What’s important is that it perfectly captures the spirit, marked by meticulousness or obsession, of the art we call architecture.
But let’s forgo its poetical meaning for a second, and speak frankly. The famous phrase applies to the practical side of this profession too, especially when our love for architecture comes in between our unearthly passion and our mundane struggles. In between succumbing to the arts and making a living.
With that in mind, our theme of the day – Best Cities to Live In as an Architect – will mean different things to different people. For some, it’ll be Barcelona or Rome. For others, it’ll be West Palm Beach or Vallejo. Depending on what you seek – inspiration or money – it’ll mean different things to you too.
The time is on our side, so let’s explore both.
These are the best cities to live in as an architect, creatively and financially.
Before we can make those details work, we must start with the bigger picture. It’s a rule known to every architect, perfectly applicable to both our theme and our previous research. And, speaking of which, the results of our research unequivocally show that the seven best countries to live in as an architect are, in ascending order – Ireland, Qatar, Canada, Australia, the US, the UK, and Switzerland.
Now, because our criteria includes both artistic and financial aspect, and because a global overview of architect salaries is pretty tricky to achieve (considering different relationships between living costs and earnings in different countries), our list of the actual cities that offer rich architectural heritages and decent salaries is only partially based on hard numbers. Ultimately, that’s where the devil hides.
In all of these seven countries, with some rare exceptions to the rule, the best cities to find work as an architect are large urban areas. This entails more job opportunities and higher salaries, but also higher costs of living. In other words, moving to an architectural hub is not cheap. The more you earn, the more you spend. Like or not, the truth is, all the great jobs for eager architects are in urban jungles.
Of course, you can always settle down in the suburbs and commute. In each of the following metropolitan areas, there’s a number of second-tier cities in which you can splurge your downtown money with no regrets. We certainly can’t list them all, can we? So, if you’re looking for a job as an architect, bid goodbye to Europe and head to these seven countries. Final destination – a megalopolis.
An average monthly salary for an architect in Ireland is €4,011 ($4,651). Should you find work in Dublin, your annual income would be around €55,153 ($63,944). For reference, a cappuccino in this city costs around €3, while monthly rent for a 45 m2 furnished studio in less expensive area costs around €1,108.
And, there’s plenty to see. Architecturally speaking, Dublin is very diverse, effortlessly fusing tradition with modernity. Its oldest landmark, St. Audoen’s Church, dates back to the 1190s. Its youngest – the architectural masterpiece that the Bord Gáis Energy Theatre is – was erected only two decades ago.
Need we say more than Jean Nouvel’s National Museum of Qatar? Or, perhaps we should mention Qatar’s National Archive, the city’s National Library, and National Convention Centre as well? The capital of Qatar is growing nimbly eclectic, blending Eastern bedrocks with bulks of glass and concrete.
In terms of salary, Qatar is ranked slightly higher than Ireland, with the average monthly salary there being $4,665. In Doha, however, annual income for architects is $48,319, which is significantly lower than in Dublin, though still pretty decent. The tempting thing is, experience has little effect on income.
Architects live well across Canada, but Toronto is by far the biggest hub for professionals in this niche. With a consistent economy and plenty of architectural work in progress, this city offers amazing opportunities for newcomers. The average annual salary here is $79,228, which is the national median.
From 19th century Georgian architecture to 21st-century postmodern flavors, Toronto is still embracing different architectural styles and ideas developed throughout Europe and the United States. Enjoy the Art Gallery of Ontario in its deconstructivism, the CN Tower, and Canada Life Building.
Architects from all over the world describe Melbourne as a city “that embraces the innovator, the dreamer, and the doer”, but also rewards them with a $43,616 average salary per year. The community is strong and supportive, and new architect startups are sprouting on every second corner.
All this is in perfect alignment with the city’s juxtaposition of old and new architecture – while the first provides Victorian roots, the latter elevates them with futuristic skyscrapers. For your daily portion of Art Deco and varying styles, don’t forget to visit the Manchester Unity Building and the Alkira House.
According to a 2016 BLS (Bureau of Labour Statistics) report, the highest paid architects in the United States live and work in West Palm Beach, Florida, where their average annual income amounts to a whopping $120,380. Currently, this mid-sized city boasts nearly 500 open jobs for aspiring architects.
Is there anything to draw inspiration from? Well, most of the West Palm Beach has been built either in Spanish Colonial Revival style or in Mission Revival style, while the city’s American National Bank Building represents a fine specimen of the Beaux-Arts architecture. The ambiance is breezy and bright.
In the adorable city of Salinas, professional architects earn a little less than their fellow artists from West Palm Beach – around $112,530 per year. Its architectural canvas, however, is a bit richer. Salinas was one of the few cities to prosper during the depression, briskly transforming farms into – buildings.
Just take a look at the RaboBank-Office Building, erected by Ryland $ Schwartz circa 1930. Or, the Monterey County Jail by Butner, Holm & Waterman, showcasing Deco and Gothic Elements. The Monterey County Courthouse Building is described as a fine example of the Depression Moderne style.
With an average salary of $104,650 and no big expenses, an architect can make a great living in Bridgeport, Connecticut. The historic seaport city was a playing ground for George W. Longstaff, an eclectic artist whose most famous work, built in Byzantine, Islamic, and Gothic styles, still stands today.
Do visit the Barnum Museum, whether you decide to try your luck in Bridgeport or not. And if you do, bear in mind that Connecticut’s largest city still brainstorms and recruits inventive architects for an ongoing design coastal resilience project that should reduce the risk from climate change and flooding.
Heading back to the West Coast, the Golden Gate Bridge opens new roads to architectural bliss in San Francisco. Those situated somewhere between the Alcatraz Island, Coit Tower, the Palace of Fine Arts, Lombard Street, Alamo Square, Fort Point, and Chinatown make an annual salary of decent $104,030.
Though costs of living in San Francisco aren’t exactly cheap, this melting pot of Victorian and modern architecture is a home to around 500 firms listed as members of the AIA (American Institute of Architects). Around the Frisco Bay, job opportunities are just as numerous as buildings and landmarks.
The last on the BLS’s list of American cities with the highest annual income for architects, Vallejo is a quiet waterfront community that welcomes artists from larger Bay Area cities like San Francisco and Oakland. The rent is low, the workspaces are large, and the atmosphere just bursts with innovation.
As for the architecture itself, the city of Vallejo and its Architectural Heritage Foundation firmly believe in the importance of historic preservation. Before you apply for a $103,690 salary job in Vallejo, check out its authentic character and charm as captured on video tours by Vallejo Art and Architecture Walk.
One of the best places for architects across the pond is right under the Big Ben, in the very heart of the United Kingdom of Britain. The average permanent salary for architect jobs in London is $106,339, which is, as Brits would say, enough to put you off your trolley. But still, London is very, very expensive.
Be it as it may, the Old Smoke is a living, breathing encyclopedia of European architecture, which here ranges from Georgian balustrades and Victorian baths to asymmetric Art Nouveau and floral Art Deco. Besides, a chance to sketch in front of the Westminster Abbey must be worth a queen’s ransom.
At last, we arrive to the home of the Dada movement, and by extension, the cradle of surrealism and postmodernism. Zurich’s St. Peter’s Church boasts the largest timepiece in the whole of Europe, while the rest of this Swiss city offers an abundance of drinking fountains and elaborate buildings to peruse.
And the best thing about it is, Zurich holds the world record for the highest salary for architect jobs – a tremendous $150,126 per year. A cappuccino costs $5 though, while monthly rent for a single-bedroom apartment outside of the city center is $1,408. All things considered, not a bad deal at all.
Make no mistake, finding a job in one of these architectural hubs is a risky venture. Then again, what part of loving and practicing architecture isn’t? If not for permanent salary, explore them for a gig or two, and a chance to see, learn, and experience something new. In the end, art makes nomads of us all.
Design intent greatly depends on how photoreal the 3D visuals are. If clients are to understand the concept of a design, 3D visuals play an essential role in the presentation. Interactive visualization or walkthrough animation is the best way to close a deal.
With hundreds of millions of views every month, Instagram quickly became an online creative community full of artists of all disciplines. For all those who are looking for good online places to find their inspiration, there's no doubt that Instagram is the right place. There are numerous 3D art portfolios and Instagram has become the best ''discover and showcase'' network for creatives, designers, and all other artists.
Top agencies and web designers are sharing their best creations on Instagram. The best way to look for creative inspiration or even a new job is by seeing what's new on Instagram. Well, the same goes for 3D visualizers. 3D has become a form of art that pays special attention to even the tiniest of details. That's exactly why it's so important for understanding the design intent.
If a design project isn't properly presented in 3D, the client might have difficulties understanding the very point of that design, no matter how good it is. The importance of 3D visualization in architecture is beyond explanatory – it's one of the best ways of being proactive in the process of communication with both the client and the designer.
3D visualization is also the best way to exchange ideas and improve the design.
Therefore, visualizers can greatly contribute to architecture projects, especially with the latest technology at their disposal.
The best thing about 3D visualization is that it supports both artistic and creative elements while being technology-driven. So, normally, it’s a useful tool to convey a message to the beholder but also make a profit through that same message. 3D visualizers manipulate the virtual environment to make editing and changing things easier while on the go.
That's why visualization is becoming more interactive in real-time. This medium gives the spectator the ability to literally experience an entire construction in real-time. The capability of augmented reality makes the design come alive, giving a great perspective of how an architectural project will turn out in the end. It saves money, time, and effort while giving excellent results.
With that in mind, architectural visualization, even though it's relatively new, is quite well-represented in the creative community on Instagram, showcasing incredible mastery and creative work of numerous great 3D visualizers. It's no wonder that many of them now use Instagram to keep track of the latest 3D trends and find the necessary inspiration for their future endeavors.
Since Instagram is an image-based social network, employers often use it to hire 3D visualizers.
The most common services are 3D character design, wax models, full digitization of special effects, animated logos, science and space animations. You’ll also find human anatomy, flash intro animation, public sector animation, architectural animation. Some of the more lucrative jobs involve 3D visualisation for real estate, hotels, casinos and various types of properties including interior and exterior animation.
3D visualizers basically add power to architectural projects by maximizing their visual impact. Using their special magic, they make innovative and extraordinary ideas come to life in unforeseen and exciting ways. They help make every step of the design process worthwhile while giving breathtaking and truly remarkable results.
Product designers, marketing companies, property developers, engineers, interior designers, leading architects – all of them have to work together to bring the most complex processes and ideas to life. 3D visualizers are making that possible by maintaining communication and expressing their vision with each project. They help them all understand each other by clearly presenting their ideas in 3D.
Such presentations give everyone a clear picture of where they currently stand and how long it will take to get to where they want to be. 3D visualization is one of the best ways to present new developments to everyone involved so they can determine the best course of action.
Among the best of the best is 2R Studio. With a strong message saying that they can deliver no matter what their clients want, 2R Studio brings the best architectural visualization to the table. 2R Studio is for its collaboration with numerous international architects and affordable prices.
Each project has a story of its own and 2R Studio is here to give you a way to tell it. With multidisciplinary backgrounds and an experienced team of creative specialists and experts in 3D visualization, their only goal is to portray the vision of their clients. When it comes to best 3D visualizers on Instagram, 2R Studio is the number one choice.
Enscape3D is a strong second candidate, as they are masters of 3D rendering in real-time. They can present entire projects with a few mouse clicks, giving their clients a full picture of how their project looks. Enscape can easily elevate your architecture workflow.
If you're looking for really masterful 3D visualizers who will take your work to an entirely new level and turn it into art, Enscape is exactly what you're looking for.
The third candidate for the best 3D visualizers on Instagram would most definitely be the Tresde ArchViz Studio. This architectural visualization studio creates images and virtual walkthroughs that have their own expressions. They’ve won numerous awards for best visualizations for their incredible efforts.
When it comes to style, atmosphere, composition and lighting, Tresde are absolute masters. They even have a regular teacher who can teach you multiple things about 3D visualization and improve your entire workflow to better correspond with clients' needs.
For the past 15 years SketchUp has transformed from a niche, stigma-ridden little 3D modeler that could into a visualization powerhouse. It did so with a user-friendly approach to 3D design, and an emphasis on speed and efficiency over complexity and capability. Architects were gradually swayed, and now you’d be hard-pressed to find a studio in the world that doesn’t have SketchUp installed on every machine in the office.
It’s a familiar story to those in the industry. However, what many people haven’t yet caught onto is the power hidden behind the Pro version of SketchUp. Architecture firms have been slow to adopt the cost-prohibitive version of the software, and have made due with the version that doesn’t require them to open their wallets.
But, I’m here to explain why opening your wallets means opening your workflow and visualization capabilities to a whole new world of fast, accurate, and efficient design. SketchUp Pro is the 3D visualizer the creators had in mind when they cobbled together the base program all those years ago. It’s easy to use, feature-rich, and worth every penny you invest in it.
If no other feature is worth shelling out for SketchUp Pro, the ability to import CAD and Revit files into the program is. For studios with a hierarchy in design professional, this lets lead designers hand their CAD plans over to a junior team member for them to start working up in three dimensions. It’s also useful for creating complicated topography or landscape models from a survey file.
More than this, though, is the capability to bring in a detailed Revit model for the purposes of 3D visualization out of SketchUp. With a few exporting tweaks, you can easily have a fully modeled SketchUp file that can then be manipulated and changed based on design feedback from the client or architect. This back and forth has lead to massive changes in workflow and design efficiency for a growing number of architecture firms.
SketchUp Pro comes packaged with a powerful construction document program called Layout. For many architects, the combination is replacing every hour of 2D CAD work in the entire office. This, perhaps, is the aspect of SketchUp that has had the hardest time overcoming the stigma that accompanies something so ‘simple.’
However, for those who dove in head first, Layout is proving to be a construction document tool that doubles as a high-end visualization tool. Designers have started creating detailed and accurate construction documents that fully represent the finished product. Drawings are colorful, artistic, and presented in 3D so that contractors and builders have an easier time understanding materiality and detail.
And while your skepticism is warranted, I implore you to try Layout and see for yourself how powerful it can be. There will be no more back and forth between CAD and SketchUp because everything will be contained in the same, central, detailed model. Feel free to rejoice.
Some of the trickiest aspects of an architectural visualization to master are how to model and represent organic terrain and landscape elements. SketchUp Pro comes with an exhaustive set of solid editing tools that allow you to push, pull, drape, and carve out a landscape model that accurately represents your building site.
Not only that, but with the use of SketchUp’s massive design warehouse, you’ll have access to a wide variety of ready-made 3D models. This allows you to populate your scenes with trees, people, cars, benches, traffic lights, or anything else that gives your visualization scale, realism, and a sense of humanity.
The base, free version of SketchUp is marketed towards hobbyists and design enthusiasts. However, it fall short on some of the things that make Pro a one-stop-shop for designing, documenting, visualizing, and in the end, creating good architecture. With a dedicated effort, you can rid your studio of any and all CAD and BIM programs in favor of something you never even knew existed.
Where SketchUp started and where it is today is a testament to how well it has worked. Take the next step and invest in a 3D visualizer that might even transform the way you do business as an architect. It’s never too late to reinvent your work flow, and how you translate your ideas into beautiful works of architecture.
3D visualization, or 3D rendering, is becoming increasingly popular nowadays. Architecture firms, interior designers, and real estate companies have realized that showing their clients photorealistic images of their projects brings numerous benefits to the table.
With 3D rendering, you can see precisely what your desired project will look like. A 3D visualizer will provide you with a sneak preview of the designers’ vision, so you can make sure that you are on the same page. If the need for some adjustments arises, 3D rendering can help make all the necessary changes before the actual work commences.
Obviously, this saves time and money for both parties, not to mention that it provides both of you with a complete peace of mind.
Do you want to renovate your living room but you’re not sure whether the floor would look better in maple or red oak? Do you want to turn your garage into a man cave but don’t really have a clear vision to follow?
Are you a designer or an architect who wants to always provide clients with realistic images of the projects and help them get exactly what they are looking for? Are you perhaps a realtor who wants to enable clients to “walk through” the properties on your website before coming to see them in person?
Whichever the case, you should know that finding a good 3D visualizer is not as daunting as it may seem. Yes, there are hundreds of them out there, but there are several steps that you can take to make your search easier and ensure that you find the best 3D visualizer for your or your clients’ needs. Keep scrolling to check them out!
Since you can find pretty much anything on the Internet, you can start your search there. Try searching for 3D visualizers, 3D renderers, 3D artists, 3D rendering services, 3D modeling and rendering services – you get the gist.
Now, you can add a location in your search queries, so that Google can narrow down the talent pool and provide you with links to local services and professionals. That way, you can easily contact them and set up a meeting.
There are plenty of 3D rendering platforms where you can find thousands of 3D visualizers from all over the world. You can look through their portfolios to find the best one for your needs and contact them to get a quote and discuss your project.
If you’re an architect or a designer, Easy Render might just be your best bet, as it can connect you to professional 3D artists from 65 countries. It’s very streamlined and user-friendly and the best part about it is that your funds are held in escrow until you’re perfectly satisfied with the results. Also, there’s a money-back guarantee in case the deliverables don’t match the promise and the standard you expected.
Before hiring a 3D visualizer, you need to make sure their style is a perfect match for your projects. You need a professional who’s experienced and knows how to create the best and most realistic 3D visualizations that will be spitting images of the projects in question.
That’s why you should sift through as many portfolios as you can find, so as not to make hasty decisions that you may end up regretting later.
This is very easy when searching online. Whenever a portfolio grabs your attention, bookmark it and continue searching. You can later compare all the selected 3D visualizers and easily pick those with the most experience under their belt, knowing that they’ll truly be able to realize your or your clients’ visions.
Once you’ve selected potential 3D visualizers to work with and discussed your projects with them, address the matter of deadlines, as they are a very important factor to consider. You need to know whether they’re able to get the necessary work done in a particular time frame so that you never miss an important deadline.
Of course, their skills, experience, and quality of work are much more essential, but you should try to find professionals who can deliver exactly what they advertise both efficiently and effectively.
Although the price definitely shouldn’t be your top priority, as it’s not always a true indicator of quality, it still bears a great significance. You certainly want to save as much money as you can, but you also want to work with a 3D visualizer who will provide you with an excellent service.
The price will depend on the nature of your project and, of course, on the quality of work of a particular 3D visualizer. Fortunately, there are thousands of them out there, so you can easily request as many quotes as you want to find the best price and get your money’s worth.
This is incredibly important, because good and effective communication is the key to successful projects. If the 3D visualizer you hire doesn’t communicate well and doesn’t fully comprehend everything you need them to do, how can they realize your vision and deliver high-quality results?
This is why interviews are vital. If your chosen 3D visualizer is halfway across the world, don’t worry – that’s where video calls come in. Schedule one to discuss all your needs and everything that your potential collaborators can bring to the table and see whether or not they are a good fit. If you communicate well and you feel comfortable talking and making plans with them, you’ll certainly make a pretty good team.
If you follow all these tips, you’ll certainly be on the right path to finding the right 3D visualizers for your needs, so start right now and hire the best talent to bring your projects to life!