inside commercial office building

What Is a Commercial Architect

Commercial architects are architects who specialize in projects for commercial use. This includes offices, stores, malls, healthcare institutions, and banks. A commercial architect may also work on industrial projects like factories. In general, the job encompasses all types of construction projects that are intended for non-residential use.

What does the job of a commercial architect involve?

The main difference between a commercial architect and a general architect is that a commercial architect works specifically on commercial construction projects, while a general architect may also work on residential ones.

The work of a commercial architect often follows some predetermined patterns, especially when working with large companies with an established brand and business model. This makes the work slightly less creative than that of a general architect. However, the added constraints don’t necessarily simplify the process – they may sometimes impose additional difficulties that the commercial architect must find a way to overcome.

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How does one become a commercial architect?

Working as a commercial architect typically starts by working as a general architect and focusing on commercial and industrial projects. A good commercial architect should aim to establish long-term relationships with clients in the sector who can recognize their style and see the architect as reliable enough to hire on their projects.

Those striving toward a position as a commercial architect will often work alongside an established specialist in the field who will provide initial guidance through the local market and the typical requirements of popular clients.

Commercial architects must put special effort into establishing a reputable brand, especially if they want to work with larger companies. Those tend to be much more selective in their hiring process and will not easily trust someone without a previous reputation, even less if they’ve never worked with them in the past.

Commercial Architect General Architect
Works exclusively on commercial and industrial projects Works on different types of projects, mostly residential
Often follows predetermined patterns More freedom in directing their style of work
Ensures work matches the company’s vision Aligns project with customer’s expectations

In the end a commercial architect is a professional who specialises in designing, planning, and overseeing the construction of commercial buildings.

Clara Annesley

Clara Annesley is an interior design and construction content writer. She holds a BSc (Hons) in Architectural Design Technology from the University of West London. Clara specialises in residential construction for topics like health & safety, architectural design and writing cost guides for renovation and remodelling projects.