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Being an Architect is Hell

Being an Architect is Hell

his was a day, just like any other day. I was minding my own business when I was visually assaulted by a shower in this hotel. (That’s right … assaulted.)

For most people, they probably wouldn’t have even noticed. They would have taken their shower and moved on to the next part of their day without realizing just how close they had come with …


(look at the picture below if you haven’t figured out that “this” is what I am talking about)

Being an Architect is Hell

Being an Architect is Hell

Can you believe it? I’m sure you can see it just as easily as if there were a frog sitting on my head. You do see it, right?

There is alignment chaos going on in this shower and I haven’t been able to ignore it. I took three showers in this space and all I could do the entire time was look this shower niche and wonder:


Did the tile mason know that they were doing a bad job?

Was an architect used? Surely they wouldn’t have intentionally drawn it up this way?

I wonder if all the shower niches look like this, or is this one unique?

Did any of this show up on a punch list?

I wonder if this was the first time this person had tiled a shower niche?

Maybe the tile mason got better as they did more showers in this hotel.

Seriously … the tile mason had to know that this sucked.


… and on and on and on. Literally every time I took a shower, these questions rolled endlessly through my head. After I ran through the questions, I would start telling myself what I would have done if I was drawing up this shower … you know, in case I didn’t already know.

Being an Architect is Hell

Being an Architect is Hell

Why does the shower niche engage the mosaic border? Why wouldn’t the top of the niche align with the similar tile on either side. Why switch tiles – they could have made the entire niche out of the mosaic tiles. Why was the top tile left too long?

Being an Architect is Hell

Being an Architect is Hell

To make matters even worse (as if that were even possible) the tiles were out of plane with one another as well.

Seriously?!? How does somebody not notice these things? Well, I shouldn’t put it that way because I know who would notice these things … architects.

Architects don’t seem to love anything that actually exists. They might say that they really like something … but even then they will systematically point out all of its flaws

Architects examine everything they see and look for all the things that were either poorly executed, or things that could have been done differently to achieve something superior to what currently exists. This is a character trait that every architect I know shares and let me tell you … it is HELL!!

Every space I walk in to, I look at … intensely. I scrutinize, evaluate, process, and redesign. Every. Single. Space. There are times when I wish this didn’t happen … most of the time actually. Being blissfully unaware of unresolved plan geometries – particularly when I am not “on the clock” sounds pretty good but I know it won’t be that way for me any longer. I have completely crossed over to the architect side.

The real issue here is that it’s probably more likely that nobody is drawing these things and the coordination isn’t happening. While I can’t say with certainty why this is true, I would venture a guess that it has something to do with having to pay the architect to do these sorts of things. The other concern is that it is possible that an architect wasn’t even used in the areas I just pointed out.

I am troubled that it is becoming more and more often, a matter of spending more and more money in an effort to makes things right … that, or people just don’t care anymore and close enough is good enough.

Happy architect day (July 4 in my country Venezuela)