So yes indeed, I have been too busy to afford time to update this intern diary- but guess what- that is good news – I have been learning and working a lot! It’s fun and trying at the same time- but it is all worth it, really.
Well, I’ve been working on preparing Lease Outline Drawings (LODs) for Karl, a jovial Atkins Oman architect working for one of our biggest clients- The Wave Muscat (TWM). It’s been a good two weeks on this assignment- but with the nature of work at the firm- though the LODs aren’t the only thing I have been working on- it has been my prime focus for now so get to ready hear some more about these technical drawings!
Now, now. Technical may be associated with boring. (and sometimes it may be,but hey it is really REALLY important! ) And that’s why architects may sometimes have more specific work profiles. If you’re a detailed design architect, expect to spend more time on collaborating building systems on Autodesk software- if you’re a concept architect- expect more client interaction. But really, when you work at such a diverse firm like this, although you may have a concentration, it is good to expect to be an all-rounder- only then shall you know how to co-operate in an efficient manner for the sake of project quality.
Upcoming : The Wave Retail Center
Anyway, The Wave- and really- it is THE Wave- because it is a big deal here in Oman- for it is the nation’s first luxury marina residences (you must check out the above link). The first luxury villas came up a few years ago- complete with golf courses, basic groceries and boutique hotels and now we’re expanding it with premium apartments overlooking docks- and a few other additions. And so among these, is its new Retail Center of the newest Village Block,- that shall consist of a good total of about sixty-something shops and offices; for which I have been preparing the sheets for basic floor plans, elevations, sections and reflected ceiling plans.
A Lease Outline Drawing is typically an architectural drawing of a tenant lease space which defines and dimensions the limits of the leased premises- and thus is handed over to the shop/office owner by the landlord- in this case, our client for the mall/retail center. It serves as the blueprint for the tenant to design the interiors of his newly rented space accordingly.
First off, Karl, the architect, though extremely busy, was always constantly patient- while introducing to me the concept of LODs, showing me how to prepare the same and always clarifying my doubts with much cheerfulness.
Karl looks over an LOD with me
Then, using Autodesk Revit, I generated the other views from the general floor plans of the building’s levels from its prepared digital model. Of course, I had done something similar in architecture school, but not to this large scale- this is a real project which requires 100% accuracy – and so I was impressed with the number of times I had to make changes to the drawings before I gained Karl’s approval stamps on it! After all, Atkins has a quality standard to maintain. It was indeed a large volume of drawings that I needed to prepare- and of course, I was glad for the invention of Revit- but with much focus- I can say that the job was well done! Today, I am proud to say that for the very first time in my architect career, I had a set of official blueprints with my initials on it- for a real-life building (as opposed to make-believe projects in college). Phew! So satisfying, haha!
Also, generating Reflected Ceiling Plans- was something very new and exciting for me- as it meant working with and preparing a guide for the mechanical engineers to work within the space constraints to determine lighting, electrical facilities, plumbing, ventilation, air conditioning, fire alarm systems and power distribution- basically the building services within the space between ceilings and floors.
Annotating the drawings- in other words- completing it with side notes, construction detailing, dimensioning, labelling and room tags and what not- was what took more time than generating the actual drawing itself. But that’s where the usefulness of it lies– to assist the contractors in construction and to give the tenants a sense of the space that is theirs.
The final task was to prepare the transmittal- a detailed list of all the submitted drawings to the client- and to upload it using a private data transferring website.
Phew ! Technically tedious as it may sound, this portion of the project has taught me a valuable lesson in understanding how the client wishes to receive information, and how it is important for the architect to accurately deliver the same.
Sometimes, it does pays off to be a compulsive list-maker, a repetitive organiser and a bit nit-picky- after all it isn’t OCD, but the architect’s prime responsibility for the creation and design of the built environment.
And there you go. LOD. A Life Of Design.