How to Create an Architecture Portfolio

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An architecture portfolio is an important part of a new project presentation.
An architecture portfolio is an important part of a new project presentation. (Image: Antonio_Diaz/iStock/Getty Images)

An architecture portfolio helps you present your experience, skills and approach to architecture in a structured way. Portfolios are important to architects applying for jobs or pitching projects. To create a portfolio, collect images of your work, organize the material in a logical structure and present the content in a conventional binder, laptop or tablet computer.

Plan the Presentation

To select content for your portfolio, set a goal for your presentation and identify the information your audience needs to make a decision in your favor. If you are pitching for a public sector project, for example, you must convince the decision makers you have the capacity, experience and knowledge of architectural requirements in that sector. Your content must reinforce those messages with relevant public sector images and information such as project case studies.

Create a Structure

Your portfolio should have a clear structure that enables you to present your case in a compelling way. Create a brief overview that includes key elements of your experience, examples of your best projects and benefits of using your services. Put together a profile page that lists your professional qualifications and capabilities. Include examples of finished projects relevant to your prospect’s needs. Develop a case study that illustrates your approach to projects. Include a page that shows your contact details and invites the prospect to request project proposals.

Develop Profile Page

Your profile page gives prospects information about your capabilities and helps establish your reputation. List your educational and professional qualifications, including membership in architecture institutes. State the number of years you have practiced architecture. Describe your key architecture and project management skills. List the sectors you work in, together with client names and project summaries. If you are pitching as a firm, describe the number of employees and include brief biographies of key team members.

Showcase Projects

Images of completed projects demonstrate the scale and quality of work you have carried out. Take interior and exterior shots of projects, using a professional photographer if necessary. State the cost of the project and describe your level of involvement. Include acknowledgements of other professionals on the project, such as consulting engineers or interior designers

Demonstrate Architectural Approach

A case study of an individual project gives prospects insight into the way you approach work. Set out the objectives and challenges of the project. Show concept sketches, CAD graphics and photos of work in progress to illustrate the progress of the project. Describe the results and benefits of the project to the client.

Choose the Format

An architecture portfolio should be a flexible tool that you can easily adapt for different presentations. While you can change the content of a printed portfolio, updating the binder can be costly and time-consuming. With a digital portfolio, you can make changes quickly and easily. In addition, a digital portfolio can incorporate videos, slide shows and interactive content. You can place a digital portfolio on a website for prospects to download or email the portfolio as part of an ongoing marketing program

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