How to Create a Stand out Architecture Portfolio for Every Stage of Your Career

Create an architecture portfolio for every stage of your career. From students to established professionals, learn how to build an online portfolio you're proud of.

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Individuals often pursue a career in architecture because they enjoy the process of designing, building, and seeing the finished product. The design process involved in the creation of an architecture portfolio follows a similar structure: gather ideas, start the design process, and eventually, end with a finished product you’re proud of. Building an online portfolio is something all architects and aspiring architects should integrate into their professional plans.

Your architecture portfolio website is the one tool that will open up a world of possibilities and allow your work to be displayed to potential clients, employers, or school administrators. Whether you’re a professional architect at a firm working and wanting to attract future clients, or a student just starting out on their career path in the world of architecture, an architecture portfolio is the starting point for establishing yourself as a reliable, professional, and talented architect. While you may be used to compiling your work in PDF format, hosting that work and file on a website will allow you to open the door to new possibilities in the field. The following architecture portfolio tips will explore what makes a perfect architecture portfolio for all stages of your career as an architect, including what elements make a quality portfolio, what items to include, and what type of portfolio design makes the best first impression. These architecture portfolio tips will allow you to create a portfolio website that you’re proud of.

What You Will Need to Include In Your Architecture Portfolio

What you include in your architecture portfolio will depend on what stage you’re at in your career. Someone just starting out will include different content and projects from an individual who has been working for years. Regardless of your career stage, your portfolio should display your best work and be reflective of the project or objective you’re trying to achieve. For example, if you’re looking to attract a client who is interested in designing a new condo building, you will want to include projects and designs that reflect the needs of the client. In other words, include previous successful project examples that are similar to what the client is asking for. If you’re a student, you will want to make sure you have a portfolio template that includes everything that’s outlined in the admission package. In every case, it’s not about the quantity of work you’ve done, but rather the quality of work and the communicating value you’ll bring to the table. The following breaks down what to include in a student architecture portfolio, entry, and mid-level portfolio, as well as tips for the accomplished professional who has been in the business for years.

Student Portfolios

You’re at the very first step in your architecture career journey and your architecture portfolio is continually growing and developing. Whether you’re applying to school, or right in the midst of your studies, having an architecture portfolio as a student is one of the best tools to help you develop your skills, track your progress, advance your career, and eventually, land your dream job or client.

Compiling a Student Portfolio. As a student, and at any stage in your career, it’s not about the volume of work you display, but rather the design quality. Two exceptional projects are better than selecting content that’s not reflective of your best work. If you’re applying to school with a portfolio, make sure to include all elements that are required. This often includes things like a resume, samples of designs, hand drawings, or 3D renderings.

The Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) currently is viewed as one of the best schools in the world for aspiring architects. Applicants must submit a portfolio that includes a resume/CV, and 15 to 20 pages of a variety of work samples. Many students, as well as professionals, will host a PDF published using issuu on their personal portfolio website to display their work. Examples of this can be found on the MIT website.

Let the school know why you’re the best choice. While completing your portfolio, remember to include your name and a brief biography, even if it’s not specifically requested. This will allow the admissions staff to get to know you as a person. During your time in school remember to continually update your portfolio with your best and newest projects. This allows you to track your progress throughout your time in school as well as add new methods of design you’ll learn during your time as a student.


Tailor to the audience. By this point, you’ve most likely narrowed down your focus but still have work that falls into a variety of different categories. The work you include will depend on the client, project, or position you’re focused on securing. Before compiling a portfolio and picking your pieces, do as much research as you can on the client or project you’re looking to secure. Get to know the scope of the work and adjust your portfolio accordingly. For example, if the firm you’re interested in works primarily in commercial real estate, be sure to highlight your best projects that focus on this area.

Showcase versatility. Architecture firms want an employee who’s versatile and able to contribute to a project in a myriad of ways, whether through 3D modeling or creative problem-solving. If you’re having a difficult time picking what to include and exclude, try organizing your work into categories, allowing potential employers to gain a broader scope of your abilities. Don’t be afraid to elaborate on your thought process and the selection behind your designs. This can be done beside or below each design on the page.

Include information about yourself. No matter what position you’re applying for, every complete online portfolio must have a section that allows visitors to get to know you. This page will give you an opportunity to explain your thought process behind your portfolio, explain the impact you plan to make, and how your imagination and training will play a key part in future projects, and how you will get the client the results they want.

Professional Portfolios

You’re an established architect with plenty of projects under your belt. You’re confident in your industry identity with a variety of different successful projects under your belt over the past number of years. You’ve worked with firms, done freelance, brought your personal touch to everything you’ve done. You may have built an online portfolio, but it’s been a while since you’ve had to use one for a presentation or give a full portfolio website to display your work.

Keep it updated. Ensure to keep your portfolio updated with your latest project endeavors. With standards in graphic design consistently changing, it’s important that your portfolio website reflects modern-day architecture portfolios. Continually update your portfolio with your best and latest projects and include images that are eye-catching and to demonstrate you can continue to compete with up and coming architects.

Continue to build your brand. Sell yourself. That’s part of the reason you got to where you currently are in your career. Update your biography page to reflect your current character. Who you were five years ago may not reflect the person you are today. Revisit your contact details frequently to ensure they stay up to date and include projects that reflect your most current style.

It’s never too late. If you don’t have an online portfolio it’s never too late to design one. By this point in your architecture career, you’ve been the mind behind many projects that inspire the next generation. Putting that work on display for the world will allow you to reflect on all that you’ve accomplished to date and provide some clarity on your purpose going forward. With more and more people moving online, having an online portfolio presence will soon be a requirement for everyone in the industry.

Architecture Portfolio Templates For Every Stage Of Your Career

It’s been established what needs to be included when creating a portfolio and now it’s time to get around to designing your site. Although you’re an expert at designing physical structures, you may not be as good at web design, and that’s where Format portfolio templates come in. These simple and clean portfolio sites will provide you with a platform to host all of your projects, display your work, and attract new clients. When you create a portfolio using a Format template, you will be creating a website that’s fully customizable without the need for coding. All portfolio templates have high-quality image rendering and promotional tools, including social media integration, ideal for creating an architecture portfolio. These standout architecture portfolio examples will help provide you with some inspiration as you begin to design your site and are great template options for any stage in your career.

Format Website Template Panorama
Format Website Template Horizon
Format Website Template Amazon
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Format Website Template Foray
Format Website Template Peak
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Ready to Create an Architecture Portfolio?

Putting together a portfolio for your architecture business is no easy task. With so much noise in the digital space, it’s important to choose the right website template that can best showcase your work. Whether you’re just starting out or you’ve been in the industry for years, make sure you leverage a professional website builder like Format to create a stunning portfolio.

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