Architect Online Portfolio

Having an online architecture portfolio is essential to landing a job at the firm of your dreams. Follow this guide for the best practices and unique ideas for your portfolio.

Whether you're applying to a firm or working as a freelance architect, you'll need a solid portfolio to prove your worth as an architect—and in the digital age, it only makes sense to build your portfolio online. While it's ideal that you put together a printed or PDF portfolio, adding a professional website to your arsenal makes it easier for firms and potential clients to contact you and even share your work.

Here, we've put together a guide to everything you need to know to build a killer online architecture portfolio. Along with tips and best practices, you'll also find a list of simple and clean portfolio sites made with Format that you can turn to for inspiration.

What to Include in Your Architecture Portfolio

One of the most daunting parts of the portfolio-building process is deciding what exactly to include. These are the four things you should never leave out of an online portfolio:

Your Best Work

It should go without saying that an architect portfolio should be a collection of your best work. Go over your body of work and choose eight to ten of your best projects. These works should showcase both your skills as an architect and your ability to collaborate in team efforts, so be sure to also highlight projects where you made significant contributions.

Try your best to include more current work—namely, anything that's been done within the last five years.

Don't Forget the Details

While clients might be okay with 3D renderings and photos of the finished building, you'll have better chances of winning over architecture firms by adding photos of construction detailing, hand sketches, and models in your portfolio. Architecture firms want to get someone who's versatile and able to contribute to a project in a myriad of ways, whether through 3D modeling or creative problem-solving.

Discuss Your Background

With an online portfolio, you can dedicate an entire page to just your background information. Use this opportunity to create a writeup that encompasses who you are and what you're capable of as an architect. Discuss your educational background, your professional experience, and any relevant interests, but be sure to do so in a friendly, conversational manner.

Don't forget to include awards and accolades, organizations you're part of, and any other work-related extracurricular activities. If you can, also try to include a copy of your CV.

Add Your Contact Details

Your website is your virtual calling card, so don't ever forget to include your contact information, from your email address to your professional social media accounts. If you have a blog or a YouTube page where you upload renderings or talk about architecture-related insights, feel free to add these in as well.

Best Practices for Online Architecture Portfolios

Up your game and set yourself apart from other architects out there with help from these four tips:

Research on your potential employer. Before sending out your CV and website to potential firms or clients, do as much research as you can on them. Get to know the scope of their work and adjust your portfolio accordingly. For example, if the firm you're interested in works primarily in landscape architecture, one way to boost your chances is to highlight your best projects in public spaces.

Less is more. Keep your website simple, using minimal text and design flourishes. You want your work to speak for itself, without anything else distracting visitors from what's important. If you're adding captions to any photos, keep them short and straight to the point, giving a general idea of each project, the design problem, your proposed solution, and also your process.

You should think of your portfolio as a designers' portfolio too! How you choose to design your site can give clients and firms a glimpse into your personal aesthetic and creative vision.

Showcase team projects. Like we said, firms want to work with architects with collaborative attitudes. You want to make it clear that you're a collaborative worker who can be valuable in a major or minor role. But make sure to credit project partners, e.g. real estate agents, and choose to highlight the key areas you contributed to each sample.

Keep it updated. One quick way to turn off potential clients is by sharing an unmaintained website. Using an outdated website rife with broken links is lazy and unprofessional. Make sure you update your website at least every six months to a year.

Unique Ideas for Your Online Architecture Portfolio

Keep it personal. Unlike a CV where you have to maintain professionalism, you have a bit more leeway to show off your personality with a website. Add touches of your personality in your website design and your writeup, while being mindful that it doesn't distract from your work. Don't be afraid to add a photo of yourself in your writeup, but make sure it's a professional one!

Another way to personalize your site is with the use of a personal logo. Take a cue from a standard graphic design portfolio and change your header to a logo that represents your brand as an architect.

Include technical drawings if you like, but keep it at a minimum. Technical drawings could help you show off your ability to conceptualize and present an idea in a clear way. However, you need to make sure that you don't bombard your website visitors with drawings, as these could pull attention away from your other work.

Include theoretical plans. If you like to create plans and models of theoretical projects in your spare time, don't be afraid to include these among your other finished work. You can use theoretical projects to show firms what you can create when you're not bound by a client brief or a budget.

How to Create an Architecture Portfolio

Format is a website builder that can help architects create a website in as few as six simple steps. Here's how you can use Format to get your website going:

  1. Sign up. Format offers a 14-day trial period completely free of charge. No credit card necessary here.

  2. Pick a theme. With Format, there are dozens of pre-set themes to choose from. Find the theme that fits your brand and your style of work and try it on for size. Don't worry, you can change it anytime!

  3. Upload your best work. Pick at least 10 of your best projects and organize all your photos in separate pages or galleries.

  4. Edit your website. Tweak your site menu to help visitors find their way around, and add an About page to help them get to know you a little more. Don't forget to include contact information too!

  5. Personalize your website. Change your background color, choose from a variety of fonts, and add header images, logos, and other details that'll help your website reflect you and your works!

  6. Push it further. With Format, you get to use tons of special add-ons to help push your online presence further. If you need to optimize your site to rank higher on search engines, you can use Format's SEO Editor, which lets you optimize everything from your page description to your blog. You can also add an online store and integrate your social media pages to your website!

Architect Online Portfolio FAQs

Still confused? Don't worry. Here, we answer six of the most commonly asked questions about building an architects' portfolio website:

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Ready to Build Your Own Portfolio?

Format is a website builder that makes portfolio building a no-brainer. Sign up to Format now and enjoy a 14-day free trial—no credit card required. Once your trial is done, you can continue to use your Format website for just $7 a month. 

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