The Board of Architects is the statutory authority established to administer the Architects Act in Singapore. The Architects Act 1991 sets out provisions to provide for the registration of architects, the regulation of architectural qualifications, the practice of architecture by registered individuals and the supply of architectural services by corporations.
Background on the architectural profession
Architectural professionalism had its beginnings in the nineteenth century. Before then, architects could concern themselves primarily with visual matters of form, space and style. They were responsible for broad profiles and could confidently leave much of the details in the capable hands of master craftsmen.
As their services became more predominantly commercial in character, architects began to offer their skills in return for a fee. Firms of building contractors, headed by men whose aims were profit oriented and sometimes speculative overtook master craftsmen. Faced with such an environment, the architecture profession had to maintain its competence, honesty and integrity and architects wished not to be confused with builders or surveyors.
To establish and maintain such a level of commitment to the profession, registration by Act of Parliament was made a requirement before architects were allowed to engage in supplying such architectural services. In modern Singapore, this requirement was made on 1st January 1927 during the British Colonial days as part of major initiatives towards the unification of profession and statutory registration in the early part of the twentieth century.
Chapter 64, Ordinance No.12 of 1926 gave the provision to provide for the registration and to regulate the qualification of architects in the Colony. With it, the Board of Architects was constituted in Singapore and by perpetual succession, regulates and maintains the register of architects and architectural firms in Singapore. Independent Singapore had its first major architect’s regulation in 1970 with the enactment of the Architects Act (Chapter 213).