190915 – Why did I choose a Career as an Architect

That’s an easy one. I was always drawing maps and houses as a small child apparently and aged about 8 or 9 we were on holiday in North Wales and ‘pester power’ got a visit to Portmeirion. The hotel and resort village was designed by an architect born in Northamptonshire who had been influenced by some of the same buildings as me, such as Triangular Lodge and Kirby Hall.

The thinking went something like this, if that is architecture I want to be a part. From then on despite diversions into satellite tracking at school I took the traditional ‘A’ levels of Art, Maths and Physics, all very important subjects in Architecture and got to study at Bath University. Bath proved to be one of the best places to study as it was a joint course with Structural and Services engineering (and therefore twice the work).

My ‘favourite’ tutor was Patrick Hodgkinson who is largely forgotten now but famous for designing (and restoring) The Brunswick Centre in London.

As the visiting tutors included Neave Brown, Jane Drew, Ted Cullinan and the ever-present ‘visiting professors’ the Smithsons “the power of architecture to transform lives and to build to the highest standards” was instilled in me from the start.

Following my RIBA Part 3 at Nottingham University and a further qualification in architectural conservation at De Montfort University I am very interested in sustainable, energy conscious architecture that re-uses and restores existing buildings as much as possible. I was also involved in the design of resort villages of modular homes for Watermark Leisure as ‘No.2’ to Roger Pollard (a founding partner of PTEa in London) who was the design director of the company. It is therefore another area of the profession I am interested in. As much of my professional life has been designing homes and hospitals using the latest tools (the last 20 have been using BIM), experimenting with AR whenever I can, I am still keen to broaden my professional experiences with interesting local projects to help my home town of Kettering regain it’s ambitions and aspirations through improving the standard of the built environment for it’s citizens. For some reason, that I have been unable to discern, architects are rarely commissioned to design buildings in the town and local architects even more rarely.