When did you decide you wanted to be an architect?
I always find it difficult when I hear people say that they fell into their career – I have wanted to be an architect for as long as I can remember, maybe it started with the Lego creations that I designed or maybe with the pencil and paper that I always seemed to carry around with me when I was younger, I don’t know, but I just knew architecture was for me.
What sort of skills make a good architect?
I believe everyone has something they are good at that will help them in their chosen career – I am creative, I always have been, I have a creative mind and an inquisitive mind, I’m a problem solver and these abilities have certainly helped me on my career path. Architects need to know a little bit about everything – construction, materials, design and aspects of the building, as well as leadership skills such as being a good listener and organised to co-ordinate the many people necessary to see the project through to completion.
What do you like most about being an architect?
I like variety, which is good as no two days are the same! I can be up a scaffold on a church tower, down in the basement of a derelict building, visiting potential new clients, sat at my drawing board sketching concept designs or online filling in planning applications and that can be all in one day! The days can be long, but I love it.
Why did you choose conservation architecture?
Firstly I should say I didn’t find conservation – it found me, you can’t work on such stunning buildings as Ely Cathedral and Weston Park Museum without falling in love with the architecture and I want to preserve these historic buildings for future generations to enjoy. I don’t just mean really old buildings, anything that is built will sometime in the future be an historic building. Conservation requires careful intervention and I think all eras deserve preserving. I like to see modern extensions on historic buildings as I believe it’s more ‘honest’ to see and date the additions that were added rather than to try and make them look like they have always been there – as long as it is done sympathetically.
Architecture isn’t for everyone, but if you are considering being an architect – I can recommend it!