The most memorable career accomplishment at NORR is…
As the Director in the London, UK office I had an opportunity to travel to Antarctica and island hop. This was part of my role in our ongoing work with the British Antarctic Survey on the Antarctic Infrastructure Maintenance (AIM) programme. It’s something I would never have had the chance to do had I not been exactly at the right place [NORR] at the right time.
What’s your favorite building and why?
Sagrada Familia by Gaudi is one of my favorite buildings. Every time I look at the interior, I am bowled over by the form and how ethereal it feels. There is something interesting about the fact that it’s still unfinished. If finished when anticipated, the build would have taken 144 years! That’s just crazy.
What does a day in the life at NORR look like for you?
My days vary a lot. If I was to take this week for instance; it started out with a day in the office where I was focussed on contractual and tender matters for a Student Lounge facility that has been recently completed, to presenting early concept designs for a Museum board of trustees. Mixed in with this were management tasks and my day ended with an enabling works meeting for a school project that will shortly be going to site. So, every day is atypical.
I love what I do because…
There is a lot of variety. It never gets boring, and for me, being able to be involved at every stage of a project is what reinforces that love. I also love that I get the opportunity to be involved in the management of the London studio and be part of discussions for the wider business.
The most rewarding part of my role…
Is mentoring talented architectural students. Being able to work with university students to give them a real insight into our practice has been very fulfilling. As a RIBA ambassador, I also work with local schools to inspire students to explore the built environment and possibly even consider a career in architecture. I also try my very best to ensure that the junior staff in the office are developing in their career and be as accessible to them as possible.
What didn’t they teach you in school that is absolutely vital to your career and why is it important to you?
So much! If I had to pick one I would say ‘collaboration’, my educational training was much more focussed on the individual and promoting a competitive environment. Although competition has its advantages, in practice it is much more valuable to be able to leave the ego behind and work/learn from one another. Whether it be with your peers or as part of a design team.
What book holds a special place on your shelf?
My childhood favourites are anything by Roald Dahl, specifically the BFG. Recently I renewed my love for reading, my dear friend recommended The Nights Circus, by Erin Morgenstern, it was…is…magic.