Meet Ryan Birch

Ryan Birch
Architectural Assistant

 

Having lived in Gloucester with my parents since birth, an interest in making things and witnessing Gloucester’s regeneration led to my ongoing architecture studies at university in Bath.

 

What attracted you to being an Architect?

I remember being amazed as a child at the transformation of Gloucester Docks from somewhere that was once largely derelict to a place that people now travel from afar to visit. Admittedly the architecture may not to be everyone’s taste, but the positive impact it has had on the city’s fortunes showed the power architecture has to enhance the lives of ordinary people, and inspired me to study the subject at university.

 

What attracted you to work for RRA?

I am currently studying for my Part 1 Architecture degree at the University of Bath, and I am working for RRA on a half-year placement as part of my university studies. Aside from being able to work on some exciting projects, RRA’s supportive and welcoming atmosphere were especially attractive to me as someone who is still learning and often needs guidance to make sure things are done correctly!

 

What did you like about lockdown?

Just being able to take a step back, spend time with family and refocus on what is most important was great. We were very fortunate too – I can’t remember the last time the weather was that nice for so long!

 

What did you hate about lockdown?

I have always liked getting out and doing things, so I didn’t enjoy being stuck at home for extended periods. No matter how much practise I get, I still cannot master the art of video calls. The sooner it is safe to return to face-to-face meetings (with no mute button to worry about) the better, in my opinion.

 

Did you take up any new hobbies in lockdown – will you carry on with them?

Like many others, I started walking during lockdown. I walked the three peaks – Snowdon, Scafell Pike and Ben Nevis – with a few friends last summer when restrictions allowed, an amazing experience which I feel lucky to have been a part of and something which I couldn’t have imagined doing before the pandemic hit. It is something I would love to carry on with if I can and I am trying my best to do so, though I am admittedly a bit of a fair-weather enthusiast. I am starting to run out of local walks now though, so will need to get inventive – suggestions welcome!

 

If you could go anywhere tomorrow, where would you go and why?

I would love to spend more time in Scotland. Before visiting Ben Nevis I had never been there before, and the scenery is breathtaking.

 

What do you like to do in your spare time?

I like being practical and making things, and spend much of my spare time making scale model vehicles for a fictional model fleet I run, called Crossways. These can be seen on the Crossways Facebook page. Swimming is my main sport, though nowadays I admittedly don’t swim as often as I would like. I have always been a keen Formula 1 fan and also enjoy go-karting. I don’t think I will be making it to F1 any time soon though!

 

What do you actually do in your spare time?

If I am being really honest, I enjoy being a sloth and watching TV with the family, especially if an episode of Line of Duty is on…

 

If you hadn’t gone into Architecture what other career might you have pursued?

Definitely something to do with making, perhaps a furniture maker or woodworker maybe? Similarly to Architecture, it is very rewarding to have a job where you are able to create something for people to cherish for years to come.

 

What would your favourite meal be?

I love my food, to be honest I will give pretty much anything a try. For main it is hard to beat a traditional homemade cottage pie though – there needs to be plenty of gravy too, only a large jug will do! For pudding it has to be apple crumble, with some nice hot custard to finish.

RRA Architect's Architectural Assistant Ryan Birch