I was born in Herefordshire and have spent most of my life living in the county (aside from years spent at university) before crossing the border earlier in the year to our new home in the Malvern Hills.
What attracted you to architecture?
I think it’s the result of a childhood spent doodling on reams of paper, combined with parents that always had some form of construction project on the go. When I was a child, my family converted a stone barn on my grandparent’s farm for us to live in and we would regularly visit to check on progress – it was really cool to see the old cider mill, chickens and all, become our new home. I don’t think I really understood that this was ‘architecture’ until many years later but I enjoy now helping other people with their own transformations.
How did you end up working for RRA?
Living in Hereford I was aware of RRA having seen projects on the planning portal and around the city. I found the range of projects really appealing, working across a number of different sectors in different areas of the country and have been with the practice since March 2017.
What did you like about lockdown?
The change of pace. Whilst we remained busy at work for most of lockdown it was nice to have some time to take a step back and relax. The weather certainly helped!
What did you not like about lockdown?
Whilst video calls have their place, there’s no substitute for being able to socialise with friends and family in person. There’s only so many times you can tell somebody they are on mute…
What do you like to do in your spare time?
I enjoy sport and try to fit a round of golf with friends into my weekends if possible, although I can’t say I’ve found much improvement. I also play five-aside football once a week when restrictions allow.
We recently moved house and enjoy pottering about the garden. It was one of the main reasons we bought the property and it’s exciting to see which plants are appearing now we’re into spring, as well as trying to put our own stamp on things and growing (sometimes successfully) our own veg.
What do you actually do in your spare time?
At the moment, painting! The walls throughout the house are a constant patchwork of tester pots.
If there was a fire what one object would you most want to save from your home (presuming all people and animals are safe of course)?
I’m not sure I could pick one but probably the houseplants. At last count we had more than forty and it has turned into a bit of an obsession so I might need a spare pair of hands to save them all.
If you could go anywhere tomorrow, where would you go?
To the beach! I spent some time travelling Fiji when I was younger, but the number of individual islands means we barely scratched the surface and I’d love to go back. It’s such a cool country with a relaxed, laid back attitude and so much left for us to explore.
Are there any famous buildings you’d love to visit and why?
I’ve always had a serious fascination with the Sheats-Goldstein Residence in Los Angeles, designed by John Lautner. The geometry, concrete waffle ceiling, mid-Century interior design and the jungle planting make it a real icon and I’d love to experience the space in person. It also just happens to feature in one of my favourite films, The Big Lebowski.
If you hadn’t gone into architecture what other career might you have pursued?
I can never really comprehend that people can be paid to travel the world, watch and write about sport. In another life sports journalism is something I would have really loved to do.
What do you like about your job?
The variety. Working closely with clients means that every project is unique as we’re designing spaces tailored to their lifestyle and personal tastes, as well as site conditions. At any one time we may have 10 – 20 projects on the drawing board but no two are the same and as such every day is different. It can be a challenge at times but it’s one that I really enjoy.