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Allan Corfield Architects. Meet the team – Sarah
Our ‘meet the team’ series focuses on our company and the people who make it great! We know that entrusting someone with the task of building your dream home is a very difficult decision to make.
Therefore, we believe that you should get to know each of us and find out what makes us tick! Our reputation for great service is due, not only to our qualifications and experience – but our passion. Today you will find out more about Sarah, a Chartered Architect who recently joined our team.
Last month our team was strengthened by another talented Chartered Architect – Sarah. Sarah graduated from Robert Gordon University with MArch degree in 2013. She then went on to Newcastle University and in 2017 she graduated as a Chartered Architect.
During her course, she completed a placement with the Scottish Government where she worked with the Architecture and Place department. During this time she contributed to the development of the 2012 Architecture Policy for Scotland.
In 2013, she joined Cameron Laird Architects where she worked for almost two years as a Part 2 Architectural Assistant. In 2015, she moved to Zone Architects, where after finishing her studies, she worked as an Architect.
Last month she joined our practice to further develop her skills in designing residential projects with a focus on energy efficiency. Read our interview below to get to know her better.
Image by Cameron Laird
WHAT INSPIRED YOU TO BECOME AN ARCHITECT?
I have always been artistic and interested in History, Art and Design in all its forms especially Architecture. I love travelling and visiting landmarks and I am fascinated by buildings from different cultures and periods of history; their character, craft and the story of the people who used them.
I attended an open day where Architects were described as ‘the mongrels of the professional world’ i.e they require a mix of skills and interests, not only creative but also scientific, organisational and social. It seemed to me that Architecture provided the opportunity to continuously learn and develop a variety of skills that could then be used to help others.
QUICK SUMMARY OF YOUR CAREER UNTIL YOU JOINED ACA?
After completing my Masters dissertation reflecting upon the influence of the 2001 Policy on Architecture in Scotland, I was offered the opportunity of a summer placement with the Scottish Government. Whilst on placement I worked with the Architecture and Place department where I was involved with research, focus groups, seminars and meetings across Scotland.
Whilst there I had the opportunity to work alongside Civil servants, A+DS, Scottish Government Ministers and Clients as well as other professionals from the built environment sector. As the Government works with evidence based policy I was set with the task of gathering information proving the importance of quality design. This research was working towards the design of the 2012 Architecture Policy for Scotland.
After graduating with my Masters in Architecture in 2013 at The Robert Gordon University in Aberdeen, I began my first part 2 architectural assistant role with Cameron Laird Architects in Edinburgh. I worked at CLA for almost 2 years on office, hotel, retail, industrial and master-planning projects. I gained experience of feasibility through to billing stages, whilst refining my presentation, research and spatial planning skills.
Image by Cameron Laird
I moved to Zone Architects in 2015 to gain site and detail design experience. At Zone I worked on luxury residential projects, mostly working with existing buildings and Grade A listed buildings in Edinburgh’s conservation areas. I was also involved in some new build one off houses and developments. The majority of my work was refurbishment work, internal alterations, extensions and interior design to listed and conservation area houses in Edinburgh. Zone equipped me with experience of project management, statutory consents, contracts, CDM, bespoke detail design through to construction on site. In September 2017, whilst at Zone, I completed my part 3 qualification at Newcastle University to officially become an Architect.
WHY DID YOU WANT TO WORK AT ACA?
ACA was highly recommended to me by friends who have been working alongside Allan and the staff at ACA. After meeting Allan and hearing more about the projects the practice does and the passion of clients to self-build, I was on the hook. ACA is offering something different to other architecture practices and clearly has a lot of experience designing new build passive housing, which is something I am very interested to learn more about.
WHAT IN YOUR OPINION IS THE STRONGEST POINT OF ACA AS ARCHITECTURAL PRACTICE?
It is clear that ACA has built strong relationships with trusted contractors, suppliers and manufacturers in the industry. The practice has tried and tested different methods of construction and therefore is well placed to advise on the most appropriate and efficient building methods and materials.
Image by Zone Architects
DO YOU LIKE WORKING ON DESIGNING RESIDENTIAL ONE OFF HOMES? WHAT DO YOU LIKE ABOUT SELF BUILD?
I do, I worked with several private domestic clients in my previous workplace and always found it satisfying to help bring their ideas to reality, to design spaces unique to their requirements and a place that they will love using. Self-build clients tend to be more invested, organised and passionate about their projects, which makes your job as an Architect far more efficient and enjoyable.
WHY DID YOU DECIDE TO BE AN ARCHITECT? DID YOU CONSIDER ANY OTHER CAREERS?
I am definitely a people person and I wanted to pursue a career where I could work with others and use my creative skills to positively impact every day lives of individuals.
I toyed with lots of career ideas when I was a kid, but towards the end of school I was most interested in studying Interior Design, Fine Art, History or Social Anthropology, which I’m sure I would’ve really enjoyed. In the end I decided that Architecture incorporated a bit of all of these subjects and gave more direction to a career path post study.
Image by Zone Architects
DO YOU PURSUE YOUR ARCHITECTURAL INTERESTS WHEN YOU ARE NOT AT WORK IN ANY WAY?
Travelling to visit historic buildings and sites near and far. I recently travelled to Paris where I was amazed at the craftsmanship and atmosphere of Notre Dame. I was also in Leuven in Belgium surrounded by beautiful and quirky brick buildings both old and new. I am interested in beautiful buildings that tell a story and stand the test of time.
TELL US SOMETHING ABOUT WHAT YOU DO WHEN YOU ARE NOT AT WORK. WHAT DO YOU DO IN YOUR FREE TIME?
Spending time with friends, family is really important to me.
I also love giving new activities a try but my main interests are:
- Sketching/ painting
- To burn off all that cake and relax I enjoy a gym class or I run when the weather is good!
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