I really care about the people in the building
My name’s Eilish Barry. I’m a part two Architectural Assistant at the London office of Stride Treglown.
What are your passions?
I’m currently trying to learn the guitar but it’s not going very well. And I sing quite a lot. I’d love to, now I’m in London, do the London marathon. That would be really great. But in architecture, I guess, it’s people. I think in every one of my projects have always been centred around people – what users there are and what they need. I think that aligns quite a lot with what Stride Treglown do as well. They really care about the people in the building.
Who or what inspires you?
Probably my Mum – she’s just amazing. I’m one of four kids and she worked all the way through us growing up. My Dad changed careers quite a few times and she supported that. She’s now gone back and she’s a Headteacher. She had an amazing career and raised four pretty great kids – if I do say so myself! So I just think it’s amazing to see, she’s really inspiring.
How did you get to this point in your life?
Well, I’ve always wanted to be an architect since I can remember. My Dad’s best friend was an architect. He used to pick us up from school and he would help me draw buildings. So since I was about four or five, I’ve always wanted to do it. And then I got to Stride Treglown through their alliance with a practice in Northern Ireland; I studied in Belfast and then I worked with Todd Architects. And then I worked between Bath and Bristol and now I’m in London upon finishing my master’s at Bath.
What are your experiences working here?
Well, the London office is different to the other offices. I think we’re in the centre of the UK so it’s a lot busier – there’s so many different opportunities. It’s great. We get to do competitions, go out and network a lot which is amazing, especially at this point in my career. It’s really great that they give us that opportunity. It’s quite a young office so there’s a lot of young people getting out there and ready to bring in a lot of big work, so yeah it’s really exciting.
Talk me through your day?
I’m working on a school project at the moment, pretty busy. Because we’re so busy at the moment, I’m kind of tied to my desk a lot. But normally, I like to walk round the office, try and distract people or talk to people throughout the day. I think it’s a nice sociable office so you can kind of have five minutes to be with someone else – it’s nice.
What are your aspirations?
I recently went to Zambia. So Stride Treglown paid for a little bit of the project there. And I got to build facilities for some children out there and coach them in sport. It was an amazing thing to do. I would just love to do more projects Pro Bono for people who just can’t afford it. The great thing about Stride Treglown, though it’s such a big company, is that we do have the opportunity to do those kind of projects. So my ambition within this company is to kind of expand that further and see where we can do projects like that. At the moment I’m working on a competition for a secondary school in Africa. We do have those opportunities around. I think often architecture is quite elitist and actually there’s so many people that would benefit from just an architect looking at something.
Who or what is your foundation?
I’m a Christian so my faith is really important to me. That’s probably the main one but I have an incredible family – I still have all four grandparents which is amazing. I know that if anything ever happened they would always be at the end of the phone. But I also have amazing friends who went through architecture and I think you don’t understand the pressure of architecture until you know someone who’s gone through it. So having my best friends who are architects as well is a massive support because sometimes if you just work in finance – which is an incredible job – you don’t understand the pressures of being an architect. I think you need to have someone who understands it.