Cora prides herself in her collaborative approach to working with clients, contractors and consultants. She enjoys resolving complex design briefs to create places for people and deliver award-winning buildings.
As an accredited RIBA Client Adviser, Cora helps clients to plan, structure and develop projects from the earliest stages. Her extensive experience and impartial advice adds value to projects and ensures a quality outcome in design and delivery.
Cora, what drives your career in architecture?
My passion for design; seeing the finished building is key. I always strive to incorporate a sense of creativity, community and respect for the environment into my designs.
What are the key challenges affecting your sector, or are likely to in the next five years?
Universities are focused on improving the student experience, while increasing space utilisation; they want to attract more talent and keep it there as they continue to study beyond undergraduate level.
This means that they are all competing with each other to offer innovative and attractive campuses that will inspire students. It is our job to support them in this challenge; creating buildings that offer the flexibility and adapt to students’ need.
What are the current big trends in your sector?
Super sustainable buildings and campuses. We have recently won a project to design 2,000 new student residences for the University of the West of England. The new accommodation will be carbon neutral, in line with the University’s ‘2030 strategy’.
We’re exploring a combination of ‘fabric first’ and Passivhaus solutions, as well on-site renewables and the possibility of carbon offsetting. Our One Click LCA tool, used in the early design stages, will help us to evaluate the environmental impact of construction processes and buildings during their life cycle.
What is your proudest moment?
Walking into a finished building and seeing people using it the way it was designed. Their reactions mean a lot to me.
The Beatrice Shilling Building for RHUL was ‘Highly Commended’ at the British Construction Industry Awards with the judges commenting: ‘Excellent project, great outcome. I felt that there had been lots of great communication and everybody got what they needed.’ Despite the great feedback and award nominations, the best part was going back once it was completed and hearing how much students and staff enjoyed using the space I had created.
Interesting fact that nobody knows about you?
I have two horses and compete in show jumping and dressage events up to regional level. It really helps me to clear my head and focus outside of work.
- Built Environment Expert (BEE) for Design Council CABE
- Chair and Design Review Panel Member for the Design Commission for Wales
- Chair for Design Review West (former BUDF) Panel
- Board Trustee Architecture Centre Bristol
- Greenwich Design Review Panel Member
- Bristol Business School: Best Student Experience, Education Estates Award
- Beatrice Shilling Building RHUL: British Construction Industry Awards, Social Infrastructure Project of the Year – Highly Commended
- Rosenberg House: Shortlisted for the Patron’s Award of the Almshouse Association
- Eastleigh House: LABC Award Best Inclusive Building, BCO South West Best Refurbished/ Recycled Workplace, RICS South East Best Commercial Building
- Women in Construction and Engineering European Awards (WICE) 2019: Finalist ‘Best Woman Architect’