Miranda is WICE Awards Best Young Architect of 2019.
Based in our London studio, Miranda has a strong passion for historic buildings and creative reuse. She leads the studio’s participation in Open City’s ‘Architecture in Schools’ and ‘Open House Families’ programmes.
If you weren’t in this career, what would you be?
That’s easy – a pilot. I grew up in a forces-minded family and it was always a backup option to architecture. From a really young age, I spent a lot of time wearing ear defenders at the side of a firing range. I’ve since been lucky enough to take some flying lessons – gaining my Private Pilots Licence definitely remains a personal (and expensive) goal.
What’s your favourite project you’ve worked on to date?
Somerset College School of Art and Design. I only worked on the project for a matter of weeks before starting my Part 2 Masters at Manchester. However, it’s still one of my favourite examples of our work in the Creative Reuse sector. I love the design by Dougal Anderson and the articulation of new verses old.
What are the key challenges that affect your sector, or are likely to in the next five years?
Craftsmanship. Around 28% of our building stock can be classed as ‘traditional’, or pre-1919, and therefore requires craftspeople with specific talents to work upon those buildings.
There’s a huge skills shortage in this field, but interestingly it’s a real draw for female practitioners. Craftswomen make up 13% of this heritage-skilled workforce, in contrast to the 1% of general contractors. This is a field that we should really be championing as it forms a lot of the personality that helps to create a beautiful building.
Best building in your city?
I’m one for the details and materiality of things and adore all the Victorian tube stations in London with their original glazed tiles. Regent’s Park is a particular favourite. However, the 1875 Western Pumping Station near Chelsea Bridge really has my heart. You get a brilliant view of it, and its distinctive chimney, as you head South West out of Victoria station. I marvel at the ornate copper shingles covering the roof like fish scales.
Best book you’ve read?
I love to discover the story behind buildings and have it inform future interventions. There’s nearly always a motive behind every move made in a building, be this from national or domestic forces. Fallen Glory by James Crawford is the most brilliant book for discovering these untold stories. It acts in a biographical manner for twenty lost buildings and compartmentalises each story, so you can dip in and out very easily.
- RIBA Conservation Registrant
- ICOMOS UK Member