Rachel specialises in education projects. Also a keen baker, she can be found in her element when architecture and cake collide (see our entry to the Gingerbread City).
What’s your favourite project you’ve worked on to date?
My favourite project is my first project as a newly qualified architect at my previous practice. It was a large redevelopment of a primary school in Torquay. I worked on it from stage 0 to completion – it was so lovely to see my original design come to life, and it stayed true to the original design intent, which doesn’t often happen! Witnessing the difference the new building and refurbishment made to the school, teachers and the children, was so rewarding and made me appreciate the difference that architects can make to the lives of others.
What are the key challenges that affect your sector, or are likely to in the next five years?
Government funding and standardisation, trying to get as much as possible for schools for as little as possible. As architects, we always strive to create inspiring, aspirational spaces for children to learn, which will become more and more of a challenge when budgets are becoming more stretched.
Best networking event you’ve been to?
I went to a lovely cheese and wine tasting event organised by Wilmott Dixon. It was a small group of people – all young professionals – round a table with a wine and cheese expert talking us through the various pairings. It was great to talk to people in a relaxed setting, with an activity to enjoy (the cheese was great too!!).
If you weren’t in this career, what would you be?
At home I love to bake cakes and sweet treats, so maybe I’d own a bakery or cake shop. I used to joke that my ideal job would be to own an ice cream van. I’m from Cornwall originally so love being by the sea; with my van I could visit beaches every day with my home made ice cream!
Interesting fact that nobody knows about you?
I’m part of a community running club that meets every week to do good deeds in our local area. We run to and from our task, which can be litter picking, gardening, leaflet distribution for local community groups, Christmas tree recycling and cleaning/sorting at local charity headquarters. I think its important to use our spare time to try and give something back to the community where we can.
What’s your pet hate?
Cold dinner plates.
- NLA Awards 2020 – Expert Assessor