Sarah Lee

Senior Associate Architect

Sarah describes herself as a front-end architect, whose vivacious personality plays a key role in helping clients to enjoy engagement in the development of their project.

Sarah’s strengths lie in the early stages of a project, with expertise in carrying out feasibility, assessment and option studies to assist the client in securing approval and funding, as well as to understand and overcome project constraints. More recently, Sarah has been involved with bid work and plays a crucial part in securing new projects for the practice.

Sarah is currently RIBA South West Chair. She is also an active member of SWWIC and Building Plymouth and assists with mentoring work experience students and providing career talks.

What is your favourite project you’ve worked on to date?

The first real project I worked on was The Watermark in Ivybridge. I went to the interview before I was qualified and we won the project despite the client not having funding secured. We also didn’t have enough money to do what they wanted, but we worked as a team to develop the requirements and design to finally get approval for the building. I was invited to their ten year celebration and not only is the building still looking good, but it’s being used as intended, with more developments planned to adapt to new technology and people’s changing needs.

Do you have a proud moment?

Again under the Watermark project, I met and chatted to Princess Anne at the opening. I undertook my part 3 and qualified as a chartered architect while that project was underway so it was a great start to my career.

Who is your career influence?

We moved house quite a lot when I was child and my parents have never been scared of drastically altering properties. Because of that experience, I decided I wanted to be an architect when I was only eight years old and I stuck with it, tailoring my studies to suit. The more I found out about the career and what it involved, the more I realised it was for me, and to this day I still enjoy the diversity and the challenge of the job.

Tell us an interesting fact about yourself.

I take part in pilot gig rowing; a type of rowing unique to the South West. I do it to keep fit and strong, both mentally and physically, and it offers a great antidote to the sedentary nature of working in an office. It’s a great team sport that connects you with nature and couldn’t make you feel more alive. The World Championships held in the Isles of Scilly annually are the highlight of my year.

Industry Bodies:
  • RIBA South West Chair
  • Founding Member of Future Plymouth 2030
  • Low Carbon Devon Steering Group
  • Non-Exec Director of PEC-Renewables
  • Member of South West Women in Construction (SWWIC)
  • Member of Building Plymouth
  • Former chair of the RIBA Plymouth Branch (shared with Nicholas Morris)
  • Shortlisted

    Sustainability Champion

    AJ100 Awards 2022