After graduating from UWE Bristol in 2009 I took time off to recover and to travel. I visited Spain, beginning my study of the Spanish language as well as the USA. I spent 4 months in South America, along with the expected sightseeing and long bus journeys, I spent a month helping to build an eco house in Argentina. The experience was inspiring and has instilled in me a love of travel and of experiencing other cultures that I continue to cherish. Before embarking on my travels I visited architectural practices in Bristol, handing out my CV and searching for potential work. One of these was Childs and Sulzmann Architects -partner Nick Childs passed along my CV to Chris Askew, who contacted me for an interview. We met in February 2010 and on returning to the UK in July I began working for Askew Architects alongside Ane Mateos who came to the practice at the same time.
Initially I worked as a volunteer, fitting in some 20 hours a week around a full time job at a restaurant. After three very busy months, I secured an internship with Askew Architects through a scheme run by my university, UWE Bristol. This was a fantastic opportunity that enabled me to work consistently at the office and to gain more responsibility, experience, and knowledge of both project work and the running of an architectural practice. Following the completion of the internship, I was fortunate to be offered a part time position.
Over the past 14 months I have been involved with numerous projects. These include seven house extensions, two conversions, two competitions, one school retrofit study, one compliance checking appointment, and one interior fit out. My work load included planning research and reports, building regulations research, precedent research, planning submissions, detail construction drawings, electrical and drainage layouts, specifications, tender submissions, supervision of a work experience student, site visits, site meetings, client meetings, contractor and sub-contractor meetings, liaisons with planning officers and presentations. In addition, with Askew Architects I went to lectures at the architecture centre, EcoBuild, and a Sustainable Business Breakfast. I helped with and attended the Open Studios event in July 2010 and July 2011, and I gained a Graduate CSCS card qualification.
Throughout my time at Askew Architects I have continued to develop my knowledge in construction and detailing. Chris has always been very generous with his knowledge, experiences, and time, involving me in other projects of the practice, despite not having direct involvement in the work myself, ensuring I learned as much as possible. He recognised my position not only as an employee but as a part 1 student wishing to learn as much as possible and treating me as such. My experience, therefore, has been of a high quality, rich in both breadth and depth, invaluable in further my career in architecture and I feel privileged to have acquired it.
I have enjoyed my time at Askew Architects immensely, and am grateful for the opportunities I have been given and for the professional guidance and support I have received. I will miss the camaraderie of the practice and of the UDS1 studios; I hope we keep in touch.