Third year Part 1 students at KSA have the opportunity to be mentored by architects, usually based in the Canterbury area, under the scheme run by the Royal Institute of British Architects’ (RIBA) regional office. The scheme involves the mentored student meeting with their mentor near the beginning of the academic year; a visit to the mentor’s practice; and two further meetings, one of which is a visit to a ‘live’ project. More about student mentoring .
Emma Hilton-Grange – BA (Hons) Stage 3
Today we travelled to the office in London to meet our mentor. It was good to see the environment that the practice was working in and the facilities they had as well as briefly meeting the team. Whilst at the office our mentor explained to us the process of obtaining jobs, as well as the financial process of how these are invoiced and at what points. Clients tend to pay much of the money before the project has actually started being built, however as explained to us this is due to the nature of an architect’s work, as much of it is undertaken prior to any construction work. We were told how the contractor goes about invoicing the client and the client- architect- contractor relationship, as the architect is to work in the best interests of the client and to check the work invoiced is done. I learnt a lot today about the actual workings of a job as well as examples of projects that don’t always go to plan.
We then travelled to Bassett Road in Notting Hill, the site of the residential project we were told about in our previous meeting. Our mentor informed us that although the site is now in its later stages of more finishing work, sites are still generally dangerous places and gave us an insight into the workings of building sites. We looked around the project and met the client where we got a feel for the kind of relationship between the parties as she was specifying changes, asking for clarification and reassurance. This particular site is no longer being managed by our mentor as the client is project managing herself. However, the practice still has a solid relationship with her and helps out where possible: our mentor explained to us that this is important for future contracts and recommendations. The project also showed us things are not always built exactly how they are planned and that the role of the architect is to check on this throughout the process.
Today was a really interesting experience and I look forward to seeing the project when finished as our mentor said he would keep us updated.
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