RIBA South-East student mentoring scheme

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 [1].

Emma Hilton-Grange – BA (Hons) Stage 3


Session  2:

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.

Site visit – before refurbishment

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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