RIBA South/South East Student Mentoring Scheme – Will King

Stage 3 – BA (Hons) Architecture

RIBA South/South East’s Student Mentoring Scheme 2013/2014 Record

INITIAL MEETING – ‘Meet your mentor’
Thursday 14th November 2013, University Canterbury of Arts

– My mentor is enthusiastic, approachable and seems willing to share his experiences.

– He began his architectural career as a draughtsman specialising in perspective drawing.

– At the practice, my mentor tends to work on educational and community based projects.

– As part of the scheme, my mentor will be happy to give feedback on our individual portfolio and CV as well as offering a second opinion on our current studio design work.

– He believes that part one students keep the office up to date with the latest skill sets for using CAD programs such as Sketchup.

– He expressed interest in the K(a)SA lectures and I have subsequently emailed my mentor posters with details of the AHMM lecture which will take place on Tuesday 19th November 2013 for him to circulate around the office.

Next meeting: Wednesday 11th December 2013.

– The firm are currently reviewing their website design. It was suggested we criticise and give feedback on the current website for the next meeting.

– We shall be meeting a current part one architectural assistant and will be shown a couple of their current projects.

– We have been invited us to bring our work for the current design project Modular AR550. Overall the initial meeting was successful and promising.

Second Meeting: Wednesday 11th December 2013
Canterbury Office

My mentor presented a variety of schemes they have recently completed or are currently working on explaining their strategy and ideas behind the design process.

One of the projects included a scheme to upgrade the Grade II Gilbert Scott Church, known as St Gregory’s Centre for Music, for public performance and rehearsal space. The proposal included a 250 seat auditorium, intended to attract high quality musical performers. The proposed design is a sensitive response to the existing church and has evolved from tight space constraints. The practice made a decision early on in the design process to separate the new building from the existing church, creating a partially covered walkway that would be enlivened by the overspilling of tables and chairs from the café. The auditorium is sunken into the ground which reduces the visual impact of the building. The landscape design involves selective clearing of trees to create openings that frame views of the church and the proposed building from the enclosing streets that surround the site. Although the project received planning permission, the proposal remains un-built due to insufficient funds from the client. Despite this set back, they gained an alternative commission from the client to design and renovate the church interior with a smaller auditorium.

We were introduced to a current Part One Architectural Assistant at the Canterbury office. He described the challenges facing architecture graduates in finding suitable Part One placements and of the transition to professional work in practice.

My mentor suggested that for our own portfolios we should include drawings that communicate the thought process or strategies that inform our final designs.

Next meeting: Wednesday 29th January 2013

For our next meeting, we will be presenting our designs for our third year autumn design module Modular AR550 to the office. They are keen for us to present construction details which tend to be a weaker aspect of students designs.