Whilst undertaking his college studies, Chris Wilkinson’s tutors tried to discourage a career in architecture. After a further year at art college, instinct kicked in, and Chris overlooked his teachers’ deterrent, treading the architectural career path. Today, he sits at the helm of Jo Cowen Architects (JCA). In this Q&A, we talk to Chris and follow his route to landing several positions at some of the country’s most notable architecture firms.
Daniel Collins established PolkeyCollins Associates with Clive Polkey in 2012, after working together at a national commercial practice. During this time, he worked as a respected Architect to lead various projects across several sectors. Here, FC&A talks to Daniel to learn more about his industry experience and path to forming the Lincoln-based architecture practice.
Chris White has been with CPMG Architects for the past 18 years and became an Owner and Board Director in 2016. As the lead for CPMG’s London studio, he is delivering the strategic vision for growth, with a key focus on residential, commercial and aviation projects.
Ben McKenna started out studying interior architecture at Brighton. From there, he joined a small practice that worked in sensitive locations in rural Kent and Sussex. Ben’s work here was focused on listed building alterations and rural housing. With a desire to expand on what he’d learnt working at a small practice, Ben joined Conran and Partners to work largely on estate regeneration and residential projects in London and the South East. Having recently joined DMWR Architects, Ben talks to us about his time at Conran and Partners and runs through a few of his favourite designs.
Niralee Casson came to architecture slightly later than most, having already achieved a degree in law before deciding to make the switch. With her student loan already used up, she undertook all of her architectural education on a part-time basis whilst working full-time at Assael Architecture; in 2018, she was finishing her Part 2, starting her Part 3 and working all simultaneously. Here, we talk to Niralee about her switch from law to architecture.
30-year-old James Brett is Managing Director of family-owned firm Edgeley Construction. Having spent a considerable amount of time on sites throughout his life, he leads from the front and drives growth with investment in digital construction and training. Here, James talks to FC&A about his journey to becoming the Managing Director of Edgeley Construction.
After studying architecture at Robert Gordon’s in Aberdeen, Illinois Institute of Technology in Chicago and The Royal College of Art in London, David Kirkland undertook his first practical year out at Nicholas Grimshaw’s practice in London, where he ended up staying for 18 years. Since 2000, he has run his own practice – Kirkland Fraser Moor. Here, FC&A talks to David about his career and finds out when his passion for architecture began.
Since graduating from the Welsh School of Architecture in 2002, which included a year out in practice working for Travis McEwen Group (now Architectus) in Sydney, Australia, Gareth Woodfin started his UK professional career at Capita.
Before Myles Taylor first stepped into an architectural office, he was ushered to work on site as a labourer by his step-father – a Property Surveyor who thought that if Myles was going to design buildings, then he should know how they fit together first. Here, FC&A finds out how Myles went from learning on site to starting his own architectural practice and discovers just what he learnt along the way.
The Grenfell Tower tragedy exposed fundamental and deep-rooted issues over competency, highlighting major skills and knowledge gaps amongst those responsible for the design, construction, maintenance and day-to-day operation of buildings. In this article, Jonathan O’Neill OBE, Managing Director of the Fire Protection Association (FPA), explores whether the issue of competency has become clearer since Grenfell, and argues that a greater degree of focus must be placed on fire safety competence and accountability for those responsible for building design.