Allan Corfield Architects. Meet the team – Jillian
Our ‘meet the team’ series focuses on our company and the people who make it great! We know that entrusting someone with the task of building your dream home is a tough decision to make. Therefore, we believe that you should get to know each of us and find out what makes us tick! Our reputation for excellent service is due, not only to our qualifications and experience – but our passion.
Today you will find out more about Jillian, another graduate Architectural Technologist who joined our team last year.
Jillian graduated for the second time with a BSc in Architectural Technology from Edinburgh Napier University in 2018.
Her first degree when left school was Chemistry but then became a project coordinator when moved to Inverness with husband’s job on graduating.
Jillian is the second person to have joined ACA’s Graduate programme, which is led by Senior Technician David Macfarlane & Allan Corfield. The 2-year in-house training programme allows recent graduates to gain vital, on the job experience.
I UNDERSTAND THAT ARCHITECTURE WAS NOT YOUR FIRST PROFESSION, AND YOU PREVIOUSLY WORKED IN VARIOUS DIFFERENT PROFESSIONS. COULD YOU TELL US A BIT ABOUT WHY YOU DECIDED TO CHANGE TO A CAREER IN ARCHITECTURE?
When I left school, I didn’t really know what career path I wanted to follow, so chose to do a degree in Chemistry at Edinburgh University, as I liked Chemistry at school. I didn’t overly enjoy my degree, and on graduating, worked in various office-based roles including office manager, project coordinator and book-keeper.
After a career break to raise my two daughters, during which time we completed extensions on a couple of houses, I discovered an interest in designing, space planning and how houses were actually built. When I looked into how I could pursue this, I discovered the Edinburgh Napier Architectural Technology BSc course. The course seemed like the perfect mix of architecture and the scientific/technological side of how building materials work, which appealed to my scientific background.
QUICK SUMMARY OF YOUR CAREER AFTER YOU GRADUATED UNTIL YOU JOINED ACA (STUDIES, PROJECTS, PLACEMENTS, JOBS).
I loved studying for my Architectural Technology Degree – it was a totally different experience from my Chemistry degree, and I graduated in June 2018.
I had a brief break for a couple of months after completing my degree to catch up with things that had been put on hold while studying, and to get my eldest daughter settled into the first year at university. ACA is my first job after graduating.
WHY DID YOU WANT TO WORK AT ACA?
One of my tutors sent me the job description for the job at ACA, and I couldn’t believe how close a match the position was to all the areas of architecture that I was particularly interested in – domestic, individually designed, energy-efficient homes, and mostly Self Build!
When I started researching the company, I realised what a great opportunity it would be to work with a company who not only practised in the areas I was interested in but who had so well identified the needs of the client, specifically those who are self-builders.
WHAT, IN YOUR OPINION, IS ACA’S STRENGTHS AS AN ARCHITECTURAL PRACTICE?
As an architectural practice, ACA has a great team of experienced, knowledgeable staff who are very keen to help and share knowledge, which as a (mature!) graduate is an ideal environment to learn and work in, and for domestic and self-builders is an invaluable resource.
If a member of the team can’t answer a particular question, another will be able to!
DO YOU LIKE WORKING IN DESIGNING RESIDENTIAL ONE-OFF HOMES? WHAT DO YOU LIKE ABOUT SELF BUILDING?
Working in designing one-off residential homes gives a fantastic amount of variety, with no two projects being the same, and bringing new challenges every day.
Being involved in self-building, you get to know the client, working with them from the start of the design process, right the way through until the end of the construction process. It is very satisfying seeing the project develop, and being able to be part of it throughout.
DO YOU PURSUE YOUR ARCHITECTURAL INTERESTS WHEN YOU ARE NOT AT WORK IN ANY WAY?
My husband and I have just completed renovating a tenement flat in Glasgow for our eldest daughter, who is at university there. We are now enjoying having our weekends back after this five-month project, and all the challenges that renovating an older property brought!
I enjoy travelling, part of which is linked to appreciating different architectural styles and methods of building in different countries to suit the climate. Two of our most recent trips could not have been more different – Thailand and the West Coast of Canada!
TELL US SOMETHING ABOUT WHAT YOU DO WHEN YOU ARE NOT AT WORK. WHAT DO YOU DO IN YOUR FREE TIME?
During my spare time, I enjoy spending time with my family – we also have a dog, cat and 5 ex-battery chickens. I also enjoy renovating and upcycling furniture, although not so much in the winter when the garage is freezing!
Read more about our team members in our Meet The Team series below: