Allan Corfield Architects. Meet the team – Pearl
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 very difficult 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 great service is due, not only to our qualifications and experience – but our passion.
Today you will find out more about Pearl, our Part I Architectural Assistant based in our office in Swindon.
Pearl graduated from the University of Nottingham with an MEng in Architecture and Environmental Engineering.
Through university, Pearl brought her project’s design focus to sustainability. She is enthusiastic about increasing her understanding of low-energy design with ACA, hoping to become a qualified architect in the future.
Pearl works in our office at the National Self Build & Renovation Centre in Swindon, where alongside Jenny and Craig, she helps our clients in England build their dream homes.
What inspired you to pursue a career in architecture?
Truthfully, until quite late into my secondary school, I hadn’t considered architecture to be a career option. The more I thought seriously about this career choice, the more it became appealing. Before choosing to study architecture, I took part in a short summer school to experience a little taste of architecture as a degree.
In the future, I hope to qualify as an architect.
Quick summary of your career up until you joined ACA (studies, projects, placements, jobs)
Once settled in my decision, I started my undergraduate at the University of Nottingham. In four years, I studied architecture integrated with engineering and began to understand how sustainability can play a large role in the sector.
While at university, I did a summer internship at Weston Williamson, in which I experienced architecture in a professional setting for the first time. Through my internship, I shadowed different departments and gained a wider understanding of the industry.
Also, in my second year, I had the opportunity to build a school with my studio unit. In collaboration with Education Africa, Nottingham has a Design&Build studio unit that works together to design a nursery/creche. After review with engineers and planners, our unit travelled out to build our design over a period of four weeks. This experience really brought into perspective how a design becomes real life through the efforts of the team around you.
After spending my final year in lockdown, I graduated in 2021 and joined ACA in May.
Why did you want to work at ACA?
After learning about sustainable design strategies through my degree, I really wished to expand my understanding through my career. The chance to work with ACA has given me a great opportunity to develop my knowledge on a smaller but more relevant scale.
Not only do ACA have a consistent approach to low-energy strategies, but they also attract clients with the same agenda, creating a great conversation and relationship between the two.
The client-led design process is also appealing as it creates a deeper connection between the client and their home, leading to more individual and hopefully happier home environments.
What, in your opinion, are ACA’s strengths as an architectural practice?
By combining self-build homes with low-energy strategies, ACA has grown to make an impact in everyday life – taking the lead in the field.
With the diverse range of projects and a great team to work with, there’s no end to what you can learn or what they can bring to the table.
Developing an office down south is evidence of their strengths.
Do you like working in designing residential one-off homes? What do you like about Self Build?
The individuality of each project makes it interesting and fun to work on. As I mentioned earlier, the client gets really involved, and it’s fun to see the enthusiasm they bring to meetings.
If you weren’t working in architecture, what would you be doing?
I’m pretty sure I would have studied economics, which is quite uncreative in comparison to architecture. I was close to starting a graduate scheme based on economics before I received any news of my UCAS applications. But I definitely made the right choice.
Do you pursue your architectural interests when you are not at work in any way?
I enjoy exploring new places, and this usually means pretty buildings and views. Personally, I love going around historical buildings – I have plans to visit Athens soon, and I cannot wait to go around the temples and ruins.
Although not an architectural hobby, I’m planning to pick up drawing again. I enjoyed drawing portraits in school and would like to see where it goes.
Tell us something about what you do when you are not at work. What do you do in your free time?
I’ve recently started reading. Most of my friends had started over lockdown and always had a book to recommend, so my ‘To Be Read’ list is very long. It’s also increasing at a quicker rate than I am reading – a bit daunting, really.
Read more about our team members in our Meet The Team series below:
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