Job title: Architect.
When did you join Morrison Design? Summer 2022.
How did you get into architecture? It was always my dream to become an architect; I just had an interest in buildings from an early age. I loved playing with Lego, building extravagant models that I would proudly show to my dad. He was a site manager, and I would always be excited whenever I had the opportunity to visit sites with him.
Later on, I came across the Falling Water building by Frank Lloyd Wright which struck me for the audacity of its concept and beautiful integration with nature. I just knew I wanted to be able to design like that one day – it cemented my dream.
What are you currently working on? My main project at the moment is for our longstanding client Point A, who are extending their London hotel. We’re creating 8 additional bedrooms and extending the reception area. It is such a buzz to work with this client and has offered me the opportunity to get hands on with a project that has moved quickly from design to tender stage.
I am also working on the refurbishment of the Admiralty pub in Trafalgar Square, London, an historical grade 2 listed building that was badly damaged by the fire on the hottest day of last July. I’m also involved in various projects for Derby University.
Which project are you most proud of? Every project I work on is very precious to me but perhaps one that I’m very proud of was actually for a competition I participated in a few years ago to design a new school in the Philippines, in an area which had been devastated by a hurricane. This was set up as a global design challenge as part of a MOOC (Massive Open Online Courses) led by an inspiring Harvard professor.
People from all around the world came forward to participate to this initiative. My teammates were from Egypt, Nigeria, Nepal and Switzerland. The winning design was built; our project won 2nd prize and was displayed along others in an exhibition at the UN building in New York. It was such an amazing experience and I keep in touch with my teammates still today.
What do you love most about your job? Everything! Working with others, adapting to other people, listening to their ideas and delivering the vision of the client is a great feeling. I enjoy working with and learning from other consultants, going to site and solving problems.
What’s it like to work at Morrison Design? Fantastic – I’ve always wanted to work here! I’ve always been attracted to the company; it has such a positive vibe. It’s one of the oldest and most reputable firms in Derby, plus I’d never worked on any hotel projects, so it’s been a great experience so far. Coming here has been very positive and it’s exceeded my expectations.
Why should clients choose to work with Morrison Design? The company is very established in their specialist sectors and have created a niche. Clients know they can trust us; we’ve been around a very long time and we never disappoint. We have many repeat clients which is testament to our work.
And just for fun…
Favourite building: I can’t pick just one! My current top three are the National Museum of Qatar; I like its symbolism – it’s shaped like a desert rose – and the beautiful architecture created by its unique form. The Jean Marie Tjibaou Cultural Center in New Caledonia – inspired by vernacular architecture to shape a modern, beautiful and symbolic building, perfectly integrated with the surrounding landscape. Last, but not least, The Shed in New York, on the Hudson River, which is rooted into the industrial past of the High Line. Its kinetic system, that expands and contracts, provides incredible flexibility to the different cultural and artistic events hosted. It also uses modern technology to achieve energy conscious design.
Favourite food: Italian of course! Pizza, pasta and everything vegetarian in-between..
Favourite brand: Versace – the opulence of the décor and being true to its Sicilian origins. Donatella has shown her ability and commercial acumen, building up her bother’s legacy to create her own unique and successful style and brand. And Lego of course!
Something you dislike: I really dislike rudeness in people!