Associate, Tonkin Liu
My decision to follow architecture was more a process of slow realisation, rather than great epiphany. The three hobbies for art, music and photography have remained a constant since childhood; and though not predestined toward architecture , the creative process involved in all three instilled an artistic sensibility and consciousness that would help the design process and appreciation of architecture as an extension of these interests.
When considering higher education, I gravitated toward a vocational degree as I didn’t want my artistic hobbies to be potentially jaded by academic expectation, and testament to my slow realisation to follow architecture, actually applied for Civil Engineering.
I was fortunate enough to end up accepted at the University of Bath, which coincidentally was the only combined architecture and engineering school in the UK. My artistic interests were noticed by the Head of First Year Architecture, I was given the chance to transfer course and found this brought together my creative inclinations serendipitously.
I continued at the University of Bath through Part I and Part II, culminating in being nominated for the RIBA Silver Medal as well as being the University’s nomination for the RIBA Dissertation Medal 2016.
Part of my successful education was under the tutorship of Mike Tonkin, director of Tonkin Liu, which led to joining the practice four years ago. My time there has been extremely invaluable, challenging and invariably interesting.
Working at Tonkin Liu has been filled with idiosyncratic and interesting tasks that are not taken for granted, for example helping assemble the CNC cut plywood roof of the Sun Rain Room or being able to continue to pursue my interest in architectural photography by taking model photos and photos for the press.
I was part of the design team for Sun Rain Room and Old Shed, New House, which was awarded RIBA Stephen Lawrence Prize; as well as recent competition winning designs for Manchester Tower of Light and Grosvenor Square.
After completing my Part III at the University of Westminster, I continue to appreciate the good fortune of the path I took with architecture and enjoy the ethos of Tonkin Liu to strive to do what has not been done and be inspired by nature and the world around us.