I fell into the world of architecture when deciding what to study at University; I knew I really enjoyed design and initially wanted to study Automotive Design, but decided against this course as I didn’t want to go to any of the Universities that offered it. I was then scrolling through the UKAS list and I didn’t need to look past the letter ‘A’ to find a course that fitted the bill!
Once I started studying at Cardiff University I realised what a fantastic discipline I had entered into and every day provided a new challenge; providing the enjoyment of design in addition to a realisation of how architecture can have a positive impact on society. I think this realisation in the first few years of studying is something that has really stuck with me to this day.
Graduating following my Part I studies into a recession was a challenging experience and I started looking at alternative careers as it had been a number of months without a successful job application. This included an eye-opening interview with the army at Cardiff barracks which re-energised me to look for employment at an architecture company. Shortly after I received a call and a job offer from Archadia and jumped at the chance.
I had found a really good fit in Archadia; a practice that focuses on the end user and adds social value to its schemes. I really enjoyed my Part I there and was delighted when they made me an offer to come back after my Part II studies. The Part II course at Cardiff is a year long and this time flew by so before I knew it I was back in London in practice working towards the Part III.
Once I had started the journey to become an architect I was determined to complete my studies and gain the experience to become fully qualified. The biggest feeling on completing the Part III interview was relief and a real sense of achievement. After seven years of studying I was enjoying the day to day life of the practice which was becoming increasingly interesting due to the way in which the practice was taking shape at that time.
After becoming an architect, I haven’t looked back and couldn’t recommend anything more enjoyable than the daily rollercoaster of being an architect! There have been numerous changes at the practice and on becoming a Director 5 years ago this has thrust me into a different world of the business side of architecture which is really enjoyable. The latest chapter is a merger with Oxford based Architecture, Town Planning & Urban Design Practice, West Waddy. The merger has just gone through as I write this and I am now looking forward to an exciting new challenge with WWA!
To use a cliché everyday is different and presents a new challenge with new problems to solve and I think this variety is the most interesting aspect of the job and is what keeps me continuing on my architectural journey.
Castlemaine Court is a new-build scheme of one and two-bed flats providing multi-generational affordable housing.
Progress Mews with Kingston Churches Housing Association
Each dwelling has been designed to London Design Guide standards and HCA Housing Quality Indicators.
In this interview, Mark spoke about positive impact of architecture and his journey into architecture. Interviewed by Melissa Woolford, Founder and Director of MoA, recorded 2020.