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VIEWS


ASK THE ARCHITECT


Glenn Swann, associate at sports & leisure specialists LK2, tells ADF about the firm’s aspirations and how technology is helping to shape the profession today


It’s also an industry in which you never stop learning, as every new project brings with it new challenges.


WHAT IS THE HARDEST PART OF YOUR JOB?


The biggest challenge has always been balancing the architectural aspirations of a project while keeping a keen eye on financial proceedings. It’s difficult, but very pleasing when the final outcome is favourable.


WHAT IS YOUR PROUDEST ACHIEVEMENT AND WHY?


WHY DID YOU BECOME AN ARCHITECT?


I’ve always been creative, so the idea of using that creativity and imagination to go beyond just the visual and influence the built environment seemed like an ideal career choice. It’s always satisfying to see ideas and designs brought to life.


WHAT DO YOU LIKE ABOUT IT MOST?


One of the most rewarding aspects of this industry is creating spaces that have a real and lasting influence on people’s lives.


I’ve been working in architecture for 30 years, and have never ceased to be proud of numerous aspects of individual projects. The best moments are when you feel personally that a scheme could not have been bettered and receives gratitude and praise from your client. For example, the Buttermarket Shopping Centre in Ipswich was a huge success for us. The project involved the regeneration of a failing shopping centre – the team had to come up with an innovative solution and in the end we delivered a mixed use retail and leisure centre, creating a vibrant, revitalised destination.


WHAT IS YOUR BIGGEST CHALLENGE CURRENTLY?


The biggest challenge is always to win the next job and to ensure a steady flow of


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interesting work into the office. It’s a fine balance between delivering satisfying results which lead to repeat business whilst also attracting further opportunities.


WHAT SINGLE CHANGE/INNOVATION WOULD MAKE AN ARCHITECTS JOB EASIER?


Architecture isn’t easy and we should not strive to simplify the process. In fact, the more complex the project, the more poten- tially satisfying the outcome.


WHAT’S YOUR CURRENT FAVOURITE MATERIAL FOR DESIGNING BUILDINGS?


For designing, I prefer just a black fibre tip pen and tracing paper. When it comes to constructing buildings, I’m still a great lover of traditional materials but used in a contemporary manner. However, I am always open to innovative ideas in technology, which is ever-changing. For example, there’s a newly launched design and presentation tool based around combining the use of virtual and mixed reality, allowing experience of 3D design by creating hologram versions of models. It’s fantastic as clients can now potentially view scheme proposals in real-world environments.


WHAT CAN WE LEARN FROM OVERSEAS ARCHITECTS?


All architects, overseas or otherwise, should learn from each other. At LK2,


Buttermarket Shopping Centre, Ipswich


ADF JULY 2017


WWW.ARCHITECTSDATAFILE.CO.UK


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