Faces of Architecture: Francesca Harrison
Francesca has always enjoyed design and wanted a career which would allow her to use practical skills. Whilst at school, an architect gave a talk on an extension proposed for the school which inspired her to research a career in architecture. She grew up in Ripon, North Yorkshire and then went to Leeds Metropolitan University to study architecture.
My first job was a Part I placement at a small practice on the outskirts of Leeds, which specialised in listed building repairs and renovations. I was lucky enough to work on a wide range of projects including an extension to a homeless centre located in the crypt of a Grade II listed church in Leeds City Centre – a very unique and interesting project.
After completing my Diploma, I moved to Newcastle where I began working at Ryder Architecture, and then qualified as an Architect in 2015. I have had the opportunity to work on a number of different projects including a new-build headquarters for housing association Thirteen in Stockton and an exhibition for the Great Exhibition of the North within Cooper’s Studios.
I enjoy exploring client’s aspirations and helping them to develop their ideas through design. My favourite project to date is Vita Student, Strawberry Place which is a 332-bed student residential scheme in Newcastle City Centre. I particularly enjoyed this project due to the difficult site constraints which allowed the project team to explore innovative and creative solutions to fulfil the brief. I admire The Scottish Crime Campus because of its unique yet simple design and strong concept which has been executed to a high standard.
I am involved in a range of non-project activities, the Young Architectural Practitioners Forum as an ambassador, a member of BCO Nextgen North committee, and an RIBA student mentor. I believe everyone should be treated equally within the architectural profession, and that diversity and inclusion bring different ideas and initiatives to the profession.