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What makes a RIBAJ Rising Star?

Emily Pallot, of Ayre Chamberlain Gaunt, was one of 2018’s RIBAJ Rising Stars. She reveals what a confidence booster it was, and explains the challenges and rewards of leading ACG's London office.

11 September 2019

Emily Pallot, an Associate at Ayre Chamberlain Gaunt, was one of 2018’s RIBAJ Rising Stars. She is the head of the practice’s second studio in London, which she set up last year.

Choosing a young Associate to head up and grow your second studio from scratch shows how confident Basingstoke based Ayre Chamberlain Gaunt was in Pallot’s talent.

ACG’s new London studio is now twelve strong and is already looking for a bigger home only one year down the line. There, Pallot leads on a mix of high value residential and commercial projects, navigating the often unpredictable waters of regeneration.

She joined the practice in 2011 after completing her Part 2, and believes it was her ability to run multiple projects and contribute to other areas of the business that made her stand out.

"I’ve always enjoyed having lots of things going on at the same time, being able to dip in and out of projects for design reviews or whatever as well as concentrating on the design and delivery of my own. I actually enjoy managing several things at once."

Heading up a new office called for a more holistic understanding of the business, however. Pallot was suddenly faced with resourcing, business development, research, recruitment and strategy meetings.

"The biggest challenge was moving to two studios," she admits, "and growing the new studio while keeping the bridge intact, working between the two offices."

Emily Pallot, Associate at Ayre Chamberlain Gaunt, was one of 2018's Rising Stars.

Current projects include an early stage £16million commercial and retail building, including co-working spaces, which is part of the rejuvenation of North London’s Archway area, and a scheme for 72 new homes on a constrained site in North London’s Haringey.

The Plevna Cresent housing in Haringey, due to go on site in the next month or so, has been a particular challenge because the site is designated a Site of Nature Conservation Interest (SNCI), one of a series of sites running across North London to the Lea Valley.

It is rare for a proposal for one of the capital’s SNCIs to get planning approval. Pallot says the first challenge was just to establish an acceptable boundary of development before the planning application went in. In the event, the scheme was approved after being shortlisted for the Best Conceptual Project in the Haringey Design Awards 2018.

She also finds time to teach. Pallot was involved in the new school of architecture at the University of Reading at its inception in 2016 and runs and teaches the ‘Industry and Practice’ module.

Indeed, she wants to see greater connections between education and practice and argues that practices should be actively involved in developing course content because they are best placed to know how demand for skills is changing and evolving.

She has been instrumental in getting ACG involved at Reading, from volunteering for student open days to practice visits and allowing students to quiz staff members on practice management and the transition from student to practice team member.

Her own module is all about preparing students for work, and includes site and practice visits, workshops and even mock interviews.

Being named a Rising Star was a great confidence booster, she recalls, and she has no doubt that it helped her to get involved at the BCO, which she describes as a great platform offering great exposure, both personally and for ACG.

RIBAJ Rising Stars, in association with Origin, recognises and rewards up and coming construction professionals. The 2019 edition of Rising Stars ( closes for entries at midnight on 13 September. Don’t miss out: nominate yourself or someone you know.

Thanks to Emily Pallot, Associate, Ayre Chamberlain Gaunt.

Posted on 10 September 2019.

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