Employee Spotlight: Eva and Radina

Eva and Radina, architectural assistants at HLN

 

The fourth installment of our employee spotlight series, we speak to Radina and Eva about what it’s like to work as an architectural assistant for HLN.

 

Tell me a bit about yourselves

 

Eva:

“I’m from Spain and I’ve been in Wales for almost 2 years.  I was lucky enough to find my job at HLN within the first month of arriving in the country.  At first, I worked for the engineering department then after a few months I moved to the architecture department.

You see, in Spain, the education system is a bit different – when you train to be an architect, it’s compulsory to learn about the engineering side of things as-well, including drainage.  You have to learn about everything!

In Spain, you can call upon an architect to assess the architectural and engineering aspect of a new construction project.  I’m lucky in so much I can work between the two departments…”

 

Radina:

“…It’s the same for me.  I’m originally from Bulgaria although my family moved to Spain when I was 11 years old.  I embarked upon my career in Spain, studying at the same University as Eva in Seville.  I moved to the UK almost 2 ½ years ago.  I started in an architecture practice in London, after which I moved to Cardiff and found a job with HLN.”

 

How long was your training?  And how long have you been working professionally as architects?

 

Eva:

“We had to spend almost 6 years in University.  During the final year of study, you spend the entire year working on a single project.”

 

Radina:

“It was the same for me.  I think it’s slightly different here as you spend 3 years completing a Batchelors degree followed by 2 years working towards a Master’s degree.  Education aside, I’ve been working professionally for almost 4 years.”

 

Eva:

“Same for me – I have 4 years of professional experience.  Prior to moving to the UK, I worked in Spain for 2 years.”

 

Radina:

“I worked in Spain for a bit, then in Italy before finally moving to the UK”

 

What inspired you to become architects?

 

Eva:

“That’s a hard question.  I always liked to build things when I was a child, I also loved mathematics and drawing.  When it came time to decide what I was going to do for the rest of my life – and it was a choice between a mathematician, an engineer or an architect – I finally chose architecture.  It’s more exciting and compliments my skill set and personality.”

 

Radina:

“I wanted to do something that was technical yet artistic.  I think I fell into architecture as I like to draw and I’m really hands on.  What I like about architecture is that it’s more than just design, you really have to focus on the technical side of things.  It’s exciting as your end design will be used to create a structure.”

 

Are you enjoying your time at HLN?

 

Eva:

“Yes, it’s varied.  There’s always lots to do.  I’m currently working on a number of different projects.”

 

Radina:

“I agree – there’s always lots to do.  It’s exciting at times.

 

How does a typical day unfold at HLN?

 

Eva:

“Good question!  It really depends on the project I’m working on.”

 

Radina:

“Yes, it depends on what projects we have on and the deadlines we have to adhere to.  Ultimately it comes down to what is required – sometimes we have a lot of design work, other times more technical work is required.  It really depends on the stage of the project at hand.”

 

What projects are you currently working on?

 

Radina:

“I’m currently doing a lot of work with a leading UK building Society, alongside Sam our in-house principal designer.  I’m working on everything, from concept design to technical specifications.”

 

Eva:

“I’m currently very busy on the Rockwool project, working alongside Kevin Joseph, senior structural engineer.  It’s still in the preliminary stages, so there’s lots to do.  I’m also working on Forest Place, a retirement home.  This is an amazing project – everyone loves it!  We’re currently hard at work on phase 1.”

 

What has been your best moment to date?

 

Eva:

“Working on the 3M project was my best moment to date, building 47 in particular.  Right now, we’re working on building 39, which is a great project, but I was really happy with the work I did for building 47.  I had a lot of freedom and the client was receptive to all the design suggestions we came up with.  I also had the opportunity to recommend furniture designs, which was great as I love interior design!”

 

Radina:

“On my first day I was given the option of working on an existing project or developing a concept design for the Celtic Manor.  I had to develop the project alone from scratch.  It was great for me personally as I had a lot of artistic freedom.”

 

What are your thoughts on the future of the industry?

 

Eva:

“As architects we need to pay more attention to the environmental impact of the buildings we design.  Sustainability is a major issue and something we need to pay close attention to.”

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