Date posted: 13/12/18
As a business, we’re proud of the calibre of candidates we work with and are therefore pleased to launch a series of interviews showcasing their success.
Having moved in early 2018 from her hometown of Adelaide, South Australia, Celeste Walker made the smooth transition into the London architecture world. After successfully joining the team at AHR London, Celeste sits down with Lucy Dickerson to discuss London life, the challenges and what 2019 has in store for her career.
Celeste is an Part II Architectural Assistant who qualified in Australia, fortunate enough to have a British passport. She is currently working as a contractor having set up her own limited company, giving her the flexibility and freedom to work and travel over her next few years in the UK.
What attracted you to move to the UK from Australia?
I visited London on holiday years ago and really liked the charm and beauty of the architecture and the vibrancy of the city. I have always wanted to venture out of Adelaide and experience life in different cities, so I felt London was a good place to start!
What has your involvement been so far at AHR London and how have you found settling into the studio?
I have worked on various projects including a new 6 storey retail, residential and hotel development which is part of a larger town regeneration scheme, just outside of London. I came onto the project at tender stage, but have also been involved in some planning amendments. In the new year we will begin preparing the construction package.
How have the projects at AHR London differed from your previous practice experience in Adelaide?
Previously in Adelaide many of the projects I worked on were with commercial clients who had strict ideas on the design of the buildings they wished to construct. Here, there has been a lot more freedom of design, as well as a greater appreciation for well designed outcomes.
What advice would you give to someone when moving to the UK?
Before moving to London I researched what potential jobs would be on offer which gave me an idea of what to expect firms were after. Luckily, Revit users are in high demand so I was able to play to my strengths and the process of getting a job was a lot easier than I ever expected. I would suggest to people wanting to move, to research the job market and be confident in the skills that you can offer. A good recruitment agency can offer advice on the types of firms to apply for and take the work of searching for suitable jobs away, fast tracking the process.
What new challenges have you faced in the UK compared to Australia?
It has been relatively straight forward in terms of work; the general process from conception to completion is much the same. There are, of course, differences in design due to the climate being a lot colder here, a slightly different set of building rules and regulations to follow, and more historical and archaeological factors to take into consideration. There is also some new terminology to learn.
What does the next year have in store for you?
I will continue to work here in London, and hopefully on some more exciting projects!
What do you ultimately want to achieve in your career?
I want to keep working on a variety of projects, large and small, and to continue to working on residential projects. I enjoy the variety that architecture as a career can offer, and I would like to keep experiencing working in different countries and the uniqueness that brings to each project.
If you are an Aussie thinking about moving to London, or in the UK thinking about moving to Australia, get in touch to see how we can help!