My mum and I lived on Orbit’s Arthur Street estate, which is about to be demolished. In 2018 we moved just across the road to a new apartment on the Erith Park development.
“I was already interested in a career in engineering or architecture and I wanted to find out more about both. My mum asked Orbit’s regeneration team to help and, after my GCSE exams, I was able to spend a week’s work experience with both Clarkebond engineers and JTP Architects. Both companies were working with Orbit and Wates on the new plans for Arthur Street. Orbit helped me with the fares to get to their London offices.
At Clarkebond I learned how to use design software. I used AutoCAD to help design drainage systems, inputting manholes and drains, and Tekla to make a model building and test the loads of the beams on each floor. I also learned about the work of the geotechnical and geoenvironmental teams on testing soils and helped input data from one of their projects.
At JTP I used a hot wire machine to help make an architectural model of the masterplan for Arthur Street. I learned to use different software packages to design buildings. I worked on designs for entrances at Arthur Street which were then used in a presentation to the client, Orbit, in a large conference. I realised that architecture is not just about designing buildings but also about communicating those ideas to people.
Both weeks gave me a really good picture of the variety of roles both in engineering and architecture. It also gave me confidence that I can achieve in either field – JTP even said I can go back in my school holidays. I’m now back at school studying for my A Levels and planning to apply for a degree course in Design Engineering at Imperial College, London.
I’ll be watching progress on the Arthur Street scheme from my new home at Erith Park and, who knows, I may even see the entrances I designed!”