With 20 years chartered architect experience, Laura opens up new territories for Pride Rd and tells us her story
20 years commercial practice experience led me here
Laura qualified as a chartered architect 20 years ago and started her career in a large multinational practice working on multi-million pound commercial developments. Having helped to design her headmaster father’s school extension she then pursued an interest in school design with a smaller design led practice where she designed and project managed many Hampshire school extensions and received a Conservation & Design award.
Meanwhile two daughters came along and Laura designed an innovative extension to her New Forest 1930’s semi-detatched house including a double height living room and large open plan kitchen. This was followed by an extension to her parent’s home in Bransgore.
Life changed – for the better
A redundancy led to a short break from architecture, becoming a piano teacher and having a son which turned family life well and truly upside down. Laura returned to architecture part time, working for a local practice that specialises in conservation, care homes and residential design. During this time Laura developed many new skills including 3D modelling, producing website content and training as a Principal Designer. Project highlights included designing dentist surgeries where the tolerance for positioning the dental chair needed to be within 6mm – unheard of accuracy within the construction industry!
Discovering the joy of helping others
During this time, the work Laura found most fulfilling work was designing extensions or new houses for the end user. She began to enjoy actively helping people to solve problems in their own homes rather than creating large projects for developers. Meanwhile Laura’s three children were now in three different schools, creating a hectic after school schedule and seemingly endless inset days! Working part time is still unusual in architecture and project work does not naturally fit into a few days.
Pride Rd gave me a chance to balance life and work
Searching for a better solution, Laura discovered Pride Road, an opportunity to work to her own schedule, concentrate on domestic design and enjoy the support of like-minded colleagues. Laura is excited to be heading up Pride Road New Forest & Bournemouth, concentrating on areas including Christchurch, New Milton, Southbourne, Ringwood, Queen’s Park, Littledown, Highcliffe, Lymington, Bransgore and Hordle. Pride Road New Forest & Bournemouth will operate from Laura’s garden studio, a haven of peace from the noisy family home in which there is invariably a violin, cello, piano or guitar being played. When not working, Laura’s key interest is also music and she plays the oboe weekly in the New Forest Orchestra.