How and when did you develop an interest in architecture?
Initially I thought of doing engineering but my maths isn’t the strongest, so my research led me to discover architecture. In architecture, I like that you focus on the design and the way it interacts with the audience rather than how it’s physically built. That’s the mindset I have: I always think what inspired the architect to create a building.
How have you found your first year of college?
It’s really fast paced! For my architecture A-Level we have to get a project out every four weeks, which is pretty intense considering we have other A-levels to balance as well. I’m studying architecture, product design and media studies.
How have you found the pavilion project experience?
I’m loving it and really enjoying it so far. I love the way that so many people are connecting through one passion. The different backgrounds, ways of thinking, and aesthetics means that I’m meeting some amazing people working in the industry to learn from.
Had you interacted with architecture professionals or other people in the industry?
Never! This is my first time. I’m the first in my family pursuing architecture.
Do you have any favourite architects or buildings?
Zaha Hadid. It’s the aesthetic she went for: I love the modern and minimalistic approach. There’s also an element of nature to her design and I love when nature combines with modern building design.
Can you tell me about your pavilion design?
I would describe it as a space that brings people from all ages and backgrounds to connect with nature. There’s a waterfall feature that will sense you without you getting wet and I feel like it can bring out the inner child in everybody. We wanted to include a social space as well, so we’ve added a skatepark and spaces for office workers and students. It’s simple but our main goal is for it to be interactive with people.
How would you describe the form of the building?
It’s a big rectangle with three different sections and no covered roof. One is completely open, one is full of seating, and at the end you have the skatepark. Each section is divided by waterfalls so it’s almost like being in separate rooms. We’re thinking of using oak or birch for the structure.
What are your thoughts on involving young people in projects like this?
I think it’s important that young people in my generation are involved in projects that will affect our future. Getting the younger generation involved with the older generation at the same time brings two different views. It’s a good thing and as technology is evolving, having that constant change and progress benefits everyone.
Beyond the Box consultants, who are running the initiative, recently announced the winning design team last from a shortlist of nine. A public vote of over 1,300 local people selected Shahriyar Ahmed (18), Samira Elbahja (17) and Dellilah Jamal’s (17) design, ‘The Reverie’, as the winner.