Strawberry Place Dusk

Fran Harrison, senior architect at Ryder, spoke to RIBA North East as part of their #FacesofArchitecture campaign.

My first job was a Part I placement at a small practice on the outskirts of Leeds, which specialised in listed building repairs and renovations. I was lucky enough to work on a wide range of projects including an extension to a homeless centre located in the crypt of a Grade II listed church in Leeds City Centre – a very unique and interesting project.

After completing my Diploma, I moved to Newcastle where I began working at Ryder Architecture, and then qualified as an Architect in 2015. I have had the opportunity to work on a number of different projects including a new-build headquarters for housing association Thirteen in Stockton and an exhibition for the Great Exhibition of the North within Cooper’s Studios.

I enjoy exploring client’s aspirations and helping them to develop their ideas through design. My favourite project to date is Vita Student, Strawberry Place which is a 332-bed student residential scheme in Newcastle City Centre. I particularly enjoyed this project due to the difficult site constraints which allowed the project team to explore innovative and creative solutions to fulfil the brief. I admire The Scottish Crime Campus because of its unique yet simple design and strong concept which has been executed to a high standard.

I am involved in a range of non-project activities, the Young Architectural Practitioners Forum as an ambassador, a member of BCO Nextgen North committee, and an RIBA student mentor. I believe everyone should be treated equally within the architectural profession, and that diversity and inclusion bring different ideas and initiatives to the profession.