Student Awards Reflection: It’s a great thing to have on the CV – Kieran Sheehan, winner in 2011

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To mark The A&DS and RIAS Scottish Student Awards for Architecture 2017 we got in touch with previous years’ winners to see what they were up to now, and what difference winning the award had made to their architectural career to date.

In 2011 Kieran Sheehan, then a student at the Glasgow School of Art, Mackintosh School of Architecture, won the RIAS Rowand Anderson Silver Medal for best 5th year student winner, for his project Sinking Romanticism, Venice Observatory.

Where are you now and what are you currently working on?

Kieran Sheehan: I am a Project Architect at Tatehindle Ltd, based in Smithfields, London, currently working on the refurbishment and conversion of an existing Grade II listed hotel into luxury residential units in Warwick, whilst also developing a further 10 new mews houses with associated landscaping and car parking at the rear of the site. Since joining Tatehindle in April 2013, I primarily worked on the RIBA London 2016 regional winning scheme, The Gagosian Gallery in Mayfair.  I worked on this project until April 2016.

How did you feel about winning a student award for architecture, and can you describe the winning project? 

Ecstatic! I lived in London, so I travelled back to Glasgow with my Dad for the awards ceremony.  I thought I would have been contacted prior to the ceremony if successful. I wasn’t, so when my name was called I was surprised and elated!  My Dad and I had a fantastic night out in Glasgow that evening!

I submitted two projects, my thesis project, the Venice Observatory, which responded to the increase in tourism and the decline in Venetian life and culture; the second project was a high density housing scheme located off Byres Road, Glasgow, which responded to the scale, rhythm, mass and vibrancy of the popular Ashton Lane.

What impact do you feel winning the award has had on your career?

Beneficial. Particularly at the start of my professional career when seeking employment. It’s a great thing to have on the CV and always a positive talking point in an interview. The prize money helped in repaying off some of my vast student loan!

Reflecting back – what advice would you give to the students entering this and coming years’ awards?

If you are able to create your own brief in your thesis year, as I was able to at the GSA, then invest heavily at this initial stage researching so that you are able to set up a dialect which in turn will foster an intriguing scheme.

Image Caption: Gagosian Gallery, London. Image Credit: Philip Vile for the Gagosian gallery

Main image: Detail from Kieran’s submission Sinking Romanticism, Venice Observatory.

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