Mentoring at HPA - HPA

Mentoring at HPA

HPA were recently joined by Elise Clarke for a week of work experience. Currently studying for A-Levels, at Lancaster Girls’ Grammar, Elise decided to experience the environment before applying to study Architecture at University next year.


HPA are proud to help mentor the next generation of the profession, working with students throughout the entire education process. Alongside offering a weeklong work experience programme, HPA also support students through university education, providing mentoring days to undergraduate’s through the RIBAs Student Mentoring Scheme. Over the years, HPA have also supported many Part 1 and Part 2 students undertaking placement years during their qualification. Director, Zoe Hooton, currently mentors on the RIBA North Part 3 Programme, helping students preparing for final exams.

Throughout Elise’s week, HPA aimed to provide varied programmes of work that introduce some of the key skills required in architecture. Beginning work experience, Elise was taught basics of surveying. After measuring our office, she was shown the basics of AutoCAD, which was used to draw a floor plan. Elise was then able to use these skills to help our architectural assistant, Emma, on a site survey.

Following this, Elise was asked to design a small coffee shop which would be located on the green next to Lancaster Castle. After finding precedent images, and researching other similar schemes, Elise produced a number of sketches to explain her concept.

Elise prepared plans and elevations of the scheme on AutoCAD, before modelling her design in SketchUp. This model was then edited through Photoshop to provide a more realistic view which showed the site context and materials.

On Friday afternoon, Elise presented her scheme to the office, who gave feedback and advice. Elise impressed with her confidence and presentation style, along with the effort and enthusiasm she had shown throughout the week.

At the end of the week, the all-important question loomed; would Elise still want to study architecture? HPA are happy to say that Elise still wants to become an architect and everyone at HPA wishes her all the best with her upcoming exams and future career.

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